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What is the nsc tool?

NSC, or NATS Security and Configuration tool, is an essential command-line utility used for managing the configuration and security aspects of NATS ( deployments. It provides a standardized way to create and maintain NATS account configurations, including Users, Accounts, and operator JWTs (JSON Web Tokens).

The NSC tool facilitates secure and scalable setups by allowing users to define who can communicate on a NATS system, what subjects they can communicate over, and how data is encrypted and controlled.

Key Features

Simplified Management

The NSC tool simplifies the handling of NATS configurations by using human-readable configuration files and easy-to-use commands. This makes it straightforward for administrators to manage complex setups without having to manually edit extensive configuration files.


NSC places a significant focus on security. It helps in generating secure tokens for accounts and users, which are essential for authentication and authorization. The tool can generate and manage keys, and it integrates seamlessly with the NATS server’s authorization mechanism.


NSC provides a flexible framework for managing NATS configuration across various deployment environments. Whether you are setting up a local development environment or a production-grade deployment, NSC can accommodate differing scales of complexity.

Components Managed by NSC


Operators are the highest level of trust in a NATS system. An operator manages multiple accounts and binds them together. NSC can create, update, and rotate operator keys to ensure security compliance.


Accounts represent tenants in a NATS setup. They can have multiple users and are isolated from each other for privacy and security. NSC helps in creating accounts, defining their permissions, and associating users with them.


Each user is associated with an account and has unique authentication credentials. NSC facilitates adding, updating, and managing users, ensuring secure access to NATS services.

Typical Use Cases

Multi-Tenant Environments

In multi-tenant environments where multiple applications or organizations share the same NATS infrastructure, NSC assists in clearly separating and securing each tenant’s data and communication channels.

IoT Deployments

For IoT deployments with a large number of devices, NSC aids in managing the myriad of device identities and their access permissions, ensuring secure and efficient communication.

Development and Testing

In development and testing environments, where quick provisioning of users and accounts is required, NSC simplifies the configuration, allowing developers to focus more on application logic.

Getting Started with NSC

While NSC is powerful, it is also user-friendly, making it easy even for newcomers to manage NATS configurations effectively. It offers straightforward commands and comprehensive documentation to get users started quickly.

Installation and Setup

NSC can be installed on various operating systems, and it typically involves downloading the executable and configuring it for your environment. Once installed, NSC provides a suite of commands to perform all necessary configuration tasks.

Creating and Managing JWTs

One of the critical functions of NSC is the creation and management of JWTs, which are used to authenticate and authorize users and services in the NATS ecosystem. This ensures that only authenticated users can access the resources they are permitted to.


The NSC tool is an indispensable utility for anyone looking to deploy and manage NATS in a secure and scalable manner. By providing robust security features, a flexible management framework, and ease of use, NSC empowers administrators to handle NATS configurations efficiently and effectively. Whether for development, testing, or production, NSC is designed to meet the needs of NATS deployments of any scale.