The gpfdists:// protocol is a secure version of the gpfdist:// protocol.

To use it, you run the gpfdist utility with the --ssl option. When specified in a URI, the gpfdists:// protocol enables encrypted communication and secure identification of the file server and the Greenplum Database to protect against attacks such as eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.

gpfdists implements SSL security in a client/server scheme with the following attributes and limitations:

  • Client certificates are required.

  • Multilingual certificates are not supported.

  • A Certificate Revocation List (CRL) is not supported.

  • The TLSv1 protocol is used with the TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA encryption algorithm.

  • SSL parameters cannot be changed.

  • SSL renegotiation is supported.

  • The SSL ignore host mismatch parameter is set to false.

  • Private keys containing a passphrase are not supported for the gpfdist file server (server.key) and for the Greenplum Database (client.key).

  • Issuing certificates that are appropriate for the operating system in use is the user's responsibility. Generally, converting certificates as shown in is supported.


    A server started with the gpfdist --ssl option can only communicate with the gpfdists protocol. A server that was started with gpfdist without the --ssl option can only communicate with the gpfdist protocol.

  • The client certificate file, client.crt

  • The client private key file, client.key

Use one of the following methods to invoke the gpfdists protocol.

  • Run gpfdist with the --ssl option and then use the gpfdists protocol in the LOCATION clause of a CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE statement.
  • Use a gpload YAML control file with the SSL option set to true. Running gpload starts the gpfdist server with the --ssl option, then uses the gpfdists protocol.

About the Required Certificate Files

The settings of the verify_gpfdists_cert server configuration parameter (default value true) and the gpfdist --ssl_verify_peer <boolean> option (default value on) control whether SSL certificate authentication is enabled when Greenplum Database communicates with the gpfdist utility to either read data from or write data to an external data source. These settings also determine which of the following certificate files must reside in the $PGDATA/gpfdists directory on each Greenplum Database segment:

  • The client certificate file, client.crt
  • The client private key file, client.key
  • The trusted certificate authorities, root.crt

The certificate files required for each verify_gpfdists_cert and --ssl_verify_peer setting combination are identified in the table below:

verify_gpfdists_cert --ssl_verify_peer Required Certificate Files
on on client.key
on off root.crt
off on client.key
off off N/A
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