Teleport Enterprise Quick Start

Welcome to the Quick Start Guide for Teleport Enterprise.

The goal of this document is to show off the basic capabilities of Teleport. There are three types of services Teleport nodes can run: nodes, proxies and auth servers.

The teleport daemon runs all three of these services by default. This Quick Start Guide will be using this default behavior to create a cluster and interact with it using Teleport's client-side tools:

Tool Description
tctl Cluster administration tool used to invite nodes to a cluster and manage user accounts.
tsh Similar in principle to OpenSSH's ssh. Used to login into remote SSH nodes, list and search for nodes in a cluster, securely upload/download files, etc.
browser You can use your web browser to login into any Teleport node by opening https://<proxy-host>:3080.


You will need to have access to the customer portal to download the software. You will also need three computers: two servers and one client (probably a laptop) to complete this tutorial. Let's assume the servers have the following DNS names and IPs:

Server Name IP Address Purpose
"" This server will be used to run all three Teleport services: auth, proxy and node.
"" This server will only run the SSH service. The vast majority of servers in production will be nodes.

This Quick Start Guide assumes that both servers are running a systemd-based Linux distribution such as Debian, Ubuntu or a RHEL derivative.

Optional: Quickstart using Docker

The instructions below describe how to install Teleport Enterprise directly onto your test system. You can also run Teleport Enterprise using Docker if you don't want to install Teleport Enterprise binaries straight away.


To start using Teleport Enterprise, you will need to Download the binaries and the license file from the customer portal. After downloading the binary tarball, run:

$ tar -xzf teleport-ent-v4.3.5-linux-amd64-bin.tar.gz
$ cd teleport-ent

License File

The Teleport license file contains a X.509 certificate and the corresponding private key in PEM format.

Download the license file from the customer portal and save it as /var/lib/teleport/license.pem on the auth server.

Configuration File

Save the following configuration file as /etc/teleport.yaml on the

  auth_token: dogs-are-much-nicer-than-cats
  # you can also use auth server's IP, i.e. ""
  auth_servers: [ "" ]

  # enable ssh service and disable auth and proxy:
  enabled: true

  enabled: false
  enabled: false

Now, save the following configuration file as /etc/teleport.yaml on the

  auth_token: dogs-are-much-nicer-than-cats
  auth_servers: [ "localhost:3025" ]

  # enable the auth service:
  enabled: true

  # this static token is used for other nodes to join this Teleport cluster
  - proxy,node:dogs-are-much-nicer-than-cats
  # this token is used to establish trust with other Teleport clusters
  - trusted_cluster:trains-are-superior-to-cars

  # by default, local authentication will be used with 2FA
      second_factor: otp

  # SSH is also enabled on this node:
  enabled: "yes"

Systemd Unit File

Next, download the systemd service unit file from examples directory on Github and save it as /etc/systemd/system/teleport.service on both servers.

# run this on both servers:
$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload
$ sudo systemctl enable teleport


# run this on both servers:
$ sudo systemctl start teleport

Teleport daemon should start and you can use netstat -lptne to make sure that it's listening on TCP/IP ports. On, it should look something like this:

$ ~: sudo netstat -lptne
Active Internet connections (only servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address   State       User       PID/Program name
tcp6       0      0 :::3024         LISTEN      0          337/teleport
tcp6       0      0 :::3025         LISTEN      0          337/teleport
tcp6       0      0 :::3080         LISTEN      0          337/teleport
tcp6       0      0 :::3022         LISTEN      0          337/teleport
tcp6       0      0 :::3023         LISTEN      0          337/teleport

and should look something like this:

$ ~: sudo netstat -lptne
Active Internet connections (only servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address   State       User       PID/Program name
tcp6       0      0 :::3022         LISTEN      0          337/teleport

See troubleshooting section at the bottom if something is not working.

Adding Users

This portion of the Quick Start Guide should be performed on the auth server, i.e. on

Every user in a Teleport cluster must be assigned at least one role. By default, Teleport comes with one pre-configured role called "admin". You can see it's definition by executing sudo tctl get roles/admin > admin-role.yaml.

The output will look like this (re-formatted here to use compact YAML representation for brevity):

kind: role
version: v3
  name: admin
    cert_format: standard
    forward_agent: true
    max_session_ttl: 30h0m0s
    port_forwarding: true
  # allow rules:
    - '{{internal.logins}}'
    - root
      '*': '*'
    - resources: [role]
      verbs: [list, create, read, update, delete]
    - resources: [auth_connector]
      verbs: [list, create, read, update, delete]
    - resources: [session]
      verbs: [list, read]
    - resources: [trusted_cluster]
      verbs: [list, create, read, update, delete]
  # no deny rules are present, the admin role must have access to everything)
  deny: {}

Pay attention to the allow/logins field in the role definition: by default, this role only allows SSH logins as [email protected].


Ignore {{internal.logins}} "allowed login" for now. It exists for compatibility purposes when upgrading existing open source Teleport clusters.

You probably want to replace "root" with something else. Let's assume there will be a local UNIX account called "admin" on all hosts. In this case you can dump the role definition YAML into admin-role.yaml file and update "allow/logins" to look like this:

   logins: [admin]

Then send it back into Teleport:

$ sudo tctl create -f admin-role.yaml

Now, lets create a new Teleport user "joe" with "admin" role:

$ sudo tctl users add --roles=admin joe

Signup token has been created and is valid for 1 hours. Share this URL with the user:

Share the generated sign-up URL with Joe and let him pick a password and configure the second factor authentication. We recommend Google Authenticator which is available for both Android and iPhone.

