Getting Started

Quick Start

In this tutorial we’ll cover the basics of how to use Cluster API to create one or more Kubernetes clusters.

Installation

Common Prerequisites

Install and/or configure a Kubernetes cluster

Cluster API requires an existing Kubernetes cluster accessible via kubectl. During the installation process the Kubernetes cluster will be transformed into a management cluster by installing the Cluster API provider components, so it is recommended to keep it separated from any application workload.

It is a common practice to create a temporary, local bootstrap cluster which is then used to provision a target management cluster on the selected infrastructure provider.

Choose one of the options below:

  1. Existing Management Cluster

    For production use-cases a “real” Kubernetes cluster should be used with appropriate backup and DR policies and procedures in place. The Kubernetes cluster must be at least v1.19.1.

    export KUBECONFIG=<...>
    

OR

  1. Kind

    kind can be used for creating a local Kubernetes cluster for development environments or for the creation of a temporary bootstrap cluster used to provision a target management cluster on the selected infrastructure provider.

    The installation procedure depends on the version of kind; if you are planning to use the Docker infrastructure provider, please follow the additional instructions in the dedicated tab:

    Create the kind cluster:

    kind create cluster
    

    Test to ensure the local kind cluster is ready:

    kubectl cluster-info
    

    Run the following command to create a kind config file for allowing the Docker provider to access Docker on the host:

    cat > kind-cluster-with-extramounts.yaml <<EOF
    kind: Cluster
    apiVersion: kind.x-k8s.io/v1alpha4
    nodes:
    - role: control-plane
      extraMounts:
        - hostPath: /var/run/docker.sock
          containerPath: /var/run/docker.sock
    EOF
    

    Then follow the instruction for your kind version using kind create cluster --config kind-cluster-with-extramounts.yaml to create the management cluster using the above file.

Install clusterctl

The clusterctl CLI tool handles the lifecycle of a Cluster API management cluster.

Install clusterctl binary with curl on linux

Download the latest release; on linux, type:

curl -L https://github.com/kubernetes-sigs/cluster-api/releases/download/v1.0.1/clusterctl-linux-amd64 -o clusterctl

Make the clusterctl binary executable.

chmod +x ./clusterctl

Move the binary in to your PATH.

sudo mv ./clusterctl /usr/local/bin/clusterctl

Test to ensure the version you installed is up-to-date:

clusterctl version

Install clusterctl binary with curl on macOS

Download the latest release; on macOS, type:

curl -L https://github.com/kubernetes-sigs/cluster-api/releases/download/v1.0.1/clusterctl-darwin-amd64 -o clusterctl

Or if your Mac has an M1 CPU (”Apple Silicon”):

curl -L https://github.com/kubernetes-sigs/cluster-api/releases/download/v1.0.1/clusterctl-darwin-arm64 -o clusterctl

Make the clusterctl binary executable.

chmod +x ./clusterctl

Move the binary in to your PATH.

sudo mv ./clusterctl /usr/local/bin/clusterctl

Test to ensure the version you installed is up-to-date:

clusterctl version

Install clusterctl with homebrew on macOS and linux

Install the latest release using homebrew:

brew install clusterctl

Test to ensure the version you installed is up-to-date:

clusterctl version

Initialize the management cluster

Now that we’ve got clusterctl installed and all the prerequisites in place, let’s transform the Kubernetes cluster into a management cluster by using clusterctl init.

The command accepts as input a list of providers to install; when executed for the first time, clusterctl init automatically adds to the list the cluster-api core provider, and if unspecified, it also adds the kubeadm bootstrap and kubeadm control-plane providers.

Initialization for common providers

Depending on the infrastructure provider you are planning to use, some additional prerequisites should be satisfied before getting started with Cluster API. See below for the expected settings for common providers.

Download the latest binary of clusterawsadm from the AWS provider releases and make sure to place it in your path.

The clusterawsadm command line utility assists with identity and access management (IAM) for Cluster API Provider AWS.

export AWS_REGION=us-east-1 # This is used to help encode your environment variables
export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=<your-access-key>
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=<your-secret-access-key>
export AWS_SESSION_TOKEN=<session-token> # If you are using Multi-Factor Auth.

