Configuring Impala TLS/SSL

To protect sensitive information being transmitted, Impala supports TLS/SSL network encryption, between Impala and client programs, and between the Impala-related daemons running on different nodes in the cluster.

To configure Impala to listen for Beeswax and HiveServer2 requests on TLS/SSL-secured ports:
  1. In Cloudera Manager, select the Impala service from the Clusters drop down.
  2. In the Configuration tab, select Scope > Impala (Service-Wide).
  3. Select Category > Security.
  4. Edit the following property fields:
    Property Description
    Enable TLS/SSL for Impala Encrypt communication between clients (like ODBC, JDBC, and the Impala shell) and the Impala daemon using Transport Layer Security (TLS) (formerly known as Secure Socket Layer (SSL)).
    Impala TLS/SSL Server Certificate File (PEM Format) Local path to the X509 certificate that identifies the Impala daemon to clients during TLS/SSL connections. This file must be in PEM format.
    Impala TLS/SSL Server Private Key File (PEM Format) Local path to the private key that matches the certificate specified in the Certificate for Clients. This file must be in PEM format.
    Impala TLS/SSL Private Key Password The password for the private key in the Impala TLS/SSL Server Certificate and Private Key file. If left blank, the private key is not protected by a password.
    Impala TLS/SSL CA Certificate The location on disk of the certificate, in PEM format, used to confirm the authenticity of SSL/TLS servers that the Impala daemons might connect to. Because the Impala daemons connect to each other, this should also include the CA certificate used to sign all the SSL/TLS Certificates. Without this parameter, SSL/TLS between Impala daemons will not be enabled.

Using TLS/SSL with Business Intelligence Tools

You can use Kerberos authentication, TLS/SSL encryption, or both to secure connections from JDBC and ODBC applications to Impala.

Configuring TLS/SSL Communication for the Impala Shell

Typically, a client program has corresponding configuration properties in Cloudera Manager to verify that it is connecting to the right server. For example, with SSL enabled for Impala, you use the following options when starting the impala-shell interpreter:

  • --ssl: enables TLS/SSL for impala-shell.
  • --ca_cert: the local pathname pointing to the third-party CA certificate, or to a copy of the server certificate for self-signed server certificates.

If --ca_cert is not set, impala-shell enables TLS/SSL, but does not validate the server certificate. This is useful for connecting to a known-good Impala that is only running over TLS/SSL, when a copy of the certificate is not available (such as when debugging customer installations).

For impala-shell to successfully connect to an Impala cluster that has the minimum allowed TLS/SSL version set to 1.2 (--ssl_minimum_version=tlsv1.2), the cluster that impala-shell runs on must have Python version 2.7.9 or higher (or a vendor-provided Python version with the required support. Some vendors patched Python 2.7.5 versions on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and derivatives).

Specifying TLS/SSL Minimum Allowed Version and Ciphers

Depending on your cluster configuration and the security practices in your organization, you might need to restrict the allowed versions of TLS/SSL used by Impala. Older TLS/SSL versions might have vulnerabilities or lack certain features. You can use startup options for the impalad, catalogd, and statestored daemons to specify a minimum allowed version of TLS/SSL.

Add the following parameter into Cloudera Manager -> Impala -> Configuration -> "Impala Command Line Argument Advanced Configuration Snippet (Safety Valve)"

Along with specifying the version, you can also specify the allowed set of TLS ciphers by using the --ssl_cipher_list configuration setting. The argument to this option is a list of keywords, separated by colons, commas, or spaces, and optionally including other notation. For example:


By default, the cipher list is empty, and Impala uses the default cipher list for the underlying platform. See the output of man ciphers for the full set of keywords and notation allowed in the argument string.