Redis Service Management with requirepass AUTH enabled

Published: March 11, 2019


While reviewing a plan to introduce requirepass AUTH to a Redis instance prepared by a co-worker I came across the following note:

Will not set up init scripts, as starting/stopping Redis with AUTH directive enabled requires password

This didn’t smell right to me, so I decided to take a look at the issue with my co-worker.

Upon inspection I saw he was using this init script.

The stop() function looked like this:

    if [ ! -f $PIDFILE ]; then
        echo "$PIDFILE does not exist."
        action $"Stopping $prog: " /bin/false
        PID=`cat "$PIDFILE" 2>/dev/null`
        if [ -n $PID ]; then 
            $CLIEXE -p $PORT shutdown
            if [ $ret -eq 0 ]; then
                while [ -x /prod/${PID} ]; do
                    echo -n "."
                    sleep 1
                action $"Stopping $prog: " /bin/true
                action $"Stopping $prog: " /bin/false
            action $"Stopping $prod: " /bin/false
    return $ret

I quickly saw this issue in this line

$CLIEXE -p $PORT shutdown

$CLIEXE is /usr/local/bin/redis-cli…so this function would stop redis by running redis-cli shutdown. This would require the password as the command would be issued through redis-cli.

There are a few options for getting around this:

  1. You can use the -a flag when executing redis-cli to provide the password.
  2. Instead of using redis-cli shutdown, you can simply kill the process

Package managers often place a script in /usr/libexec/redis-shutdown which elegantly handles this by parsing the configuration file to condtionally supply the password. Here’s an abbreviated version:

PASS=`awk '/^[[:blank:]]*requirepass/ { print $2 }' $CONFIG_FILE | tail -n1`

Max Chadwick Hi, I'm Max!

I'm a software developer who mainly works in PHP, but loves dabbling in other languages like Go and Ruby. Technical topics that interest me are monitoring, security and performance. I'm also a stickler for good documentation and clear technical writing.

During the day I lead a team of developers and solve challenging technical problems at Something Digital where I mainly work with the Magento platform. I've also spoken at a number of events.

In my spare time I blog about tech, work on open source and participate in bug bounty programs.

If you'd like to get in contact, you can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.