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Cluster Access

Managing Access to the Kubernetes API Server Endpoints

The default creation of an EKS cluster exposes the Kubernetes API server publicly but not directly from within the VPC subnets (public=true, private=false). Traffic destined for the API server from within the VPC must first exit the VPC networks (but not Amazon's network) and then re-enter to reach the API server.

The Kubernetes API server endpoint access for a cluster can be configured for public and private access when creating the cluster using the cluster config file. Example below:

    publicAccess:  <true|false>
    privateAccess: <true|false>

There are some additional caveats when configuring Kubernetes API endpoint access:

  1. EKS doesn't allow one to create or update a cluster without at least one private or public access being enabled.
  2. EKS does allow creating a configuration that allows only private access to be enabled, but eksctl doesn't support it during cluster creation as it prevents eksctl from being able to join the worker nodes to the cluster.
  3. Updating a cluster to have private only Kubernetes API endpoint access means that Kubernetes commands, by default, (e.g. kubectl) as well as eksctl delete cluster, eksctl utils write-kubeconfig, and possibly the command eksctl utils update-kube-proxy must be run within the cluster VPC. This requires some changes to various AWS resources. See: EKS user guide A user can provide vpc.extraCIDRs which will append additional CIDR ranges to the ControlPlaneSecurityGroup, allowing subnets outside the VPC to reach the kubernetes API endpoint. Similarly you can provide vpc.extraIPv6CIDRs to append IPv6 CIDR ranges as well.

The following is an example of how one could configure the Kubernetes API endpoint access using the utils sub-command:

eksctl utils update-cluster-endpoints --name=<clustername> --private-access=true --public-access=false

To update the setting using a ClusterConfig file, use:

eksctl utils update-cluster-endpoints -f config.yaml --approve

Note that if you don't pass a flag, it will keep the current value. Once you are satisfied with the proposed changes, add the approve flag to make the change to the running cluster.

Restricting Access to the EKS Kubernetes Public API endpoint

The default creation of an EKS cluster exposes the Kubernetes API server publicly. To restrict access to the public API endpoint to a set of CIDRs when creating a cluster, set the publicAccessCIDRs field:

  publicAccessCIDRs: ["", ""]

To update the restrictions on an existing cluster, use:

eksctl utils set-public-access-cidrs --cluster=<cluster>,

To update the restrictions using a ClusterConfig file, set the new CIDRs in vpc.publicAccessCIDRs and run:

eksctl utils set-public-access-cidrs -f config.yaml


If setting publicAccessCIDRs and creating node-groups either privateAccess should be set to true or the nodes' IPs should be added to the publicAccessCIDRs list. Otherwise creation will fail with context deadline exceeded due to the nodes being unable to access the public endpoint and hence failing to join the cluster.


This feature only applies to the public endpoint. The API server endpoint access configuration options won't change, and you will still have the option to disable the public endpoint so your cluster is not accessible from the internet. (Source:

Implementation notes: