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This chapter walks through the following:

  • Overview of provisioning
  • Prerequisites for creating an EKS Anywhere cluster
  • Provisioning a new EKS Anywhere cluster
  • Verifying the cluster installation

1 - Overview

EKS Anywhere creates a Kubernetes cluster on premises to a chosen provider. Supported providers include Bare Metal (via Tinkerbell), CloudStack, and vSphere. To manage that cluster, you can run cluster create and delete commands from an Ubuntu or Mac Administrative machine.

Creating a cluster involves downloading EKS Anywhere tools to an Administrative machine, then running the eksctl anywhere create cluster command to deploy that cluster to the provider. A temporary bootstrap cluster runs on the Administrative machine to direct the target cluster creation. For a detailed description, see Cluster creation workflow


Here’s a diagram that explains the process visually.

EKS Anywhere Create Cluster

EKS Anywhere create cluster overview

Next steps:

2 - Admin machine setup

EKS Anywhere will create and manage Kubernetes clusters on multiple providers. Currently we support creating development clusters locally using Docker and production clusters from providers listed on the Create production cluster


Creating an EKS Anywhere cluster begins with setting up an Administrative machine where you will run Docker and add some binaries. From there, you create the cluster for your chosen provider. See Create cluster workflow

for an overview of the cluster creation process.

To create an EKS Anywhere cluster you will need eksctl

and the eksctl-anywhere plugin. This will let you create a cluster in multiple providers for local development or production workloads.

Administrative machine prerequisites

  • Docker 20.x.x

  • Mac OS 10.15 / Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (See Note on newer Ubuntu versions)

  • 4 CPU cores

  • 16GB memory

  • 30GB free disk space

  • Administrative machine must be on the same Layer 2 network as the cluster machines (Bare Metal provider only).

  • If you are using Ubuntu use the Docker CE installation instructions to install Docker and not the Snap installation, as described here.
  • If you are using Ubuntu 21.10 or 22.04 you will need to switch from cgroups v2 to cgroups v1. For details, see Troubleshooting Guide.
  • If you are using Docker Desktop, you need to know that:
    • For EKS Anywhere Bare Metal, Docker Desktop is not supported
    • For EKS Anywhere vSphere, if you are using Mac OS Docker Desktop 4.4.2 or newer "deprecatedCgroupv1": true must be set in ~/Library/Group\ Containers/

Install EKS Anywhere CLI tools

Via Homebrew (macOS and Linux)

You can install eksctl and eksctl-anywhere with homebrew

. This package will also install kubectl and the aws-iam-authenticator which will be helpful to test EKS Anywhere clusters.

brew install aws/tap/eks-anywhere

Manually (macOS and Linux)

Install the latest release of eksctl. The EKS Anywhere plugin requires eksctl version 0.66.0 or newer.

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

Install the eksctl-anywhere plugin.

export EKSA_RELEASE="0.14.0" OS="$(uname -s | tr A-Z a-z)" RELEASE_NUMBER=27
curl "${RELEASE_NUMBER}/artifacts/eks-a/v${EKSA_RELEASE}/${OS}/amd64/eksctl-anywhere-v${EKSA_RELEASE}-${OS}-amd64.tar.gz" \
    --silent --location \
    | tar xz ./eksctl-anywhere
sudo mv ./eksctl-anywhere /usr/local/bin/

Install the kubectl Kubernetes command line tool. This can be done by following the instructions here


Or you can install the latest kubectl directly with the following.

export OS="$(uname -s | tr A-Z a-z)" ARCH=$(test "$(uname -m)" = 'x86_64' && echo 'amd64' || echo 'arm64')
curl -LO "$(curl -L -s${OS}/${ARCH}/kubectl"
sudo mv ./kubectl /usr/local/bin
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/kubectl

Upgrade eksctl-anywhere

If you installed eksctl-anywhere via homebrew you can upgrade the binary with

brew update
brew upgrade eks-anywhere

If you installed eksctl-anywhere manually you should follow the installation steps to download the latest release.

You can verify your installed version with

eksctl anywhere version

Deploy a cluster

Once you have the tools installed you can deploy a local cluster or production cluster in the next steps.