Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service

5 min read

Learn how to set up an Amazon EKS cluster for your Coder deployment.

This deployment guide shows you how to set up an Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Engine cluster on which Coder can deploy.


Please make sure that you have the following utilities installed on your machine:

Preliminary steps

Before you can create a cluster, you'll need to perform the following to set up and configure your AWS account.

  1. Go to AWS' EC2 console; this should take you to the EC2 page for the AWS region in which you're working (if not, change to the correct region using the dropdown in the top-right of the page)

  2. In the Resources section in the middle of the page, click Elastic IPs.

  3. Choose either an Elastic IP address you want to use or click Allocate Elastic IP address. Choose Amazon's pool of IPv4 addresses and click Allocate.

  4. Return to the EC2 Dashboard.

  5. In the Resources section in the middle of the page, click Key Pairs.

  6. Click Create key pair (alternatively, if you already have a local SSH key you'd like to use, you can click the Actions dropdown and import your key)

  7. Provide a name for your key pair and select pem as your file format. Click Create key pair.

  8. You'll automatically download the keypair; save it to a known directory on your local machine (we recommend keeping the default name, which will match the name you provided to AWS).

  9. Now that you have the .pem file, extract the public key portion of the keypair so that you can use it with the eksctl CLI in later steps:

    ssh-keygen -y -f <PATH/TO/KEY>.pem >> <PATH/TO/KEY/KEY>.pub

    Note: if you run into a bad permissions error, run sudo before the command above.

When done, you should have a .pem and .pub file for the same keypair you downloaded from AWS.

Step 1: Spin up a K8s cluster

To make subsequent steps easier, start by creating environment variables for the cluster name, region, and SSH key path:


The following will spin up a Kubernetes cluster using eksctl:

  eksctl create cluster \
  --name "$CLUSTER_NAME" \
  --version 1.17 \
  --region "$REGION" \
  --nodegroup-name standard-workers \
  --node-type t3.medium \
  --nodes 2 \
  --nodes-min 2 \
  --nodes-max 8 \
  --ssh-access \
  --ssh-public-key "$SSH_KEY_PATH" \

Please note that the sample script creates a t3.medium instance; depending on your needs, you can choose a larger size instead. See requirements for help estimating your cluster size.

When your cluster is ready, you should see the following message:

EKS cluster "YOUR_CLUSTER_NAME" in "YOUR_REGION" region is ready

This process may take ~15-30 minutes to complete.

Step 2: Adjust the K8s storage class

Once you've created the cluster, adjust the default Kubernetes storage class to support immediate volume binding.

  1. Make sure that you're pointed to the correct context:

    kubectl config current-context
  2. If you're pointed to the correct context, delete the gp2 storage class:

    kubectl delete sc gp2
  3. Recreate the gp2 storage class with the volumeBindingMode set to Immediate:

    cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
    kind: StorageClass
      annotations: "true"
      name: gp2
      type: gp2
      fsType: ext4
    volumeBindingMode: Immediate
    allowVolumeExpansion: true

See the Kubernetes docs for information on choosing the right parameter for volumeBindingMode; Coder accepts both Immediate and WaitForFirstConsumer.

Modifying your cluster to support CVMs

To create clusters allowing you to enable container-based virtual machines (CVMs) as a workspace deployment option, you'll need to create a nodegroup.

  1. Define your config file (we've named the file coder-node.yaml, but you can call it whatever you'd like):

    kind: ClusterConfig
      version: "1.17"
      name: <YOUR_CLUSTER_NAME>
      region: <YOUR_AWS_REGION>
      - name: coder-node-group
        amiFamily: Ubuntu1804
  2. Create your nodegroup (be sure to provide the correct file name):

    eksctl create nodegroup --config-file=coder-node.yaml

Step 3: Install Calico onto your cluster

AWS uses Calico to implement network segmentation and tenant isolation.

  1. Apply the Calico manifest to your cluster:

    kubectl apply -f
  2. Watch the calico-system DaemonSets:

    kubectl get daemonset calico-node --namespace calico-system

    Wait for the calico-node DaemonSet to have the number of pods desired in the ready state; this indicates that Calico is working:

    NAME          DESIRED   CURRENT   READY     UP-TO-DATE   ...
    calico-node   3         3         3         3            ...

Access control

EKS allows you to create and manage user permissions using IAM identity providers (IdPs). EKS also supports user authentication via OpenID Connect (OIDC) identity providers.

Using IAM with Kubernetes' native Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) allows you to grant access to your EKS cluster using existing IDPs and fine-tune permissions with RBAC.

For more information, see:

Next steps

At this point, you're ready to proceed to installation.

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