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Using OpenID Connect Tokens in Jobs

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In jobs using a context, CircleCI provides OpenID Connect ID (OIDC) tokens in environment variables. A job can use these tokens to access compatible cloud services without long-lived credentials being stored in CircleCI.

OpenID Connect ID token availability

In CircleCI jobs that use at least one context, the OpenID Connect ID tokens are available in the environment variables: $CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN and $CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN_V2. The $CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN_V2 token includes a different format for the sub claim, which is highlighted in the table below.

Add a context to a job by adding the context key to the workflows section of your circleci/config.yml file:

      - run-tests:
            - my-context

Setting up your cloud service

The OpenID Provider is unique to your organization. The URL is, where ORGANIZATION_ID is the organization ID (a universally unique identifier) that represents your organization. You can find your CircleCI organization ID by navigating to Organization Settings > Overview in the CircleCI web app.

The OpenID Connect ID tokens issued by CircleCI have a fixed audience (see aud in the table below), which is also the organization ID.

Format of the OpenID Connect ID token

The OIDC tokens contain the following standard claims:



The issuer. The issuer is specific to the CircleCI organization in which the job is being run. Its value is "", a string, where ORGANIZATION_ID is a UUID identifying the current job’s project’s organization.


The subject. This identifies who is running the CircleCI job and where. $CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN_V2 also includes information about the source of change.

For $CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN its value is: "org/ORGANIZATION_ID/project/PROJECT_ID/user/USER_ID", a string, where ORGANIZATION_ID, PROJECT_ID, and USER_ID are UUIDs that identify the CircleCI organization, project, and user, respectively. The user is the CircleCI user that caused this job to run.

For $CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN_V2 its value is: "org/ORGANIZATION_ID/project/PROJECT_ID/user/USER_ID/vcs-origin/VCS_ORIGIN/vcs-ref/VCS_REF", a string, where ORGANIZATION_ID, PROJECT_ID, and USER_ID are UUIDs that identify the CircleCI organization, project, and user, respectively. The user is the CircleCI user that caused this job to run. VCS_ORIGIN and VCS_REF are strings that identify the repo URL and reference to the change that caused the job to run.


The audience. Currently, this is a fixed value "ORGANIZATION_ID", a string containing a UUID that identifies the job’s project’s organization.


The time of issuance. This is the time the token was created, which is shortly before the job starts.


The expiration time. Its value is one hour after the time of issuance.

The OpenID Connect ID tokens also contain some additional claims with extra metadata about the job:

Additional claimsMetadata

The ID of the project in which the job is running. Its value is a string containing a UUID identifying the CircleCI project.

The URL of the repo that triggered the pipeline. Its value is a string similar to

The reference to the change that triggered the pipeline. Its value is a string similar to refs/heads/main.

An array of strings containing UUIDs that identify the context(s) used in the job. Currently, just one context is supported.

Authenticate jobs with cloud providers

The following sections describe how to authenticate jobs on CircleCI with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).


The following AWS instructions are for:

  • A one-time configuration of your AWS account to trust CircleCI’s OIDC tokens

  • Running a job that uses the OIDC token to interact with AWS

Setting up AWS

You will need to allow your AWS account to trust CircleCI’s OpenID Connect tokens. To do this, create an Identity and Access Management (IAM) identity provider, and an IAM role in AWS (this is a one-time configuration).

Visit the Creating OpenID Connect (OIDC) identity providers page of the AWS docs and follow the instructions. You will need your CircleCI Organization ID, which you can find by navigating to Organization Settings > Overview on the CircleCI web app. Copy your Organization ID for the next step.

When asked for the Provider URL, enter:, where ORGANIZATION_ID is the ID of your CircleCI organization. Provide the same CircleCI Organization ID for the Audience.

Next, you will need to create an IAM role. Visit the Creating a role for web identity or OIDC section of the AWS docs.

For the trusted entity, select Web Identity, then choose the identity provider that you created earlier. For Audience, choose the only option. Then, click on NEXT, which will take you to the Add Permissions page. This allows you to specify what your CircleCI jobs can and cannot do. Choose only permissions that your job will need, which is an AWS best practice.

Note: You may find it useful to create your own policy.

Adding AWS to the CircleCI configuration file

Now that you have set up an IAM role, you are ready to write a CircleCI job that authenticates with AWS using OIDC. This is accomplished by using CircleCI’s AWS CLI orb to generate temporary keys and configure a profile that uses OIDC. Orbs are reusable packages of YAML configuration that condense repeated pieces of configuration into a single line of code. In this case, the AWS CLI orb enables you to generate a temporary session token, AWS Access Key ID, and AWS secret access key with a single command in your configuration.

