Token Requests


StatusMin K8s VersionMax K8s Version


This feature allows CSI drivers to impersonate the pods that they mount the volumes for. This improves the security posture in the mounting process where the volumes are ACL’ed on the pods’ service account without handing out unnecessary permissions to the CSI drivers’ service account. This feature is especially important for secret-handling CSI drivers, such as the secrets-store-csi-driver. Since these tokens can be rotated and short-lived, this feature also provides a knob for CSI drivers to receive NodePublishVolume RPC calls periodically with the new token. This knob is also useful when volumes are short-lived, e.g. certificates.

See more details at the design document.


This feature adds two fields in CSIDriver spec:

type CSIDriverSpec struct {
    ... // existing fields

    RequiresRepublish *bool
    TokenRequests []TokenRequest

type TokenRequest struct {
    Audience string
    ExpirationSeconds *int64
  • TokenRequest.Audience:

    • This is a required field.
    • Audiences should be distinct, otherwise the validation will fail.
    • If it is empty string, the audience of the token is the APIAudiences of kube-apiserver. one of the audiences specified.
    • See more about audience specification here
  • TokenRequest.ExpirationSeconds:

    • The field is optional.
    • It has to be at least 10 minutes (600 seconds) and no more than 1 << 32 seconds.
  • RequiresRepublish:

    • This field is optional.
    • If this is true, NodePublishVolume will be periodically called. When used with TokenRequest, the token will be refreshed if it expired. NodePublishVolume should only change the contents rather than the mount because container will not be restarted to reflect the mount change. The period between NodePublishVolume is 0.1s.

The token will be bounded to the pod that the CSI driver is mounting volumes for and will be set in VolumeContext:

"": {
  <audience>: {
    'token': <token>,
    'expirationTimestamp': <expiration timestamp in RFC3339 format>,

If CSI driver doesn't find token recorded in the volume_context, it should return error in NodePublishVolume to inform Kubelet to retry.


Here is an example of a CSIDriver object:

kind: CSIDriver
    - audience: "gcp"
    - audience: ""
      expirationSeconds: 3600
  requiresRepublish: true

Feature gate

Kube apiserver must start with the CSIServiceAccountToken feature gate enabled:


It is enabled by default in Kubernetes 1.21 and cannot be disabled since 1.22.

Example CSI Drivers

  • secrets-store-csi-driver
    • With GCP, the driver will pass the token to GCP provider to exchange for GCP credentials, and then request secrets from Secret Manager.
    • With Vault, the Vault provider will send the token to Vault which will use the token in TokenReview request to authenticate.
    • With Azure, the driver will pass the token to Azure provider to exchange for Azure credentials, and then request secrets from Key Vault.