# The clusterawsadm utility takes the credentials that you set as environment
# variables and uses them to create a CloudFormation stack in your AWS account
# with the correct IAM resources.
clusterawsadm bootstrap iam create-cloudformation-stack

# Create the base64 encoded credentials using clusterawsadm.
# This command uses your environment variables and encodes
# them in a value to be stored in a Kubernetes Secret.
export AWS_B64ENCODED_CREDENTIALS=$(clusterawsadm bootstrap credentials encode-as-profile)

# Finally, initialize the management cluster
clusterctl init --infrastructure aws

See the AWS provider prerequisites document for more details.

For more information about authorization, AAD, or requirements for Azure, visit the Azure provider prerequisites document.

export AZURE_SUBSCRIPTION_ID="<SubscriptionId>"

# Create an Azure Service Principal and paste the output here
export AZURE_TENANT_ID="<Tenant>"
export AZURE_CLIENT_ID="<AppId>"
export AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET="<Password>"

# Base64 encode the variables
export AZURE_SUBSCRIPTION_ID_B64="$(echo -n "$AZURE_SUBSCRIPTION_ID" | base64 | tr -d '\n')"
export AZURE_TENANT_ID_B64="$(echo -n "$AZURE_TENANT_ID" | base64 | tr -d '\n')"
export AZURE_CLIENT_ID_B64="$(echo -n "$AZURE_CLIENT_ID" | base64 | tr -d '\n')"
export AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET_B64="$(echo -n "$AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET" | base64 | tr -d '\n')"

# Settings needed for AzureClusterIdentity used by the AzureCluster
export AZURE_CLUSTER_IDENTITY_SECRET_NAME="cluster-identity-secret"
export CLUSTER_IDENTITY_NAME="cluster-identity"
export AZURE_CLUSTER_IDENTITY_SECRET_NAMESPACE="default"

# Create a secret to include the password of the Service Principal identity created in Azure
# This secret will be referenced by the AzureClusterIdentity used by the AzureCluster
kubectl create secret generic "${AZURE_CLUSTER_IDENTITY_SECRET_NAME}" --from-literal=clientSecret="${AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET}"

# Finally, initialize the management cluster
clusterctl init --infrastructure azure
export DIGITALOCEAN_ACCESS_TOKEN=<your-access-token>
export DO_B64ENCODED_CREDENTIALS="$(echo -n "${DIGITALOCEAN_ACCESS_TOKEN}" | base64 | tr -d '\n')"

# Initialize the management cluster
clusterctl init --infrastructure digitalocean

The Docker provider does not require additional prerequisites. You can run:

clusterctl init --infrastructure docker
# Create the base64 encoded credentials by catting your credentials json.
# This command uses your environment variables and encodes
# them in a value to be stored in a Kubernetes Secret.
export GCP_B64ENCODED_CREDENTIALS=$( cat /path/to/gcp-credentials.json | base64 | tr -d '\n' )

# Finally, initialize the management cluster
clusterctl init --infrastructure gcp
# The username used to access the remote vSphere endpoint
export VSPHERE_USERNAME="vi-admin@vsphere.local"
# The password used to access the remote vSphere endpoint
# You may want to set this in ~/.cluster-api/clusterctl.yaml so your password is not in
# bash history
export VSPHERE_PASSWORD="admin!23"

# Finally, initialize the management cluster
clusterctl init --infrastructure vsphere

For more information about prerequisites, credentials management, or permissions for vSphere, see the vSphere project.

# Initialize the management cluster
clusterctl init --infrastructure openstack

Please visit the Metal3 project.

