Create a simple EKS Cluster

Launching an EKS Cluster


Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) is a fully managed Kubernetes service from AWS. In this lab, you will work with the AWS command line interface and console, using command line utilities like eksctl and kubectl to launch an EKS cluster, provision a Kubernetes deployment and pod running instances of nginx, and create a LoadBalancer service to expose your application over the internet.

Course files can be found here:


Log in to the live AWS environment using the credentials provided. Make sure you’re in the N. Virginia (us-east-1) region throughout the lab.

Create an IAM User with Admin Permissions

  1. Navigate to IAM > Users.
  2. Click Add user.
  3. Set the following values:
    • User namek8-admin
    • Access typeProgrammatic access
  4. Click Next: Permissions.
  5. Select Attach existing policies directly.
  6. Select AdministratorAccess.
  7. Click Next: Tags > Next: Review.
  8. Click Create user.
  9. Copy the access key ID and secret access key, and paste them into a text file, as we’ll need them in the next step.

Launch an EC2 Instance and Configure the Command Line Tools

  1. Navigate to EC2 > Instances.
  2. Click Launch Instance.
  3. On the AMI page, select the Amazon Linux 2 AMI.
  4. Leave t2.micro selected, and click Next: Configure Instance Details.
  5. On the Configure Instance Details page:
    • Network: Leave default
    • Subnet: Leave default
    • Auto-assign Public IPEnable
  6. Click Next: Add Storage > Next: Add Tags > Next: Configure Security Group.
  7. Click Review and Launch, and then Launch.
  8. In the key pair dialog, select Create a new key pair.
  9. Give it a Key pair name of “mynvkp”.
  10. Click Download Key Pair, and then Launch Instances.
  11. Click View Instances, and give it a few minutes to enter the running state.
  12. Once the instance is fully created, check the checkbox next to it and click Connect at the top of the window.
  13. In the Connect to your instance dialog, select EC2 Instance Connect (browser-based SSH connection).
  14. Click Connect.
  15. In the command line window, check the AWS CLI version:aws --versionIt should be an older version.
aws --version

16. Download v2:

curl "" -o ""

17. Unzip the file:


18. See where the current AWS CLI is installed:

which aws

It should be /usr/bin/aws.

19. Update it:

sudo ./aws/install --bin-dir /usr/bin --install-dir /usr/bin/aws-cli --update

20. Check the version of AWS CLI:

aws --version
  • It should now be updated.

21. Configure the CLI:

aws configure

22. For AWS Access Key ID, paste in the access key ID you copied earlier.

23. For AWS Secret Access Key, paste in the secret access key you copied earlier.

24. For Default region name, enter us-east-1.

25. For Default output format, enter json.

26. Download kubectl:

curl -o kubectl
  • ap-northeast-2 (seoul)

27. Apply execute permissions to the binary:

chmod +x ./kubectl

28. Copy the binary to a directory in your path:

mkdir -p $HOME/bin && cp ./kubectl $HOME/bin/kubectl && export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin

29. Ensure kubectl is installed:

kubectl version --short --client

30. Download eksctl:

curl --silent --location "$(uname -s)_amd64.tar.gz" | tar xz -C /tmp

31. Move the extracted binary to /usr/bin:

sudo mv /tmp/eksctl /usr/bin

32. Get the version of eksctl:

eksctl version

See the options with eksctl:

eksctl help

Provision an EKS Cluster

  1. Provision an EKS cluster with three worker nodes in ap-northeast-2:
eksctl create cluster --name dev --version 1.16 --region ap-northeast-2 --nodegroup-name standard-workers --node-type t3.micro --nodes 3 --nodes-min 1 --nodes-max 4 --managed

It will take 10–15 minutes since it’s provisioning the control plane and worker nodes, attaching the worker nodes to the control plane, and creating the VPC, security group, and Auto Scaling group.

2. In the AWS Management Console, navigate to CloudFormation and take a look at what’s going on there.

3. Select the eksctl-dev-cluster stack (this is our control plane).

4. Click Events, so you can see all the resources that are being created.

5. We should then see another new stack being created — this one is our node group.

6. Once both stacks are complete, navigate to Elastic Kubernetes Service > Clusters.

7. Click the listed cluster.

8. Click the Compute tab, and then click the listed node group. There, we’ll see the Kubernetes version, instance type, status, etc.

9. Click dev in the breadcrumb navigation link at the top of the screen.

10. Click the Networking tab, where we’ll see the VPC, subnets, etc.

11. Click the Logging tab, where we’ll see the control plane logging info.

12. The control plane is abstracted — we can only interact with it using the command line utilities or the console. It’s not an EC2 instance we can log into and start running Linux commands on.

13. Navigate to EC2 > Instances, where you should see the instances have been launched.

14. Close out of the existing CLI window, if you still have it open.

15. Select the original t2.micro instance, and click Connect at the top of the window.

16. In the Connect to your instance dialog, select EC2 Instance Connect (browser-based SSH connection).

17. Click Connect.

18. In the CLI, check the cluster:

eksctl get cluster

Enable it to connect to our cluster:

aws eks update-kubeconfig --name dev --region us-east-1


  1. Install Git:
sudo yum install -y git

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