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Set up AWS Secrets Manager as your secrets backend

This topic provides setup steps for configuring AWS Secrets Manager as a secrets backend on Astro.

For more information about Airflow and AWS connections, see Amazon Web Services Connection.

If you use a different secrets backend tool or want to learn the general approach on how to integrate one, see Configure a Secrets Backend.


Step 1: Add Airflow secrets to Secrets Manager

Create directories for Airflow variables and connections in AWS Secrets Manager that you want to store as secrets. You can use real or test values.

  • When setting the secret type, choose Other type of secret and select the Plaintext option.
  • If creating a connection URI or a non-dict variable as a secret, remove the brackets and quotations that are pre-populated in the plaintext field.
  • The secret name is assigned after providing the plaintext value and clicking Next.

Secret names must correspond with the connections_prefix and variables_prefix set below in step 2. Specifically:

  • If you use "variables_prefix": "airflow/variables", you must set Airflow variable names as:

  • The <variable-key> is how you will retrieve that variable's value in a DAG. For example:

    my_var = Variable.get("variable-key>")
  • If you use "connections_prefix": "airflow/connections", you must set Airflow connections as:

  • The <connection-id> is how you will retrieve that connection's URI in a DAG. For example:

    conn = BaseHook.get_connection(conn_id="<connection-id>")
  • Be sure to not include a leading / at the beginning of your variable or connection name

For more information on adding secrets to Secrets Manager, see AWS documentation.

Step 2: Set up Secrets Manager locally

Add the following environment variables to your Astro project's .env file:
AIRFLOW__SECRETS__BACKEND_KWARGS={"connections_prefix": "airflow/connections", "variables_prefix": "airflow/variables", "role_arn": "<your-role-arn>"}

After you configure an Airflow connection to AWS, can run a DAG locally to check that your variables are accessible using Variable.get("<your-variable-key>").

Step 3: Deploy environment variables to Astro

  1. Run the following commands to export your secrets backend configurations as environment variables to Astro.

    $ astro deployment variable create --deployment-id <your-deployment-id>

    $ astro deployment variable create --deployment-id <your-deployment-id> AIRFLOW__SECRETS__BACKEND_KWARGS='{"connections_prefix": "airflow/connections", "variables_prefix": "airflow/variables", "role_arn": "<your-role-arn>", "region_name": "<your-region>"}' --secret
  2. (Optional) Remove the environment variables from your .env file or store your .env file in a safe location to protect your credentials.


If you delete the .env file, the Secrets Manager backend won't work locally.

  1. Open the Airflow UI for your Deployment and create an Amazon Web Services connection without credentials. When you use this connection in a DAG, Airflow will automatically fall back to using the credentials in your configured environment variables.

To further customize the Airflow and AWS SSM Parameter Store integration, see the full list of available kwargs.

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