Profile Command

Setup and initialization of the Keeper Secrets Manager device profile

profile command

Description: Initialize and switch between device profiles. In order to support multiple environments on the same device, you can also switch between Secrets Manager device profiles.


Sub-command and options to run

format: ksm profile <sub-command>





Initialize a new client device profile


Setup a new profile from 3rd party external secrets manager like AWS.


List profiles that have been created, and note active profile


Export a configuration profile


Create a new configuration from an exported encrypted profile


Sets the active configuration profile


Initialize a client device profile.

ksm profile init

The file keeper.ini file will be created in your current working directory. For the Windows or macOS binary applications, the keeper.ini will be created in the users home directory (${HOME} or $env:USERPROFILE environment variables). The keeper.ini can be moved to the following locations:

  • The path defined by the environmental variable KSM_INI_DIR

  • The current directory

  • The user's home directory

    • ${HOME}

    • ${HOME}/.config/ksm

    • $env:USERPROFILE

  • Various system directories

    • /etc

    • /etc/ksm

    • /etc/keeper

    • $env:APPDATA/Keeper

    • $env:ProgamData/Keeper

    • $env:ProgramFiles/Keeper


  • -t, --token <token> one-time access token

  • -h, --hostname <XX> destination region

    Defaults to US region. Customers hosted in other regions must set this value:

    • US (United States)

    • EU (Europe)

    • AU (Australia)

    • JP (Japan)

    • CA (Canada)

    • US_GOV (GovCloud)

  • --ini-file <FILENAME> save the new profile to this file

  • -p, --profile-name <NAME> set profile name If not provided, the profile will be set as "default"

Typically, you will be initializing the KSM CLI with a token created in the vault or in Keeper Commander. For example:

ksm profile init --token XX:XXXXXXXX

As described in the Quick Start Guide, you can create a token from the Commander CLI or from the Keeper Vault interface. For example:

My Vault> secrets-manager client add --app MyApplicationName


Setup a new profile to be loaded from external storage like the AWS Secrets Manager. This is ideal when using Keeper Secrets Manager CLI from a cloud instance. Using this method of authentication adds additional layers of security.

There are 3 ways of integrating with external storage providers like AWS:

  • EC2 instance role (recommended)

  • AWS profile credentials

  • AWS custom keys

Method 1: EC2 instance role

For this method, you need to install Keeper Secrets Manager CLI on a EC2 instance which has been configured with a role that has permission to read specific AWS Secrets Manager secrets. We recommend setting up an EC2 role policy that has the least permission available, to only read specific keys. Learn more about AWS Secrets Manager access controls.

To initialize the KSM CLI profile on an EC2 instance using the AWS EC2 instance role:

ksm profile setup --type=aws

This creates a keeper.ini file which defines the secret key in AWS. For example:


storage = aws
provider = ec2instance
secret = ksm-config

By default, the secret key is assumed to be called ksm-config. You can specify a different key value by editing the keeper.ini file or using the --secret option. Example:

ksm profile setup --type=aws --secret my-ksm-config

Method 2: AWS profile credentials

The KSM CLI can be configured to use a specific AWS profile that has been previously initialized on this device with the aws configure command.

For this method, the AWS profile credentials should be assigned to a role which is limited to only read specific keys from the AWS Secrets Manager. Learn more about AWS Secrets Manager access controls.

For example:

ksm profile setup --type=aws --secret=ksm-config --credentials=profile --credentials-profile=default

Method 3: AWS custom keys

The KSM CLI can be configured to use a specific AWS Access Key / Secret Key pair. In this scenario, the Access Key and Secret Key will be stored locally in the keeper.ini file.

For example:

ksm profile setup --type=aws --secret=ksm-config --credentials=keys --aws-access-key-id XXX --aws-secret-access-key XXX --region XXX

An additional flag --fallback allows you to specify falling back to the default profile (from the AWS local configuration) if the initial credentials fail.

Finishing the KSM CLI setup

To complete the setup, a base64 KSM configuration value must be generated from the Keeper Vault interface or the Keeper Commander CLI. This is described in the Quick Start Guide.

For example, using the Commander CLI, this can be generated using a command such as the one below:

My Vault> secrets-manager client add --app "My KSM App" --config-init b64

Successfully generated Client Device

Initialized Config: [Base64 Config....]

Copy the provided configuration for use in the next step.

In order for this KSM device to authenticate against Keeper Secrets Manager, the KSM configuration value in base64 format must be populated into the AWS Secrets Manager. For example, using the AWS CLI:

aws secretsmanager create-secret --name ksm-config --secret-string '[Base64 Config]'

Now, you can verify that KSM CLI works and can access secrets from your vault using:

ksm secret list

 UID                     Record Type          Title
 ----------------------- -------------------- --------------------------
 n9SdOX1cEyMj9Ttj3lsjYQ  pamUser              IAM Account: demouser
 WfxgS6E_bY_tzdIChYIsAA  login                Amazon AWS - john
 toAfybW5SsbhRT9LtZ7oyg  serverCredentials    QA Server

Additional setup options

--ini-file <FILENAME> save the new profile to this file instead of keeper.ini. -p, --profile-name <NAME> set profile name. If not provided, the profile will be set as "default"


List all available profiles for the current Client Device.

ksm profile list


$ ksm profile list

  Active   Profile
 ======== ===============
  *        Test Server 1
           Test Server 2
           Local Dev


Export the current profile into a base64-encoded string.

ksm profile export [--plain] [--file-format] [PROFILE NAME]

optional parameters:

  • --plain Export profile without base64-encoding the string.

  • --file-format Export a profile to a specific file format. Available formats are:

    • ini - To be used by another instance of the CLI.

    • json - Can be used by the CLI and other Developer SDKs.


$ ksm profile export my_profile

Note: When using an external storage provider for KSM configuration, the profile will not be exportable.


Import a client device profile from an encrypted base64-encoded string.

ksm profile import [--output-file "INI filename"] <BASE64 CONFIG>

optional parameters:

  • --output-file <INI filename> Where to create the INI configuration file. If not set, will be create in current directory.

$ ksm profile import --output-file=my_profile BASE64_ENC_CONFIG


Set the currently active profile for this client device.

ksm profile active <PROFILE NAME>


$ ksm profile active production

production is now the active profile.

Profiles within Containers

If you are running the CLI inside of a containerized environment, you might not have the ability to initialize a profile. If no INI config file is found and the environmental variable KSM_TOKEN is found, a default profile will be auto-generated. A INI config file will be created and stored in the current working directory. That can be overridden with the environmental variable KSM_INI_DIR.

Default INI Filename

The default name of the ini file is keeper.ini, however this can overridden by using the KSM_INI_FILE environmental variable. By using KSM_INI_DIR and KSM_INI_FILE environmental variables you can completely change the location and name of the INI configuration file.

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