Enabling SSL/TLS Encryption

The Yellowbrick server supports SSL/TLS encryption, using TLS protocol v1.2, for client communications and passwords, including remote connections to the SMC and connections via client tools such as ybload.

SSL-Only Mode

If you want to automatically enforce SSL mode for all client connections, you can set the appliance to SSL-only mode. When the appliance is running in this mode, all client connections from all tools, including connections to the SMC, the front-end PostgreSQL database, and ybtools, must connect via HTTPS. All non-SSL connections are rejected.

Trust and Trust Customization

Trust for SSL/TLS communication is enabled by default, but it is not required. By default, Yellowbrick is shipped with self-signed certificates. When using self-signed certificates, verification of the root ca is not supported. When using ybtools, see SSL/TLS Settings for ybtools. When using ybsql, see ybsql Connections.

The security policies of many companies do not allow the use of self-signed certificates or client settings that ignore certificate root verification for use with appliances storing confidential or personally identifiable information (PII). In these environments, the self-signed certificate must be replaced with a certificate from a trusted signing authority. This option accepts a PEM-encoded file or a Java KeyStore (JKS).


Database client connections, bulk load and unload options, SMC access, and other SSL/TLS communication with the Yellowbrick appliance go through different ports than other non-SSL/TLS traffic. For this reason, additional network ports in the corporate firewall typically need to be opened, otherwise users will receive errors and communication will fail. For a list of client tools port numbers used for data control and transfer, see Opening Network Ports for Clients.

Import Certificates

The initial SSL certificate for a Yellowbrick database is established with a self-signed, untrusted SSL certificate. Your organization may choose to change this database certificate to align with its internal policies by importing a certificate signed with a private signing authority/CA or by using an external signing authority. Without a Certificate Authority (CA)-signed certificate, you may get errors such as:
There is a problem with this website's security certificate.

The Import Certificate button in the SMC allows customers to import a new SSL certificate for the database. The same certificate is used for establishing trust to both the HTTPS listener and the Postgres TLS listener. The import must be done with a PEM-encoded certificate issued by a third-party CA or a custom CA trusted by the organization's standard browser.

Enable SSL Settings

Follow these steps to import a new certificate and/or enable SSL-only mode:
  1. Log into the SMC as the yellowbrick user.
  2. Go to Configure > Settings > SSL.
  3. To import a new certificate, click Import Certificate and import the public key and the private key. You must specify the password for the private key. Be prepared to provide all three values: both keys and the private key password.
    Although the format of the files being imported is text, it is encoded as follows:
  4. Select the Enable SSL-only communications checkbox. (Skip this step if you only want to import a new certificate.)
  5. If required by your certificate, enter a fully-qualified hostname for the SMC in the Automatic Redirect field. Redirection is commonly used to match the Common Name (CN) or Subject Alternative Name (SAN) in an SSL certificate to the URL a user visits in order to establish trust. If browsers attempt to log into the SMC via an HTTP URL, those connections will be redirected to the hostname you entered, using HTTPS.
    For example:
    will be redirected to:

    assuming you entered yb100.redirectme.com in the Automatic Redirect field.

  6. Click Save Settings in the top-right corner of the Configuration Settings screen.
  7. Restart the database as prompted, using ybcli:
    $ ybcli -y database stop
    $ybcli database start