Assigning Roles

To update user's roles, dump the user resource into a file:

$ sudo tctl get users/joe > joe.yaml

Edit the YAML file and update the "roles" array. Then, re-insert it back:

$ sudo tctl create -f joe.yaml

Logging In

Joe now has a local account on a Teleport cluster. The local account is good for administrative purposes but regular users of Teleport Enterprise should be using a Single Sign-On (SSO) mechanism.

But first, lets see how Joe can log into the Teleport cluster. He can do this on his client laptop:

$ tsh --insecure login --user=joe

Note that "--user=joe" part can be omitted if $USER environment variable is "joe".

Notice that tsh client always needs --proxy flag because all client connections in Teleport always must to go through an SSH proxy, sometimes called an "SSH bastion".


For the purposes of this quickstart we are using the --insecure flag which allows us to skip configuring the HTTP/TLS certificate for Teleport proxy. Your browser will throw a warning Your connection is not private. Click Advanced, and Proceed to (unsafe) to preview the Teleport UI.

Never use --insecure in production unless you terminate SSL at a load balancer. This will apply to most cloud providers (AWS, GCP and Azure). You must configure a HTTP/TLS certificate for the Proxy. This process has been made easier with Let's Encrypt. We've instructions here.

If successful, tsh login command will receive Joe's user certificate and will store it in ~/.tsh/keys/<proxy> directory.

With a certificate in place, Joe can now interact with the Teleport cluster:

# SSH into any host behind the proxy:
$ tsh ssh

# See what hosts are available behind the proxy:
$ tsh ls

# Log out (this will remove the user certificate from ~/.tsh)
$ tsh logout

Configuring SSO

The local account is good for administrative purposes but regular users of Teleport Enterprise should be using a Single Sign-On (SSO) mechanism that use SAML or OIDC protocols.

Take a look at the SSH via Single Sign-on chapter to learn the basics of integrating Teleport with SSO providers. We have the following detailed guides for configuring SSO providers:

Any SAML-compliant provider can be configured with Teleport by following the same steps. There are Teleport Enterprise customers who are using Oracle IDM, SailPoint and others.

Run Teleport Enterprise using Docker

We provide pre-built Docker images for every version of Teleport Enterprise. These images are hosted on

We currently only offer Docker images for x86_64 architectures.


You will need a recent version of Docker installed to follow this section of the quick start guide.


This setup will not let you 'SSH into' the node that is running Teleport without additional configuration.

Pick your image

This table gives an idea of how our image naming scheme works. We offer images which point to a static version of Teleport Enterprise, as well as images which are automatically rebuilt every night. These nightly images point to the latest version of Teleport Enterprise from the three most recent release branches. They are stable, and we recommend their use to easily keep your Teleport Enterprise installation up to date.

Image name Community or Enterprise? Teleport version Image automatically updated? Image base Enterprise The latest version of Teleport Enterprise 4.3 Yes Ubuntu 20.04 Enterprise FIPS The latest version of Teleport Enterprise 4.3 FIPS Yes Ubuntu 20.04 Enterprise 4.3.0 No Ubuntu 18.04 Enterprise FIPS 4.3.0 No Ubuntu 18.04

For testing, we always recommend that you use the latest release version of Teleport Enterprise, which is currently

Quickstart using docker-compose


You will need a recent version of docker-compose installed to follow this section of the quick start guide.

The easiest way to start Teleport Enterprise quickly is to use docker-compose with our teleport-ent-quickstart.yml file:

# download the quickstart file from our Github repo
curl -Lso teleport-ent-quickstart.yml

# start teleport quickstart using docker-compose
docker-compose -f teleport-ent-quickstart.yml up

Quickstart using docker run

If you'd prefer to complete these steps manually, here's some sample docker run commands:

# create local config and data directories for teleport, which will be mounted into the container
mkdir -p ~/teleport/config ~/teleport/data

# download your license file from the Gravitational dashboard and put it in the correct directory
# the file needs to be named license.pem
cp ~/downloads/downloaded-license.pem ~/teleport/data/license.pem

# generate a sample teleport config and write it to the local config directory
# this container will write the config and immediately exit - this is expected
docker run --hostname localhost --rm \
  --entrypoint=/bin/sh \
  -v ~/teleport/config:/etc/teleport \ -c "teleport configure > /etc/teleport/teleport.yaml"

# change the path to the license file in the sample config
sed -i 's_/path/to/license-if-using-teleport-enterprise.pem_/var/lib/teleport/license.pem_g' ~/teleport/config/teleport.yaml

# start teleport with mounted license, config and data directories, plus all ports
docker run --hostname localhost --name teleport \
  -v ~/teleport/config:/etc/teleport \
  -v ~/teleport/data:/var/lib/teleport \
  -p 3023:3023 -p 3025:3025 -p 3080:3080 \

Creating a Teleport user when using Docker quickstart

To create a user inside your Teleport Enterprise container, use docker exec.

This example command will create a Teleport user called testuser which has the admin role. Feel free to change these to suit your needs.

docker exec teleport tctl users add testuser --roles=admin

When you run this command, Teleport will output a URL which you must open to complete the user signup process:

User testuser has been created but requires a password. Share this URL with the user to complete user setup, link is valid for 1h0m0s:

NOTE: Make sure localhost:3080 points at a Teleport proxy which users can access.

You can now follow this guide from "Adding Users" onwards to create your user and log into Teleport Enterprise.


If Teleport services do not start, take a look at the syslog:

$ sudo journalctl -fu teleport

Usually the error will be reported there. Common reasons for failure are:

Getting Help

If something is not working, please reach out to us by creating a ticket in your customer portal. Customers who have purchased the premium support package can also ping us through your Slack channel.

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