In order to initialize the Packet Provider you have to expose the environment variable PACKET_API_KEY. This variable is used to authorize the infrastructure provider manager against the Packet API. You can retrieve your token directly from the Packet Portal.

export PACKET_API_KEY="34ts3g4s5g45gd45dhdh"

clusterctl init --infrastructure packet

The output of clusterctl init is similar to this:

Fetching providers
Installing cert-manager Version="v1.5.3"
Waiting for cert-manager to be available...
Installing Provider="cluster-api" Version="v1.0.0" TargetNamespace="capi-system"
Installing Provider="bootstrap-kubeadm" Version="v1.0.0" TargetNamespace="capi-kubeadm-bootstrap-system"
Installing Provider="control-plane-kubeadm" Version="v1.0.0" TargetNamespace="capi-kubeadm-control-plane-system"
Installing Provider="infrastructure-docker" Version="v1.0.0" TargetNamespace="capd-system"

Your management cluster has been initialized successfully!

You can now create your first workload cluster by running the following:

  clusterctl generate cluster [name] --kubernetes-version [version] | kubectl apply -f -

Create your first workload cluster

Once the management cluster is ready, you can create your first workload cluster.

Preparing the workload cluster configuration

The clusterctl generate cluster command returns a YAML template for creating a workload cluster.

Required configuration for common providers

Depending on the infrastructure provider you are planning to use, some additional prerequisites should be satisfied before configuring a cluster with Cluster API. Instructions are provided for common providers below.

Otherwise, you can look at the clusterctl generate cluster command documentation for details about how to discover the list of variables required by a cluster templates.

export AWS_REGION=us-east-1
export AWS_SSH_KEY_NAME=default
# Select instance types
export AWS_CONTROL_PLANE_MACHINE_TYPE=t3.large
export AWS_NODE_MACHINE_TYPE=t3.large

See the AWS provider prerequisites document for more details.

# Name of the Azure datacenter location. Change this value to your desired location.
export AZURE_LOCATION="centralus"

# Select VM types.
export AZURE_CONTROL_PLANE_MACHINE_TYPE="Standard_D2s_v3"
export AZURE_NODE_MACHINE_TYPE="Standard_D2s_v3"

A ClusterAPI compatible image must be available in your DigitalOcean account. For instructions on how to build a compatible image see image-builder.

export DO_REGION=nyc1
export DO_SSH_KEY_FINGERPRINT=<your-ssh-key-fingerprint>
export DO_CONTROL_PLANE_MACHINE_TYPE=s-2vcpu-2gb
export DO_CONTROL_PLANE_MACHINE_IMAGE=<your-capi-image-id>
export DO_NODE_MACHINE_TYPE=s-2vcpu-2gb
export DO_NODE_MACHINE_IMAGE==<your-capi-image-id>

The Docker provider does not require additional configurations for cluster templates.

However, if you require special network settings you can set the following environment variables:

# The list of service CIDR, default ["10.128.0.0/12"]
export SERVICE_CIDR=["10.96.0.0/12"]

# The list of pod CIDR, default ["192.168.0.0/16"]
export POD_CIDR=["192.168.0.0/16"]

# The service domain, default "cluster.local"
export SERVICE_DOMAIN="k8s.test"
# Name of the GCP datacenter location. Change this value to your desired location
export GCP_REGION="<GCP_REGION>"
export GCP_PROJECT="<GCP_PROJECT>"
# Make sure to use same kubernetes version here as building the GCE image
export KUBERNETES_VERSION=1.20.9
export GCP_CONTROL_PLANE_MACHINE_TYPE=n1-standard-2
export GCP_NODE_MACHINE_TYPE=n1-standard-2
export GCP_NETWORK_NAME=<GCP_NETWORK_NAME or default>
export CLUSTER_NAME="<CLUSTER_NAME>"

See the GCP provider for more information.

It is required to use an official CAPV machine images for your vSphere VM templates. See uploading CAPV machine images for instructions on how to do this.

