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eksctl - a CLI for Amazon EKS

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eksctl is a simple CLI tool for creating clusters on EKS - Amazon’s new managed Kubernetes service for EC2. It is written in Go, and based on Amazon’s official CloudFormation templates.

You can create a cluster in minutes with just one command – eksctl create cluster!

Gophers: E, K, S, C, T, & L


To download the latest release, run:

curl --silent --location "$(uname -s)_amd64.tar.gz" | tar xz -C /tmp
sudo mv /tmp/eksctl /usr/local/bin

Alternatively, macOS users can use Homebrew:

brew install weaveworks/tap/eksctl

You will need to have AWS API credentials configured. What works for AWS CLI or any other tools (kops, Terraform etc), should be sufficient. You can use ~/.aws/credentials file or environment variables. For more information read AWS documentation.

To create a basic cluster, run:

eksctl create cluster

A cluster will be created with default parameters

Once you have created a cluster, you will find that cluster credentials were added in ~/.kube/config. If you have kubectl v1.10.x as well as heptio-authenticator-aws commands in your PATH, you should be able to use kubectl. You will need to make sure to use the same AWS API credentials for this also. Check EKS docs for instructions. If you installed eksctl via Homebrew, you should have all of these dependencies installed already.

Example output:

$ eksctl create cluster
2018-06-06T16:40:58+01:00 [ℹ]  importing SSH public key "~/.ssh/" as "EKS-extravagant-sculpture-1528299658"
2018-06-06T16:40:58+01:00 [ℹ]  creating EKS cluster "extravagant-sculpture-1528299658" in "us-west-2" region
2018-06-06T16:40:58+01:00 [ℹ]  creating VPC stack "EKS-extravagant-sculpture-1528299658-VPC"
2018-06-06T16:40:58+01:00 [ℹ]  creating ServiceRole stack "EKS-extravagant-sculpture-1528299658-ServiceRole"
2018-06-06T16:41:19+01:00 [✔]  created ServiceRole stack "EKS-extravagant-sculpture-1528299658-ServiceRole"
2018-06-06T16:42:19+01:00 [✔]  created VPC stack "EKS-extravagant-sculpture-1528299658-VPC"
2018-06-06T16:42:19+01:00 [ℹ]  creating control plane "extravagant-sculpture-1528299658"
2018-06-06T16:50:41+01:00 [✔]  created control plane "extravagant-sculpture-1528299658"
2018-06-06T16:50:41+01:00 [ℹ]  creating DefaultNodeGroup stack "EKS-extravagant-sculpture-1528299658-DefaultNodeGroup"
2018-06-06T16:54:22+01:00 [✔]  created DefaultNodeGroup stack "EKS-extravagant-sculpture-1528299658-DefaultNodeGroup"
2018-06-06T16:54:22+01:00 [✔]  all EKS cluster "extravagant-sculpture-1528299658" resources has been created
2018-06-06T16:54:22+01:00 [ℹ]  saved kubeconfig as "~/.kube/config"
2018-06-06T16:54:23+01:00 [ℹ]  the cluster has 0 nodes
2018-06-06T16:54:23+01:00 [ℹ]  waiting for at least 2 nodes to become ready
2018-06-06T16:54:49+01:00 [ℹ]  the cluster has 2 nodes
2018-06-06T16:54:49+01:00 [ℹ]  node "ip-192-168-185-142.ec2.internal" is ready
2018-06-06T16:54:49+01:00 [ℹ]  node "ip-192-168-221-172.ec2.internal" is ready
2018-06-06T16:54:49+01:00 [ℹ]  EKS cluster "extravagant-sculpture-1528299658" is ready in "us-west-2" region

To list the details about a cluster or all of the clusters, use:

eksctl get cluster [--name=<name>] [--region=<region>]

To create the same kind of basic cluster, but with a different name, run:

eksctl create cluster --name=cluster-1 --nodes=4

To write cluster credentials to a file other than default, run:

eksctl create cluster --name=cluster-2 --nodes=4 --kubeconfig=./kubeconfig.cluster-2.yaml

To prevent storing cluster credentials locally, run:

eksctl create cluster --name=cluster-3 --nodes=4 --write-kubeconfig=false

To let eksctl manage cluster credentials under ~/.kube/eksctl/clusters directory, run:

eksctl create cluster --name=cluster-3 --nodes=4 --auto-kubeconfig

To obtain cluster credentials at any point in time, run:

eksctl utils write-kubeconfig --name=<name> [--kubeconfig=<path>] [--set-kubeconfig-context=<bool>]

To use a 3-5 node Auto Scaling Group, run:

eksctl create cluster --name=cluster-5 --nodes-min=3 --nodes-max=5

To use 30 c4.xlarge nodes and prevent updating current context in ~/.kube/config, run:

eksctl create cluster --name=cluster-6 --nodes=30 --node-type=c4.xlarge --set-kubeconfig-context=false

In order to allow SSH access to nodes, eksctl imports ~/.ssh/ by default, to use a different SSH public key, e.g., run:

eksctl create cluster

To use a pre-existing EC2 key pair in us-east-1 region, you can specify key pair name (which must not resolve to a local file path), e.g. to use my_kubernetes_key run:

eksctl create cluster --ssh-public-key=my_kubernetes_key --region=us-east-1

NOTE: In us-east-1 you are likely to get UnsupportedAvailabilityZoneException. If you do, copy the suggested zones and pass --zones flag, e.g. eksctl create cluster --region=us-east-1 --zones=us-east-1a,us-east-1b,us-east-1d. This may occur in other regions, but less likely. You shouldn’t need to use --zone flag otherwise.

To delete a cluster, run:

eksctl delete cluster --name=<name> [--region=<region>]

Project Roadmap

Developer use-case (0.2.0)

It should suffice to install a cluster for development with just a single command. Here are some examples:

To create a cluster with default configuration (2 m4.large nodes), run:

eksctl create cluster

The developer may choose to pre-configure popular addons, e.g.:

It should be possible to combine any or all of these addons.

It would also be possible to add any of the addons after cluster was created with eksctl create addons.

Manage EKS the GitOps way (0.3.0)

Just like kubectl, eksctl aims to be compliant with GitOps model, and can be used as part of a GitOps toolkit!

For example, eksctl apply --cluster-config prod-cluster.yaml will manage cluster state declaratively.

And eksctld will be a controller inside of one cluster that can manage multiple other clusters based on Kubernetes Cluster API definitions (CRDs).


Code contributions are very welcome. If you are interested in helping make eksctl great then see our contributing guide.

Get in touch

Create an issue, or login to Weave Community Slack (#eksctl) (signup).

Logo Credits

Original Gophers drawn by Ashley McNamara, unique E, K, S, C, T & L Gopher identities had been produced with