Quickstart: Set and retrieve a key from Azure Key Vault using Azure CLI

In this quickstart, you create a key vault in Azure Key Vault with Azure CLI. Azure Key Vault is a cloud service that works as a secure secrets store. You can securely store keys, passwords, certificates, and other secrets. For more information on Key Vault you may review the Overview. Azure CLI is used to create and manage Azure resources using commands or scripts. Once that you have completed that, you will store a key.

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Use Azure Cloud Shell

Azure hosts Azure Cloud Shell, an interactive shell environment that you can use through your browser. You can use either Bash or PowerShell with Cloud Shell to work with Azure services. You can use the Cloud Shell preinstalled commands to run the code in this article without having to install anything on your local environment.

To start Azure Cloud Shell:

Option Example/Link
Select Try It in the upper-right corner of a code block. Selecting Try It doesn't automatically copy the code to Cloud Shell. Example of Try It for Azure Cloud Shell
Go to https://shell.azure.com, or select the Launch Cloud Shell button to open Cloud Shell in your browser. Launch Cloud Shell in a new window
Select the Cloud Shell button on the menu bar at the upper right in the Azure portal. Cloud Shell button in the Azure portal

To run the code in this article in Azure Cloud Shell:

  1. Start Cloud Shell.

  2. Select the Copy button on a code block to copy the code.

  3. Paste the code into the Cloud Shell session by selecting Ctrl+Shift+V on Windows and Linux or by selecting Cmd+Shift+V on macOS.

  4. Select Enter to run the code.

If you choose to install and use the CLI locally, this quickstart requires the Azure CLI version 2.0.4 or later. Run az --version to find the version. If you need to install or upgrade, see Install the Azure CLI.

To sign in to Azure using the CLI you can type:

az login

For more information on login options via the CLI take a look at sign in with Azure CLI

Create a resource group

A resource group is a logical container into which Azure resources are deployed and managed. The following example creates a resource group named ContosoResourceGroup in the eastus location.

az group create --name "ContosoResourceGroup" --location eastus

Create a Key Vault

Next you will create a Key Vault in the resource group created in the previous step. You will need to provide some information:

  • For this quickstart we use Contoso-vault2. You must provide a unique name in your testing.
  • Resource group name ContosoResourceGroup.
  • The location East US.
az keyvault create --name "Contoso-Vault2" --resource-group "ContosoResourceGroup" --location eastus

The output of this cmdlet shows properties of the newly created Key Vault. Take note of the two properties listed below:

  • Vault Name: In the example, this is Contoso-Vault2. You will use this name for other Key Vault commands.
  • Vault URI: In the example, this is https://contoso-vault2.vault.azure.net/. Applications that use your vault through its REST API must use this URI.

At this point, your Azure account is the only one authorized to perform any operations on this new vault.

Add a key to Key Vault

To add a key to the vault, you just need to take a couple of additional steps. This key could be used by an application.

Type the commands below to create a called ExampleKey :

az keyvault key create --vault-name "Contoso-Vault2" -n ExampleKey --protection software

You can now reference this key that you added to Azure Key Vault by using its URI. Use 'https://Contoso-Vault2.vault.azure.net/keys/ExampleKey' to get the current version.

To view previously stored key:

az keyvault key show --name "ExampleKey" --vault-name "Contoso-Vault2"

Now, you have created a Key Vault, stored a key, and retrieved it.

Clean up resources

Other quickstarts and tutorials in this collection build upon this quickstart. If you plan to continue on to work with subsequent quickstarts and tutorials, you may wish to leave these resources in place. When no longer needed, you can use the az group delete command to remove the resource group, and all related resources. You can delete the resources as follows:

az group delete --name ContosoResourceGroup

Next steps

In this quickstart you created a Key Vault and stored a key in it. To learn more about Key Vault and how to integrate it with your applications, continue on to the articles below.