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EKS Add-Ons is a new feature that lets you enable and manage Kubernetes operational software for your AWS EKS clusters. At launch, EKS add-ons supports controlling the launch and version of the AWS VPC CNI plugin through the EKS API

Creating addons

In your config file, you can specify the addons you want and (if required) the policies to attach to them:

kind: ClusterConfig
  name: example-cluster
  region: us-west-2

  withOIDC: true

- name: vpc-cni
  # all below properties are optional
  version: 1.7.5
    team: eks
  # you can specify at most one of
  - arn:aws:iam::account:policy/AmazonEKS_CNI_Policy
  # or
  serviceAccountRoleARN: arn:aws:iam::account:role/AmazonEKSCNIAccess
  # or
    - Effect: Allow
      - ec2:AssignPrivateIpAddresses
      - ec2:AttachNetworkInterface
      - ec2:CreateNetworkInterface
      - ec2:DeleteNetworkInterface
      - ec2:DescribeInstances
      - ec2:DescribeTags
      - ec2:DescribeNetworkInterfaces
      - ec2:DescribeInstanceTypes
      - ec2:DetachNetworkInterface
      - ec2:ModifyNetworkInterfaceAttribute
      - ec2:UnassignPrivateIpAddresses
      Resource: '*'

You can specify at most one of attachPolicy, attachPolicyARNs and serviceAccountRoleARN.

If none of these are specified, the addon will be created with a role that has all recommended policies attached.


In order to attach policies to addons your cluster must have OIDC enabled. If it's not enabled we ignore any policies attached.

You can then either have these addons created during the cluster creation process:

eksctl create cluster -f config.yaml

Or create the addons explicitly after cluster creation using the config file or CLI flags:

eksctl create addon -f config.yaml
eksctl create addon --name vpc-cni --version 1.7.5 --service-account-role-arn <role-arn>

During addon creation, if a self-managed version of the addon already exists on the cluster, you can choose how potential configMap conflicts shall be resolved by setting resolveConflicts option via the config file, e.g.

- name: vpc-cni
    - arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonEKS_CNI_Policy
  resolveConflicts: overwrite

For addon create, the resolveConflicts field supports three distinct values:

  • none - EKS doesn't change the value. The create might fail.
  • overwrite - EKS overwrites any config changes back to EKS default values.
  • preserve - EKS doesn't change the value. The create might fail. (Similarly to none, but different from preserve in updating addons)

Listing enabled addons

You can see what addons are enabled in your cluster by running:

eksctl get addons --cluster <cluster-name>


eksctl get addons -f config.yaml

Setting the addon's version

Setting the version of the addon is optional. If the version field is empty in the request sent by eksctl, the EKS API will set it to the default version for that specific addon. More information about which version is the default version for specific addons can be found in the AWS documentation about EKS. Note that the default version might not necessarily be the latest version available.

The addon version can be set to latest. Alternatively, the version can be set with the EKS build tag specified, such as v1.7.5-eksbuild.1 or v1.7.5-eksbuild.2. It can also be set to the release version of the addon, such as v1.7.5 or 1.7.5, and the eksbuild suffix tag will be discovered and set for you.

See the section below on how to discover available addons and their versions.

Discovering addons

You can discover what addons are available to install on your cluster by running:

eksctl utils describe-addon-versions --cluster <cluster-name>

This will discover your cluster's kubernetes version and filter on that. Alternatively if you want to see what addons are available for a particular kubernetes version you can run:

eksctl utils describe-addon-versions --kubernetes-version <version>

You can also discover addons by filtering on their type, owner and/or publisher. For e.g., to see addons for a particular owner and type you can run:

eksctl utils describe-addon-versions --kubernetes-version 1.22 --types "infra-management, policy-management" --owners "aws-marketplace"
The types, owners and publishers flags are optional and can be specified together or individually to filter the results.

Discovering the configuration schema for addons

After discovering the addon and version, you can view the customization options by fetching its JSON configuration schema.

eksctl utils describe-addon-configuration --name vpc-cni --version v1.12.0-eksbuild.1

This returns a JSON schema of the various options available for this addon.

Working with configuration values

ConfigurationValues can be provided in the configuration file during the creation or update of addons. Only JSON and YAML formats are supported.

For eg.,

- name: coredns
  configurationValues: |-
    replicaCount: 2
- name: coredns
  version: latest
  configurationValues: "{\"replicaCount\":3}"
  resolveConflicts: overwrite

Bear in mind that when addon configuration values are being modified, configuration conflicts will arise.

Thus, we need to specify how to deal with those by setting the resolveConflicts field accordingly. As in this scenario we want to modify these values, we'd set resolveConflicts: overwrite.

Additionally, the get command will now also retrieve ConfigurationValues for the addon. e.g.

eksctl get addon --cluster my-cluster --output yaml
- ConfigurationValues: '{"replicaCount":3}'
  IAMRole: ""
  Issues: null
  Name: coredns
  NewerVersion: ""
  Status: ACTIVE
  Version: v1.8.7-eksbuild.3

Updating addons

You can update your addons to newer versions and change what policies are attached by running:

eksctl update addon -f config.yaml

eksctl update addon --name vpc-cni --version 1.8.0 --service-account-role-arn <new-role>

Similarly to addon creation, When updating an addon, you have full control over the config changes that you may have previously applied on that add-on's configMap. Specifically, you can preserve, or overwrite them. This optional functionality is available via the same config file field resolveConflicts. e.g.,

- name: vpc-cni
    - arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonEKS_CNI_Policy
  resolveConflicts: preserve

For addon update, the resolveConflicts field accepts three distinct values:

  • none - EKS doesn't change the value. The update might fail.
  • overwrite - EKS overwrites any config changes back to EKS default values.
  • preserve - EKS preserves the value. If you choose this option, we recommend that you test any field and value changes on a non-production cluster before updating the add-on on your production cluster.

Deleting addons

You can delete an addon by running:

eksctl delete addon --cluster <cluster-name> --name <addon-name>
This will delete the addon and any IAM roles associated to it.

When you delete your cluster all IAM roles associated to addons are also deleted.