# The vCenter server IP or FQDN
export VSPHERE_SERVER="10.0.0.1"
# The vSphere datacenter to deploy the management cluster on
export VSPHERE_DATACENTER="SDDC-Datacenter"
# The vSphere datastore to deploy the management cluster on
export VSPHERE_DATASTORE="vsanDatastore"
# The VM network to deploy the management cluster on
export VSPHERE_NETWORK="VM Network"
# The vSphere resource pool for your VMs
export VSPHERE_RESOURCE_POOL="*/Resources"
# The VM folder for your VMs. Set to "" to use the root vSphere folder
export VSPHERE_FOLDER="vm"
# The VM template to use for your VMs
export VSPHERE_TEMPLATE="ubuntu-1804-kube-v1.17.3"
# The VM template to use for the HAProxy load balancer of the management cluster
export VSPHERE_HAPROXY_TEMPLATE="capv-haproxy-v0.6.0-rc.2"
# The public ssh authorized key on all machines
export VSPHERE_SSH_AUTHORIZED_KEY="ssh-rsa AAAAB3N..."

clusterctl init --infrastructure vsphere

For more information about prerequisites, credentials management, or permissions for vSphere, see the vSphere getting started guide.

A ClusterAPI compatible image must be available in your OpenStack. For instructions on how to build a compatible image see image-builder. Depending on your OpenStack and underlying hypervisor the following options might be of interest:

To see all required OpenStack environment variables execute:

clusterctl generate cluster --infrastructure openstack --list-variables capi-quickstart

The following script can be used to export some of them:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-sigs/cluster-api-provider-openstack/master/templates/env.rc -O /tmp/env.rc
source /tmp/env.rc <path/to/clouds.yaml> <cloud>

Apart from the script, the following OpenStack environment variables are required.

# The list of nameservers for OpenStack Subnet being created.
# Set this value when you need create a new network/subnet while the access through DNS is required.
export OPENSTACK_DNS_NAMESERVERS=<dns nameserver>
# FailureDomain is the failure domain the machine will be created in.
export OPENSTACK_FAILURE_DOMAIN=<availability zone name>
# The flavor reference for the flavor for your server instance.
export OPENSTACK_CONTROL_PLANE_MACHINE_FLAVOR=<flavor>
# The flavor reference for the flavor for your server instance.
export OPENSTACK_NODE_MACHINE_FLAVOR=<flavor>
# The name of the image to use for your server instance. If the RootVolume is specified, this will be ignored and use rootVolume directly.
export OPENSTACK_IMAGE_NAME=<image name>
# The SSH key pair name
export OPENSTACK_SSH_KEY_NAME=<ssh key pair name>

A full configuration reference can be found in configuration.md.

Note: If you are running CAPM3 release prior to v0.5.0, make sure to export the following environment variables. However, you don’t need them to be exported if you use CAPM3 release v0.5.0 or higher.

# The URL of the kernel to deploy.
export DEPLOY_KERNEL_URL="http://172.22.0.1:6180/images/ironic-python-agent.kernel"
# The URL of the ramdisk to deploy.
export DEPLOY_RAMDISK_URL="http://172.22.0.1:6180/images/ironic-python-agent.initramfs"
# The URL of the Ironic endpoint.
export IRONIC_URL="http://172.22.0.1:6385/v1/"
# The URL of the Ironic inspector endpoint.
export IRONIC_INSPECTOR_URL="http://172.22.0.1:5050/v1/"
# Do not use a dedicated CA certificate for Ironic API. Any value provided in this variable disables additional CA certificate validation.
# To provide a CA certificate, leave this variable unset. If unset, then IRONIC_CA_CERT_B64 must be set.
export IRONIC_NO_CA_CERT=true
# Disables basic authentication for Ironic API. Any value provided in this variable disables authentication.
# To enable authentication, leave this variable unset. If unset, then IRONIC_USERNAME and IRONIC_PASSWORD must be set.
export IRONIC_NO_BASIC_AUTH=true
# Disables basic authentication for Ironic inspector API. Any value provided in this variable disables authentication.
# To enable authentication, leave this variable unset. If unset, then IRONIC_INSPECTOR_USERNAME and IRONIC_INSPECTOR_PASSWORD must be set.
export IRONIC_INSPECTOR_NO_BASIC_AUTH=true

Please visit the Metal3 getting started guide for more details.

