Install eksctl tool for AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)

2 minute read

This quick bit of documentation is more for me to get right setting up to play with EKS clusters for the first time using the eksctl tool.

install aws-cli version 1.18.17+

if you haven’t got aws-cli already installed, install v1, python3 version:

$ pip3 install awscli --upgrade [--user]

if you do and just need to upgrade

$ pip3 install --upgrade [--user] awscli


$ aws --version
aws-cli/1.18.46 Python/3.6.9 Linux/5.3.0-46-generic botocore/1.15.46

configure aws-cli

run $ aws configure and answer these questions:

AWS Access Key ID [None]: ...
AWS Secret Access Key [None]: ...
Default region name [None]: us-west-2 # this is an example
Default output format [None]: json

or make sure these files look like this:


aws_secret_access_key = "some_access_key"
aws_access_key_id = "some_access_key_id"

and ~/.aws/config (this is an example, change your region, output values)

output = json
region = us-west-2

install eksctl

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

eksctl create cluster…

eksctl create cluster --name test-cluster --version 1.14 --nodegroup-name standard-workers --node-type t3.medium --nodes 2 --nodes-min 1 --nodes-max 4 --node-ami auto
[ℹ]  eksctl version 0.17.0
[ℹ]  using region us-west-2
[ℹ]  setting availability zones to [us-west-2d us-west-2a us-west-2b]
[ℹ]  subnets for us-west-2d - public: private:
[ℹ]  subnets for us-west-2a - public: private:
[ℹ]  subnets for us-west-2b - public: private:
[ℹ]  nodegroup "standard-workers" will use "ami-0800241390701b996" [AmazonLinux2/1.14]
[ℹ]  using Kubernetes version 1.14
[ℹ]  creating EKS cluster "test-cluster" in "us-west-2" region with un-managed nodes
[ℹ]  will create 2 separate CloudFormation stacks for cluster itself and the initial nodegroup
[ℹ]  if you encounter any issues, check CloudFormation console or try 'eksctl utils describe-stacks --region=us-west-2 --cluster=test-cluster'
[ℹ]  CloudWatch logging will not be enabled for cluster "test-cluster" in "us-west-2"
[ℹ]  you can enable it with 'eksctl utils update-cluster-logging --region=us-west-2 --cluster=test-cluster'
[ℹ]  Kubernetes API endpoint access will use default of {publicAccess=true, privateAccess=false} for cluster "test-cluster" in "us-west-2"
[ℹ]  2 sequential tasks: { create cluster control plane "test-cluster", create nodegroup "standard-workers" }
[ℹ]  building cluster stack "eksctl-test-cluster-cluster"
[ℹ]  deploying stack "eksctl-test-cluster-cluster"
[ℹ]  deploying stack "eksctl-test-cluster-nodegroup-standard-workers"
[✔]  all EKS cluster resources for "test-cluster" have been created
[✔]  saved kubeconfig as "/home/user/.kube/config"
[ℹ]  adding identity "arn:aws:iam::872504604641:role/eksctl-test-cluster-nodegroup-sta-NodeInstanceRole-MO5CYQG7WR9X" to auth ConfigMap
[ℹ]  nodegroup "standard-workers" has 0 node(s)
[ℹ]  waiting for at least 1 node(s) to become ready in "standard-workers"
[ℹ]  nodegroup "standard-workers" has 2 node(s)
[ℹ]  node "" is not ready
[ℹ]  node "" is ready

check ~/.kube/config

you should have a new k8s context for eks that looks like this:

- context:
    user: [email protected]
  name: [email protected]
current-context: [email protected]
kind: Config
preferences: {}
- name: [email protected]
      - eks
      - get-token
      - --cluster-name
      - test-cluster
      - --region
      - us-west-2
      command: aws
      env: null

verify eks creation

check nodes with $ kubectl get nodes


NAME                                           STATUS   ROLES    AGE     VERSION   Ready    <none>   4h18m   v1.14.9-eks-1f0ca9   Ready    <none>   4h18m   v1.14.9-eks-1f0ca9


if you see this, it means your aws-cli version doesn’t have the required subcommand get-token in it cos its too old

[✖]  unable to use kubectl with the EKS cluster (check 'kubectl version'): usage: aws [options] <command> <subcommand> [<subcommand> ...] [parameters]
To see help text, you can run:

  aws help
  aws <command> help
  aws <command> <subcommand> help
aws: error: argument operation: Invalid choice, valid choices are:

create-cluster                           | delete-cluster                          
describe-cluster                         | list-clusters                           
Unable to connect to the server: getting credentials: exec: exit status 2

go back to the aws-cli install or upgrade section above.

otherwise check out the aws troubleshooting page here: Unauthorized or access denied(kubectl)

check the references for more documentation