How to connect to an SSL-secured Kafka cluster (Strimzi example)#

Kafkit’s kafkit.ssl module can help you connect to Kafka brokers that require your aiokafka-based clients to connect with the SSL protocol. SSL is commonly used to mutually authenticate the client and Kafka brokers: the broker authenticates the client, and the client authenticates the broker. SSL authentication is also commonly used in conjunction with Kafka’s ACL-based authorization system, which ensures that specific clients can only perform a specific set of operations.

This page describes how to use kafkit.ssl to help connect your aiokafka client for the specific case of a Strimzi-based Kafka cluster. Strimzi makes it convenient to deploy secured Kafka clusters in Kubernetes. The basic ideas in this tutorial, however, apply to any SSL-secured Kafka cluster.

Gathering the SSL client and broker certificates#

In a Strimzi-based deployment, the Kafka broker’s SSL certificate and the client’s SSL certificates are in separate Kubernetes Secret resources.

  • The Kafka broker’s CA certificate is in a secret named {clustername}-cluster-ca-cert, where {clustername} matches the name of the Strimzi Kafka resource.

  • The client certificates are in a secret named {clientname}, where {clientname} matches the name of the client’s Strimzi KafkaUser resource.

In your client’s Kubernetes Deployment resource, you can mount these Secrets as files in your pod’s filesystem (extraneous Deployment fields omitted):

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
        - name: myapp
            - name: "client-ssl"
              mountPath: "/var/strimzi-client"
              readOnly: True
            - name: "broker-ssl"
              mountPath: "/var/strimzi-broker"
              readOnly: True
        # Mount the TLS secret created by KafkaUser
        - name: "client-tls"
            # matches name of KafkaUser
            secretName: kafkauser-myapp
        - name: "broker-tls"
            # matches name of Strimzi cluster CA cert secret
            secretName: "events-cluster-ca-cert"

In your Python application code, you can create paths to the individual certificates and key files:

from pathlib import Path

broker_ca_path = Path("/var/strimzi-broker/ca.crt")

client_cert_path = Path("/var/strimzi-client/user.crt")
client_key_path = Path("/var/strimzi-client/user.key")

Create the SSLContext#

Both aiokafka.AIOKafkaConsumer and aiokafka.AIOKafkaProducer use an SSL context (ssl.SSLContext) to support SSL communication with the Kafka brokers. The kafkit.ssl.create_ssl_context function lets you create an SSLContext instance with your certificates and keys:

from kafkit.ssl import create_ssl_context

ssl_context = create_ssl_context(

Using the SSLContext#

Finally you can use that ssl_context as the ssl_context argument to aiokafka.AIOKafkaProducer or aiokafka.AIOKafkaConsumer:

import asyncio
from aiokafka import AIOKafkaProducer

producer = AIOKafkaProducer(
await producer.start()


await producer.stop()