There are a couple of required environment variables that you have to expose in order to get a well tuned and function workload, they are all listed here:

# The project where your cluster will be placed to.
# You have to get out from Packet Portal if you do not have one already.
export PROJECT_ID="5yd4thd-5h35-5hwk-1111-125gjej40930"
# The facility where you want your cluster to be provisioned
export FACILITY="ewr1"
# The operatin system used to provision the device
export NODE_OS="ubuntu_18_04"
# The ssh key name you loaded in Packet Portal
export SSH_KEY="my-ssh"
export POD_CIDR="192.168.0.0/16"
export SERVICE_CIDR="172.26.0.0/16"
export CONTROLPLANE_NODE_TYPE="t1.small"
export WORKER_NODE_TYPE="t1.small"

Generating the cluster configuration

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll name our cluster capi-quickstart.

clusterctl generate cluster capi-quickstart \
  --kubernetes-version v1.22.0 \
  --control-plane-machine-count=3 \
  --worker-machine-count=3 \
  > capi-quickstart.yaml
clusterctl generate cluster capi-quickstart --flavor development \
  --kubernetes-version v1.22.0 \
  --control-plane-machine-count=3 \
  --worker-machine-count=3 \
  > capi-quickstart.yaml

This creates a YAML file named capi-quickstart.yaml with a predefined list of Cluster API objects; Cluster, Machines, Machine Deployments, etc.

The file can be eventually modified using your editor of choice.

See clusterctl generate cluster for more details.

Apply the workload cluster

When ready, run the following command to apply the cluster manifest.

kubectl apply -f capi-quickstart.yaml

The output is similar to this:

cluster.cluster.x-k8s.io/capi-quickstart created
dockercluster.infrastructure.cluster.x-k8s.io/capi-quickstart created
kubeadmcontrolplane.controlplane.cluster.x-k8s.io/capi-quickstart-control-plane created
dockermachinetemplate.infrastructure.cluster.x-k8s.io/capi-quickstart-control-plane created
machinedeployment.cluster.x-k8s.io/capi-quickstart-md-0 created
dockermachinetemplate.infrastructure.cluster.x-k8s.io/capi-quickstart-md-0 created
kubeadmconfigtemplate.bootstrap.cluster.x-k8s.io/capi-quickstart-md-0 created

Accessing the workload cluster

The cluster will now start provisioning. You can check status with:

kubectl get cluster

You can also get an “at glance” view of the cluster and its resources by running:

clusterctl describe cluster capi-quickstart

To verify the first control plane is up:

kubectl get kubeadmcontrolplane

You should see an output is similar to this:

NAME                            INITIALIZED   API SERVER AVAILABLE   VERSION   REPLICAS   READY   UPDATED   UNAVAILABLE
capi-quickstart-control-plane   true                                 v1.22.0   3                  3         3

After the first control plane node is up and running, we can retrieve the workload cluster Kubeconfig:

clusterctl get kubeconfig capi-quickstart > capi-quickstart.kubeconfig

Deploy a CNI solution

Calico is used here as an example.

kubectl --kubeconfig=./capi-quickstart.kubeconfig \
  apply -f https://docs.projectcalico.org/v3.20/manifests/calico.yaml

After a short while, our nodes should be running and in Ready state, let’s check the status using kubectl get nodes:

kubectl --kubeconfig=./capi-quickstart.kubeconfig get nodes

Azure does not currently support Calico networking. As a workaround, it is recommended that Azure clusters use the Calico spec below that uses VXLAN.

kubectl --kubeconfig=./capi-quickstart.kubeconfig \
  apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-sigs/cluster-api-provider-azure/main/templates/addons/calico.yaml

After a short while, our nodes should be running and in Ready state, let’s check the status using kubectl get nodes:

kubectl --kubeconfig=./capi-quickstart.kubeconfig get nodes

Clean Up

Delete workload cluster.

kubectl delete cluster capi-quickstart

Delete management cluster

kind delete cluster

Next steps

See the clusterctl documentation for more detail about clusterctl supported actions.