Preparing Bare Metal for EKS Anywhere

Set up a Bare Metal cluster to prepare it for EKS Anywhere

After gathering hardware described in Bare Metal Requirements , you need to prepare the hardware and create a CSV file describing that hardware.

Prepare hardware

To prepare your computer hardware for EKS Anywhere, you need to connect your computer hardware and do some configuration. Once the hardware is in place, you need to:

  • Obtain IP and MAC addresses for your machines' NICs.
  • Obtain IP addresses for your machines' BMC interfaces.
  • Obtain the gateway address for your network to reach the Internet.
  • Obtain the IP address for your DNS servers.
  • Make sure the following settings are in place:
    • UEFI is enabled on all target cluster machines, unless you are provisioning RHEL systems. Enable legacy BIOS on any RHEL machines.
    • Netboot (PXE or HTTP) boot is enabled for the NIC on each machine for which you provided the MAC address. This is the interface on which the operating system will be provisioned.
    • IPMI over LAN and/or Redfish is enabled on all BMC interfaces.
  • Go to the BMC settings for each machine and set the IP address (bmc_ip), username (bmc_username), and password (bmc_password) to use later in the CSV file.

Prepare hardware inventory

Create a CSV file to provide information about all physical machines that you are ready to add to your target Bare Metal cluster. This file will be used:

  • When you generate the hardware file to be included in the cluster creation process described in the Create Bare Metal production cluster Getting Started guide.
  • To provide information that is passed to each machine from the Tinkerbell DHCP server when the machine is initially network booted.

NOTE:While using kubectl, GitOps and Terraform for workload cluster creation, please make sure to refer this section.

The following is an example of an EKS Anywhere Bare Metal hardware CSV file:


The CSV file is a comma-separated list of values in a plain text file, holding information about the physical machines in the datacenter that are intended to be a part of the cluster creation process. Each line represents a physical machine (not a virtual machine).

The following sections describe each value.


The hostname assigned to the machine.

bmc_ip (optional)

The IP address assigned to the BMC interface on the machine.

bmc_username (optional)

The username assigned to the BMC interface on the machine.

bmc_password (optional)

The password associated with the bmc_username assigned to the BMC interface on the machine.


The MAC address of the network interface card (NIC) that provides access to the host computer.


The IP address providing access to the host computer.


The netmask associated with the ip_address value. In the example above, a /23 subnet mask is used, allowing you to use up to 510 IP addresses in that range.


IP address of the interface that provides access (the gateway) to the Internet.


The IP address of the server that you want to provide DNS service to the cluster.


The optional labels field can consist of a key/value pair to use in conjunction with the hardwareSelector field when you set up your Bare Metal configuration. The key/value pair is connected with an equal (=) sign.

For example, a TinkerbellMachineConfig with a hardwareSelector containing type: cp will match entries in the CSV containing type=cp in its label definition.


The device name of the disk on which the operating system will be installed. For example, it could be /dev/sda for the first SCSI disk or /dev/nvme0n1 for the first NVME storage device.