Installation on AWS EKS

Create an EKS Cluster

The first step is to create an EKS cluster. This guide will use eksctl but you can also follow the Getting Started with Amazon EKS guide.


Ensure your AWS credentials are located in ~/.aws/credentials or are stored as environment variables .

Next, install eksctl :

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

Ensure that aws-iam-authenticator is installed and in the executable path:

which aws-iam-authenticator

If not, install it based on the AWS IAM authenticator documentation .

Create the cluster

Create an EKS cluster with eksctl see the eksctl Documentation for details on how to set credentials, change region, VPC, cluster size, etc.

eksctl create cluster -n test-cluster -N 0

You should see something like this:

[ℹ]  using region us-west-2
[ℹ]  setting availability zones to [us-west-2b us-west-2a us-west-2c]
[✔]  EKS cluster "test-cluster" in "us-west-2" region is ready

Delete VPC CNI (aws-node DaemonSet)

Cilium will manage ENIs instead of VPC CNI, so the aws-node DaemonSet has to be deleted to prevent conflict behavior.


Once aws-node DaemonSet is deleted, EKS will not try to restore it.

kubectl -n kube-system delete daemonset aws-node

Prepare & Deploy Cilium


First, make sure you have Helm 3 installed.

If you have (or planning to have) Helm 2 charts (and Tiller) in the same cluster, there should be no issue as both version are mutually compatible in order to support gradual migration. Cilium chart is targeting Helm 3 (v3.0.3 and above).

Setup helm repository:

helm repo add cilium

Deploy Cilium release via Helm:

helm install cilium cilium/cilium --version 1.7.14 \
  --namespace kube-system \
  --set global.eni=true \
  --set global.egressMasqueradeInterfaces=eth0 \
  --set global.tunnel=disabled \
  --set global.nodeinit.enabled=true


This helm command sets global.eni=true and global.tunnel=disabled, meaning that Cilium will allocate a fully-routable AWS ENI IP address for each pod, similar to the behavior of the Amazon VPC CNI plugin.

Cilium can alternatively run in EKS using an overlay mode that gives pods non-VPC-routable IPs. This allows running more pods per Kubernetes worker node than the ENI limit, but means that pod connectivity to resources outside the cluster (e.g., VMs in the VPC or AWS managed services) is masqueraded (i.e., SNAT) by Cilium to use the VPC IP address of the Kubernetes worker node. Excluding the lines for global.eni=true and global.tunnel=disabled from the helm command will configure Cilium to use overlay routing mode (which is the helm default).

Scale up the cluster

eksctl get nodegroup --cluster eni-cluster
CLUSTER                     NODEGROUP       CREATED                 MIN SIZE        MAX SIZE        DESIRED CAPACITY        INSTANCE TYPE   IMAGE ID
test-cluster                ng-25560078     2019-07-23T06:05:35Z    0               2               0                       m5.large        ami-0923e4b35a30a5f53
eksctl scale nodegroup --cluster eni-cluster -n ng-25560078 -N 2
[]  scaling nodegroup stack "eksctl-test-cluster-nodegroup-ng-25560078" in cluster eksctl-test-cluster-cluster
[]  scaling nodegroup, desired capacity from 0 to 2

Validate the Installation

You can monitor as Cilium and all required components are being installed:

kubectl -n kube-system get pods --watch
NAME                                    READY   STATUS              RESTARTS   AGE
cilium-operator-cb4578bc5-q52qk         0/1     Pending             0          8s
cilium-s8w5m                            0/1     PodInitializing     0          7s
coredns-86c58d9df4-4g7dd                0/1     ContainerCreating   0          8m57s
coredns-86c58d9df4-4l6b2                0/1     ContainerCreating   0          8m57s

It may take a couple of minutes for all components to come up:

cilium-operator-cb4578bc5-q52qk         1/1     Running   0          4m13s
cilium-s8w5m                            1/1     Running   0          4m12s
coredns-86c58d9df4-4g7dd                1/1     Running   0          13m
coredns-86c58d9df4-4l6b2                1/1     Running   0          13m

Deploy the connectivity test

You can deploy the “connectivity-check” to test connectivity between pods.

kubectl apply -f

It will deploy a series of deployments which will use various connectivity paths to connect to each other. Connectivity paths include with and without service load-balancing and various network policy combinations. The pod name indicates the connectivity variant and the readiness and liveness gate indicates success or failure of the test:

NAME                                                    READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
echo-a-5995597649-f5d5g                                 1/1     Running   0          4m51s
echo-b-54c9bb5f5c-p6lxf                                 1/1     Running   0          4m50s
echo-b-host-67446447f7-chvsp                            1/1     Running   0          4m50s
host-to-b-multi-node-clusterip-78f9869d75-l8cf8         1/1     Running   0          4m50s
host-to-b-multi-node-headless-798949bd5f-vvfff          1/1     Running   0          4m50s
pod-to-a-59b5fcb7f6-gq4hd                               1/1     Running   0          4m50s
pod-to-a-allowed-cnp-55f885bf8b-5lxzz                   1/1     Running   0          4m50s
pod-to-a-external-1111-7ff666fd8-v5kqb                  1/1     Running   0          4m48s
pod-to-a-l3-denied-cnp-64c6c75c5d-xmqhw                 1/1     Running   0          4m50s
pod-to-b-intra-node-845f955cdc-5nfrt                    1/1     Running   0          4m49s
pod-to-b-multi-node-clusterip-666594b445-bsn4j          1/1     Running   0          4m49s
pod-to-b-multi-node-headless-746f84dff5-prk4w           1/1     Running   0          4m49s
pod-to-b-multi-node-nodeport-7cb9c6cb8b-ksm4h           1/1     Running   0          4m49s
pod-to-external-fqdn-allow-google-cnp-b7b6bcdcb-tg9dh   1/1     Running   0          4m48s

Specify Environment Variables

Specify the namespace in which Cilium is installed as CILIUM_NAMESPACE environment variable. Subsequent commands reference this environment variable.

export CILIUM_NAMESPACE=kube-system

Install Hubble

Hubble is a fully distributed networking and security observability platform for cloud native workloads. It is built on top of Cilium and eBPF to enable deep visibility into the communication and behavior of services as well as the networking infrastructure in a completely transparent manner. Visit Hubble Github page.

Generate the deployment files using Helm and deploy it:

git clone --branch v0.5
cd hubble/install/kubernetes

helm template hubble \
    --namespace $CILIUM_NAMESPACE \
    --set metrics.enabled="{dns,drop,tcp,flow,port-distribution,icmp,http}" \
    --set ui.enabled=true \
> hubble.yaml

Deploy Hubble:

kubectl apply -f hubble.yaml