First, choose the CircleCI jobs in your workflow where you want to use OIDC. Make sure each of these jobs use a valid CircleCI context. The OpenID Connect token is available only to jobs that use at least one context. The context may contain no environment variables.

In your .circleci/config, be sure to import the aws-cli orb. Next, run the aws-cli/setup command in your job before interacting with any AWS services. You will need to provide the aws-cli/setup command with the role-arn associated with the role you have created in the step above along with your aws-region.

You can optionally provide a profile-name, role-session-name, and session-duration. If you provide a profile-name, the temporary keys and token will be configured to that specific profile. You must use that same profile-name with the rest of your aws commands. If a profile-name is not provided, the keys and token will be configured to the default profile.

Additionally, if you do not provide a role-session-name or session-duration, their default values are ${CIRCLE_JOB} (your job’s name) and 3600 seconds respectively.

Below is an example of a complete configuration with a job that configures a profile with OIDC and uses it to log into AWS ECR. The same profile can be used to run other AWS commands, such as S3, EKS, ECS, and more, as long as the role-arn has been configured with appropriate permissions.

version: '2.1'
  # import CircleCI's aws-cli orb
  aws-cli: circleci/aws-cli@3.1
      AWS_REGION: us-west-1
      - image: cimg/aws:2022.06
      - checkout
      # run the aws-cli/setup command from the orb
      - aws-cli/setup:
          role-arn: "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/OIDC-ROLE"
          aws-region: AWS_REGION
          # optional parameters
          profile-name: "OIDC-PROFILE"
          role-session-name: "example-session"
          session-duration: "1800"
      - run:
        name: Log-into-AWS-ECR
        command: |
          # must use same profile specified in the step above
          aws ecr get-login-password --profile "OIDC-PROFILE"
      - aws-example:
          # must use a valid CircleCI context
          context: aws

Advanced Usage

You can take advantage of the format of the claims in CircleCI’s OIDC token to limit what your CircleCI jobs can do in AWS. For example, if certain projects should only be able to access certain AWS resources, you can restrict your IAM role so that only CircleCI jobs in a specific project can assume that role.

To do this, edit your IAM role’s trust policy so that only an OIDC token from your chosen project can assume that role. The trust policy determines under what conditions the role can be assumed.

To do this, go to an individual project’s page on CircleCI web app and navigate to Project Settings > Overview to find your Project ID.

Next, add the following condition to your role’s trust policy, so that only jobs in your chosen project can assume that role. Enter your Organization ID for ORGANIZATION_ID and your Project ID for PROJECT_ID.

"StringLike": {
  "": "org/ORGANIZATION_ID/project/PROJECT_ID/user/*"

This uses StringLike to match the sub claim of CircleCI’s OIDC token in your chosen project. Now, jobs in your other projects cannot assume this role.

Google Cloud Platform

The following GCP instructions are for:

  • A one-time configuration of your GCP settings to trust CircleCI’s OIDC tokens

  • Running a job that uses the OIDC token to interact with GCP

The Google Cloud CLI reads your configuration file, which contains necessary information instructing Google Cloud to authenticate. You can read about external identity providers on Google Cloud’s docs.

Setting up GCP

The GCP configuration file can be set up using the GCP web UI. In the Workload Identity Federation UI, navigate to Grant Access, which will prompt the configuration, which can then be downloaded. You will need to create a file named CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN_FILE, which Google Cloud will read your identity token from (the file name can be anything, as long as it matches what is in the configuration under credential_source).

You will need your CircleCI organization ID, which can be found by navigating to Organization Settings > Overview on the CircleCI web app.

After navigating to the Grant Access section of the GCP web UI, follow these steps to add CircleCI as an external identity provider:

  1. Navigate to the IAM & Admin panel.

  2. On the side panel, navigate to Workload Identity Federation.

  3. Click the Add Provider button.

  4. Select OpenID Connect (OIDC) from the "Select a provider" dropdown and click Save.

  5. Fill out the Provider details form.

    • Select Allowed audiences since the aud claim in the JSON Web Token is a UUID (your CircleCI organization ID). The audience will be your CircleCI organization ID.

    • The issuer is, where ORG_ID is your CircleCI organization ID.

