This topic describes how to configure Airflow to secure your workload.


Airflow has the ability to impersonate a unix user while running task instances based on the task’s run_as_user parameter, which takes a user’s name.

NOTE: For impersonations to work, Airflow requires sudo as subtasks are run with sudo -u and permissions of files are changed. Furthermore, the unix user needs to exist on the worker. Here is what a simple sudoers file entry could look like to achieve this, assuming airflow is running as the airflow user. This means the airflow user must be trusted and treated the same way as the root user.


Subtasks with impersonation will still log to the same folder, except that the files they log to will have permissions changed such that only the unix user can write to it.

Default Impersonation

To prevent tasks that don’t use impersonation to be run with sudo privileges, you can set the core:default_impersonation config which sets a default user impersonate if run_as_user is not set.

default_impersonation = airflow

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