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Tunnel permissions

Tunnel permissions determine who can run and manage a Cloudflare Tunnel. Two files control permissions for a locally-managed tunnel:

  • An account certificate (cert.pem) is issued for a Cloudflare account when you login to cloudflared. Make sure you are intentional about the locations and machines you store this certificate on, as this certificate allows users to create, delete, and manage all tunnels for the account.
  • A tunnel credentials file (<TUNNEL-UUID>.json) is issued for a tunnel when you create the tunnel. The credentials file only allows the user to run that specific tunnel, and do nothing else. Hence, as an admin, you can share tunnel credentials with users who will run the tunnel.

Refer to the table below for a comparison between the two files and the purposes for which they are intended.

Account certificateTunnel credential
File namecert.pem<TUNNEL-UUID>.json
PurposeAuthenticates your instance of cloudflared against your Cloudflare accountAuthenticates the tunnel it is associated with
File type.pem.json
Stored inDefault directoryDefault directory
Issued when runningcloudflared tunnel logincloudflared tunnel create <NAME>
Valid forAt least 10 years, and the service token it contains is valid until revokedDoes not expire
Needed toManage tunnels (for example, create, route, delete and list tunnels)Run a tunnel. Create a config file.

​​ Tunnel ownership

Tunnel ownership is bound to the Cloudflare account for which the cert.pem file was issued upon authenticating cloudflared. If a user in a Cloudflare account creates a tunnel, any other user in the same account who has access to the cert.pem file for the account can delete, list, or otherwise manage tunnels within it.