  6. Click Continue to configure provider attributes.

    Configuring the provider attributes provides an opportunity to map claims in CircleCI’s Token to Google’s "understanding." For example:







  7. Navigate to Service Account in the IAM & Admin Panel to create a service account, and give appropriate permission.

  8. Navigate back to Workload Identity Federation and select the provider from the table.

  9. Click the Grant access button.

  10. A modal will open and you will select the service account you created from the dropdown. This is the account that the token will impersonate, which grants all the associated permissions.

  11. Under Select principals, you can add conditions, or leave the default.

  12. Click Save. A pop-up will appear to ask you configure and download the configuration file. This file can also be downloaded later by navigating to Connected Service Accounts.

  13. Save the downloaded configuration file in your repo. This file will be referenced in your CircleCI configuration.

An example of the configuration file is shown below. Note, the audience has not been set up yet with the following:

  • PROJECT_NUMBER (the unique identifying number generated for your project)

  • POOL_ID (an ID that references the workload identity pool, for example circleci_oidc)

  • PROVIDER_ID (an ID that references the workload identity pool provider, for example, circleci)

  "type": "external_account",
  "audience": "//",
  "subject_token_type": "urn:ietf:params:oauth:token-type:jwt",
  "token_url": "",
  "service_account_impersonation_url": "",
  "credential_source": {
    "format": {
      "type": "text"

In this configuration, credential_source will attempt to find your identity token in the CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN_FILE file.

If your token comes from an API response, it might be useful to set up the configuration to read a JSON file. In this case, the type will need to be set to json and you will need to provide a valid path, for example, response.id_token.

  "credential_source": {
    "format": {
      "type": "json",
      "path": "response.id_token"

Please note, if needed, you can also attempt to generate the GCP configuration file by running the following script:

gcloud iam workload-identity-pools create-cred-config \
  --service-account="${GCP_SERVICE_ACCOUNT_EMAIL}" \

Adding GCP to the CircleCI configuration file

You will need to export the $CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN to the file named CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN_FILE by running the following:


You will also need to add the following environment variables to a context.

Context var name

Example value




GCP project number



Workload identity pool ID



Workload identity pool provider name


User-managed Service Accounts

Below is a full example configuration adding GCP to a job and demonstrating that authentication works with the gcp-oidc-authenticate command. This example uses the circleci/gcp-cli orb.

version: 2.1

  gcp-cli: circleci/gcp-cli@2.4.1

    description: "Authenticate with GCP using a CircleCI OIDC token."
        type: env_var_name
        default: GCP_PROJECT_ID
        type: env_var_name
        default: GCP_WIP_ID
        type: env_var_name
        default: GCP_WIP_PROVIDER_ID
        type: env_var_name
        type: string
        default: /home/circleci/gcp_cred_config.json
        type: string
        default: /home/circleci/oidc_token.json
      - run:
          command: |
            # Store OIDC token in temp file
            echo $CIRCLE_OIDC_TOKEN > << parameters.oidc_token_file_path >>
            # Create a credential configuration for the generated OIDC ID Token
            gcloud iam workload-identity-pools create-cred-config \
                "projects/${<< parameters.project_id >>}/locations/global/workloadIdentityPools/${<< parameters.workload_identity_pool_id >>}/providers/${<< parameters.workload_identity_pool_provider_id >>}"\
                --output-file="<< parameters.gcp_cred_config_file_path >>" \
                --service-account="${<< parameters.service_account_email >>}" \
                --credential-source-file=<< parameters.oidc_token_file_path >>

    description: "Authenticate with GCP using a GCP credentials file."
        type: string
        default: /home/circleci/gcp_cred_config.json
      - run:
          command: |
            # Configure gcloud to leverage the generated credential configuration
            gcloud auth login --brief --cred-file "<< parameters.gcp_cred_config_file_path >>"
            # Configure ADC
            echo "export GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS='<< parameters.gcp_cred_config_file_path >>'" | tee -a "$BASH_ENV"

    executor: gcp-cli/default
      - gcp-cli/install
      - gcp-oidc-generate-cred-config-file
      - gcp-oidc-authenticate
      - run:
          name: Verify that gcloud is authenticated
          command: gcloud iam service-accounts get-iam-policy "${GCP_SERVICE_ACCOUNT_EMAIL}"

      - gcp-oidc-defaults:
          name: Generate Creds File and Authenticate
          - gcp-oidc-dev

You have the ability to use multiple service accounts from the same GCP project, or multiple service accounts from multiple GCP projects. You can read about these methods and find an example in CircleCI’s example repository.

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