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Integrate with Redis

EMQX supports integrating with Redis for password authentication. EMQX Redis authenticator currently supports connecting to running in three different modes, which are Single, Redis Sentinel and Redis Cluster. This section gives detailed instructions on the data schema supported and on how to configure with EMQX Dashboard and configuration file.


Data Schema and Query Statement

Redis authentication works with credentials stored as Redis hashes with predefined field names:

  • password_hash: required; password (in plain text or hashed) stored in the database;
  • salt: optional; salt = "" or just remove this field to indicate no salt value will be added;
  • is_superuser: optional; flag if the current client is a superuser; default: false.

For example, if we want to add a document for a superuser (is_superuser: true) with username user123, password secret, prefixed salt salt, and password hash sha256, the query statement should be:

>redis-cli> HSET mqtt:user123 is_superuser 1 salt salt password_hash ac63a624e7074776d677dd61a003b8c803eb11db004d0ec6ae032a5d7c9c5caf
(integer) 3

The corresponding config params are:

password_hash_algorithm {
    name = sha256
    salt_position = prefix

cmd = "HMGET mqtt:${username} password_hash salt is_superuser"


The name password_hash conveys our preference for storing hashed passwords. But given that Redis doesn't have a MySQL-like as syntax, EMQX 5.0 has kept the password field (in EMQX 4.x) compatible.

So, we can also configure cmd as HMGET mqtt:${username} password salt is_superuser.

Configure with Dashboard

You can use EMQX Dashboard to configure how to use Redis for password authentication.

On EMQX Dashboard, click Access Control -> Authentication on the left navigation tree to enter the Authentication page. Click Create at the top right corner, then click to select Password-Based as Mechanism, and Redis as Backend, this will lead us to the Configuration tab, as shown below.

Authentication with redis

Follow the instruction below on how to configure:

Connect: Fill in the information needed to connect Redis.

  • Redis Mode: Select how Redis is deployed, including Single, Sentinel and Cluster.
  • Server(s): Specify the Redis server address that EMQX is to connect, if Redis Mode is set to Sentinel or Cluster, you will need to input all Redis servers (separated with a ,) that EMQX is to connect.
  • Sentinel Name: Specify the name to use; type: strings; only needed if you set Redis Mode to Sentinel.
  • Database: Redis database name; Data type: strings.
  • Password (optional): Specify Redis user password.

TLS Configuration: Turn on the toggle switch if you want to enable TLS. For more information on enabling TLS, see Network and TLS.

Connection Configuration: Set the concurrent connections.

  • Pool size (optional): Input an integer value to define the number of concurrent connections from an EMQX node to a Redis server. Default: 8.

Authentication configuration: Fill in the authentication-related settings:

  • Password Hash: Select the Hash function for storing the password in the database, for example, plain, md5, sha, bcrypt, pbkdf2.
    • If plain, md5, sha, sha256 or sha512 are selected, we also need to configure:
      • Salt Position: Specify the way (suffix, prefix, or disable) to add salt (random data) to the password. You can keep the default value unless you are migrating user credentials from external storage into EMQX built-in database. Note: If plain is selected, the Salt Position should be disable.
    • If bcrypt is selected, you also need to configure:
      • Salt Rounds: Specify the calculation times of Hush function (2^Salt Rounds). Default value: 10; Value range 4~31. You are recommended to use a higher value for better protection. Note: Increasing the cost factor by 1 doubles the necessary time.
    • If pkbdf2 is selected, we also need to configure:
      • Pseudorandom Function: Specify the Hush functions to generate the key, such as sha256.
      • Iteration Count: Specify the iteration times; Default: 4096
      • Derived Key Length (optional): Specify the length of the generated password. You can leave this field blank, then the key length will be determined by the pseudorandom function you selected.
  • CMD: Redis query command.

After you finish the settings, click Create.

Configure with Configuration Items

You can configure the EMQX Redis authenticator with EMQX configuration items.

Redis authentication is identified with mechanism = password_based and backend = redis.

EMQX supports working with three kinds of Redis installation.