The two main security components you will use with the Python driver are Authentication and SSL.


Versions 2.0 and higher of the driver support a SASL-based authentication mechanism when protocol_version is set to 2 or higher. To use this authentication, set auth_provider to an instance of a subclass of AuthProvider. When working with Cassandra’s PasswordAuthenticator, you can use the PlainTextAuthProvider class.

For example, suppose Cassandra is setup with its default ‘cassandra’ user with a password of ‘cassandra’:

from cassandra.cluster import Cluster
from cassandra.auth import PlainTextAuthProvider

auth_provider = PlainTextAuthProvider(username='cassandra', password='cassandra')
cluster = Cluster(auth_provider=auth_provider, protocol_version=2)

When working with version 2 or higher of the driver, the protocol version is set to 2 by default, but we’ve included it in the example to be explicit.

Custom Authenticators

If you’re using something other than Cassandra’s PasswordAuthenticator, SaslAuthProvider is provided for generic SASL authentication mechanisms, utilizing the pure-sasl package. If these do not suit your needs, you may need to create your own subclasses of AuthProvider and Authenticator. You can use the Sasl classes as example implementations.

Protocol v1 Authentication

When working with Cassandra 1.2 (or a higher version with protocol_version set to 1), you will not pass in an AuthProvider instance. Instead, you should pass in a function that takes one argument, the IP address of a host, and returns a dict of credentials with a username and password key:

from cassandra.cluster import Cluster

def get_credentials(host_address):
    return {'username': 'joe', 'password': '1234'}

cluster = Cluster(auth_provider=get_credentials, protocol_version=1)


To enable SSL you will need to set Cluster.ssl_options to a dict of options. These will be passed as kwargs to ssl.wrap_socket() when new sockets are created. This should be used when client encryption is enabled in Cassandra.

By default, a ca_certs value should be supplied (the value should be a string pointing to the location of the CA certs file), and you probably want to specify ssl_version as ssl.PROTOCOL_TLSv1 to match Cassandra’s default protocol.

For example:

from cassandra.cluster import Cluster

ssl_opts = {
    'ca_certs': '/path/to/my/ca.certs',
    'ssl_version': PROTOCOL_TLSv1,
    'cert_reqs': CERT_REQUIRED  # Certificates are required and validated
cluster = Cluster(ssl_options=ssl_opts)

This is only an example to show how to pass the ssl parameters. Consider reading the python ssl documentation for your configuration. For further reading, Andrew Mussey has published a thorough guide on Using SSL with the DataStax Python driver.

Note: In case the twisted event loop is used pyOpenSSL must be installed or an exception will be risen. Also to set the ssl_version and cert_reqs in ssl_opts the appropriate constants from pyOpenSSL are expected.