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Configure and Start the Cluster Admin

The Cluster Admin is an agent that enables you to install, configure, and start the Docker containers for the different Polyspace® Access™ services.


Before configuring and starting the Cluster Admin:

  • Download the Polyspace Access installation image:

    1. Go to the MathWorks® download page.

    2. From the I Want To menu, select Install Products to install a new version of Polyspace Access, or Get Updates to install an update, for example R2024a Update 2.

    3. Expand the Get Polyspace Access Web Server section and click Download. Check that the text under the download button lists the release and update number (when applicable) that you want to get.

  • Check that Docker is running on your machine. At the command line, type:

    docker ps
    If you get an error message, run the command sudo systemctl start docker. If systemctl is not available, use service instead.

    After you start Docker, you must be logged in as a member of the docker group to run Docker commands. To see a list of current members of this group, use the command:

    grep 'docker' /etc/group

    To add the current user to the docker group, use the command:

    sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Unzip Installation Image and Start Cluster Admin Agent

The Cluster Admin admin-docker-agent binary is included with the installation image for Polyspace Access. VERSION is the release version, for instance R2024a. After you download the installation image, unzip it to extract these files and folders:


To start the admin-docker-agent binary, from the command line, navigate to the installation folder where you extracted the contents of the zip installation image. Once inside this folder, at the command-line, enter:

The command line outputs messages indicating that the agent is downloading image layers. After the download is complete, you see a message with information on how to connect to the agent:
time="2020-07-10T14:23:11Z" level=info msg="Cluster Admin started. You can now connect to the Cluster Admin through 
your web browser at http://localhost:9443/admin using the initial password randomPass
randomPass is a randomly generated initial password. Copy this password. The command-line output shows the password only the first time you start Cluster Admin.

By default, the Cluster Admin uses the HTTP protocol and starts with hostname localhost and port 9443.

  • To configure the Cluster Admin with HTTPS, see Choose Between HTTP and HTTPS Configuration for Polyspace Access.

  • If the default port is already in use, you get a Permission denied error message. Use the flag --port to specify a different port number, for instance:

    admin-docker-agent --port 9999

    To generate a Polyspace Access URL that does not require specifying a port number, for instance instead of, use the --port flag and select port 443 for HTTPS or port 80 for HTTP.

To reset the password, press CTRL+C to stop the admin-docker-agent binary and enter this command:

admin-docker-agent --reset-password
To view the new password, restart the binary.

The Cluster Admin agent creates a settings.json file the first time it starts, and stores this file in the same folder as the admin-docker-agent binary by default. Ensure that only the user who starts the admin-docker-agent has read/write permissions on the settings.json file.

Choose Between HTTP and HTTPS Configuration for Polyspace Access

HTTP Configuration for Polyspace Access

By default, the Cluster Admin uses the HTTP protocol. When you start the admin-docker-agent binary, you do not need to specify any additional flags. The communications between Polyspace Access and client machines are not encrypted.

HTTPS Configuration for Polyspace Access

To encrypt the data between Polyspace Access and client machines, configure the Cluster Admin with the HTTPS protocol.

To complete the configuration:

  1. Generate a private key and a certificate signing request (CSR) with a subject alternative name (SAN) extension.

  2. Submit the CSR to your organization's certificate authority (CA) to obtain a signed X.509 certificate. Alternatively, use the private key and CSR to create a self-signed certificate.

  3. Start the admin-docker-agent binary and use these options to pass the private key and certificate files. All the files must be in PEM format.

    OptionOption Parameter
    --ssl-cert-filePath of certificate signed by CA or self-signed certificate file.
    --ssl-key-filePath of private key file.
    --ssl-ca-filePath of CA trust store file or self-signed certificate file.

It is recommended that you use a certificate issued by a certificate authority to configure HTTPS. The use of self-signed certificates is not recommended outside of testing environments as most web browser cannot establish the authenticity of a server that uses a self-signed certificate and consider the connection to that server not secure. Before you configure Polyspace Access for HTTPS in a production environment using a self-signed certificate, contact your network security administrator.

The configuration of HTTPS for the Cluster Admin enables HTTPS for the API Gateway service. This service handles all communications between the other Polyspace Access services and client machines. To configure HTTPS for communications between the different Polyspace Access services, see Enable HTTPS Between Polyspace Access Services.

1. Generate Private Key and Certificate Signing Request

These steps illustrate how to generate a private key and CSR configured with a SAN extension on a Debian Linux system by using the openssl utility and an openssl configuration file.

  1. Copy this configuration file to a text editor and save it on your machine as openssl.cnf.

     Configuration file

    hostName is the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the server machine on which you run the API Gateway service. hostName must match the FQDN that you specify when you start the admin-docker-agent binary. You can obtain hostName by running the command hostname -f. Editing the other fields in the [ req_distinguished_name ] section does not affect the configuration.

