Security Overview

The Schema Registry currently supports all Kafka security features, including: communication and authentication with a secure Kafka cluster over SSL; authentication with ZooKeeper over SASL; authentication with Kafka over SASL; and end-user REST API calls over HTTPS.

For more details, check the configuration options.

Kafka Store

The Schema Registry uses Kafka to persist schemas, and all Kafka security features are supported by the Schema Registry.


The Schema Registry supports both unauthenticated and SASL authentication to Zookeeper.

Setting up ZooKeeper SASL authentication for the Schema Registry is similar to Kafka’s setup. Namely, create a keytab for the Schema Registry, create a JAAS configuration file, and set the appropriate JAAS Java properties.

In addition to the keytab and JAAS setup, be aware of the zookeeper.set.acl setting. This setting, when set to true, enables ZooKeeper ACLs, which limits access to znodes.

Important: if zookeeper.set.acl is set to true, the Schema Registry’s service name must be the same as Kafka’s, which is kafka by default. Otherwise, the Schema Registry will fail to create the _schemas topic, which will cause a leader not available error in the DEBUG log. The Schema Registry log will show org.apache.kafka.common.errors.TimeoutException: Timeout expired while fetching topic metadata when Kafka does not set ZooKeeper ACLs but the Schema Registry does. The Schema Registry’s service name can be set either with or in the JAAS file.

If the Schema Registry has a different service name than Kafka, at this time zookeeper.set.acl must be set to false in both the Schema Registry and Kafka.

Upgrade from HTTP to HTTPS for REST API

By default Schema Registry ships with configs that allow you to make REST API calls over HTTP. The following configuration determine the protocol used by Schema Registry:


Comma-separated list of listeners that listen for API requests over either HTTP or HTTPS. If a listener uses HTTPS, the appropriate SSL configuration parameters need to be set as well.

Schema Registry identities are stored in ZooKeeper and are made up of a hostname and port. If multiple listeners are configured, the first listener’s port is used for its identity.


The protocol used while making calls between the instances of schema registry. The slave to master node calls for writes and deletes will use the specified protocol. The default value would be http. When https is set, ssl.keystore. and ssl.truststore. configs are used while making the call.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “http”
  • Importance: low

If you would want to upgrade to HTTPS in an existing cluster, you need to perform the outlined steps:

  • Add/Modify the listeners config to include HTTPS. For example:,

  • Configure the appropriate SSL configurations

    • ssl.keystore.* configs to setup keystore related configs
    • ssl.truststore.* configs to setup truststore related configs (required only when ssl.client.auth set to true)
  • Do a rolling bounce of the cluster

This process enables https, but still defaults to http so schema registry instances can still communicate before all nodes have been restarted. They will continue to use http as the default until configured not to. To switch to https as the default and disable http support, perform the following steps:

  • Enable HTTPS as mentioned in first section of upgrade (both HTTP & HTTPS will be enabled)
  • Configure schema.registry.inter.instance.protocol to https in all the nodes
  • Do a rolling bounce of the cluster
  • Remove http listener from the listeners in all the nodes
  • Do a rolling bounce of the cluster