    To configure HTTPS for multiple hostnames that resolve to the same IP address, add each hostname (DNS or IP address) on a new line in the [ alt_names ] section of the openssl configuration file. For instance:

    [ alt_names ]
    DNS.1 =
    DNS.2 = server-machine
    IP.1 =

  2. Generate a CSR by using your openssl.cnf configuration file. In a command line terminal, enter:

    openssl req -new -out myRequest.csr -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout myKey.pem -nodes -config openssl.cnf
    The command outputs a private key file myKey.pem and the file myRequest.csr, which contains a public key and data that describes your server.

Do not reuse the private key file that you use in the User Manager configuration for the Authentication private key file field. See Configure User Manager.

Secure your private key by following best practices such as:

  • Do not transfer the private key between machines. Instead, generate and store the private key on a local file system.

  • Restrict read/write permissions. Grant access to the private key file only to the Cluster Admin administrators.

  • Rotate your private key and certificate regularly (annually) and audit which users have access to the private key file.

2. Obtain and Verify CA Certificate or Self-Signed Certificate

Submit the CSR file myRequest.csr to your organization's certificate authority. The certificate authority uses the file to generate a signed server certificate. For instance, admin_cert.cer.

Alternatively, you can generate a self-signed certificate by running this command and using the private key, CSR, and openssl configuration files:

openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in myRequest.csr -signkey myKey.pem -out self_cert.cer -extensions x509 -extfile openssl.cnf
The command outputs a self-signed certificate self_cert.cer.

After you obtain your CA certificate or you generate a self-signed certificate, you can use the openssl utility to verify the content of the certificate. For instance, To check that the DNS is listed correctly in the subject alternative name section of your self-signed certificate, run this command:

openssl x509 -text -noout -in self_cert.cer | grep -A 1 "Subject Alternative Name"
The command output the line that matches "Subject Alternative Name" and the next line, which lists the DNS that is associated with the certificate.

3. Start the Admin Docker Agent

After you obtain a CA certificate or you generate a self-signed certificate, start the admin-docker-agent by running the corresponding command.

CA CertificateSelf-Signed Certificate
./admin-docker-agent --hostname hostName\
--ssl-cert-file absolutePathTo/admin_cert.cer \
--ssl-key-file absolutePathTo/myKey.key \
--ssl-ca-file  /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt

ca-certificates.crt is the certificate trust store file on Debian Linux systems. When you open the Cluster Admin web interface, your browser considers the connection secure if the browser uses the certificate trust store that you specify for --ssl-ca-file.

./admin-docker-agent --hostname hostName\
--ssl-cert-file absolutePathTo/self_cert.cer \
--ssl-key-file absolutePathTo/myKey.key \
--ssl-ca-file  absolutePathTo/self_cert.cer

The self-signed certificate.pem file is also used as the certificate trust store file. Because you do not specify a trust store associated with a certificate authority, when you open the Cluster Admin web interface, your browser might show a warning about the certificate being untrusted.

The hostName that you specify in this command must match the hostName you specified in openssl configuration file. absolutePathTo is the absolute file path.

Enable HTTPS Between Polyspace Access Services

To enable HTTPS for communications between the Polyspace Access services, after you Open the Cluster Admin Interface, click Configure Nodes on the Cluster Dashboard and select Enable SSL on the General tab. Enabling SSL in the Nodes settings affects communications only between the Polyspace Access services that are installed on that node. The SSL certificate, private key, and CA files that you provide when you start the admin-docker-agent binary are reused in the Nodes settings, unless the node is already configured with a different set of files.

By default, all services are installed on the same node and the services ports are not exposed. You do not need to enable HTTPS for the User Manager, Issue Tracker, and Polyspace Access services unless you install these services on different nodes, or you start the admin-docker-agent binary with option --force-exposing-ports.

If you install all the services on the same node and you start the admin-docker-agent binary without using option --force-exposing-ports, and then you select Enable SSL in the Nodes setting, you see warning messages about the Certificate File and the Certificate Key File not being used because the ports are not exposed. If you do not plan on exposing the services ports, you can ignore the warnings and proceed with the next steps in your installation.

Open the Cluster Admin Interface

After you configure and start the Cluster Admin, open your web browser and go to URL specified in the command-line output when you started the admin-docker-agent binary.

Log in with the initial password that you obtained when you started the Cluster Admin agent. If this is your first time logging in, follow the prompts.

Cluster Admin Dashboard interface.

It is best practice to change your Cluster Admin password after your first login. To set a new password, click Account in the upper right corner of the web interface and select Change password. Share the Cluster Admin password only with users who configure and manage the Polyspace Access services.

On the Cluster Dashboard, click Configure Apps to open the Cluster Settings. On this page, you can:

  • Configure user authentications to use the user credentials from your company LDAP or by using custom credentials. See Configure User Manager.

  • Integrate bug tracking tools such as Jira Software and Redmine with Polyspace Access. See Configure Issue Tracker.

  • Specify the paths of the license file and of the different folders used by the Polyspace Access database, ETL, and web server. See Configure Polyspace Access App Services.

Once you fill all settings, click Save, return to the Cluster Dashboard, and click Restart Apps for the changes to take effect. Make sure that Validate on Save is enabled before you click Save.

To save partially filled settings, clear Validate on Save and click Save.

Settings view in the Cluster Admin interface


On Windows® systems, all the file paths that you specify must point to local drives.

See Also

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