EKS Access

How to access your Opta EKS Cluster

EKS Access

As each Kubernetes cluster maintains its own cloud-agnostic rbac system to govern its own usage, extra steps must be taken on each cloud provider to reconcile the given cloud’s IAM with the cluster’s. For EKS, this is done via the aws-auth configmap stored in the kube-system namespace (see here for the official documentation). This configmap is essentially a mapping stating “AWS IAM user/role X is in group/has permissions A, B, C” in this cluster. An admin can view this configmap via this command kubectl get cm -n kube-system aws-auth -o yaml and these configmaps typically look like so:

apiVersion: v1
data: # NOTE there are separate sections for AWS IAM Users and AWS IAM roles.
  mapRoles: |
    - groups: ['system:bootstrappers', 'system:nodes']
      rolearn: arn:aws:iam::ACCOUNT_ID:role/opta-live-example-dev-eks-default-node-group
      username: system:node:{{EC2PrivateDNSName}}
    - groups: ['system:bootstrappers', 'system:nodes']
      rolearn: arn:aws:iam::ACCOUNT_ID:role/opta-live-example-dev-eks-nodegroup1-node-group
      username: system:node:{{EC2PrivateDNSName}}
    - groups: ['system:masters']
      rolearn: arn:aws:iam::ACCOUNT_ID:role/live-example-dev-live-example-dev-deployerrole
      username: opta-managed    
  mapUsers: |
    - groups: ['system:masters']
      userarn: arn:aws:iam::ACCOUNT_ID:user/live-example-dev-live-example-dev-deployeruser
      username: opta-managed    

Note: the IAM user/role who created the cluster is always considered root/admin and does not appear

As you can see, each entry has the following fields:

  • rolearn/userarn: the arn of the AWS IAM user/role to link.
  • username: the human-friendly distinct name/alias to recognize the rbac request from.
  • groups: the list of Kubernetes rbac groups to give the role/user access to.

Please refer to the official docs for full details, but note that if you want admin privileges, you simply need the system:masters group. For convenience, Opta has exposed a field in the k8s-base module for AWS known as admin_arns, which is where users can quickly add IAM users/roles to add as admins without dealing with Kubernetes directly.

name: staging
org_name: my-org
    region: us-east-1
    account_id: XXXX # Your 12 digit AWS account id
  - type: base
  - type: dns
    domain: staging.startup.com
      - hello
  - type: k8s-cluster
  - type: k8s-base
      - "arn:aws:iam::XXXX:user/my-user"
      - "arn:aws:iam::XXXX:role/my-role"

K8s RBAC Groups

Admittedly, Kubernetes rbac groups are currently difficult to view, but you should be able to see details the current ones with the following command (you will need jq installed): kubectl get clusterrolebindings -o json | jq -r '.items[] | select(.subjects[0].kind=="Group") and kubectl get rolebindings -A -o json | jq -r '.items[] | select(.subjects[0].kind=="Group") (none for this by default).

Essentially an rbac group is created by creating a ClusterRoleBinding (or RoleBinding for namespace-limited permissions) between the CluterRole/Role whose permissions you want to give and a new or pre-existing Group to give it to. Take the following yaml for instace:

apiVersion: rbac.authorization.k8s.io/v1
kind: ClusterRoleBinding
  name: my-cluster-role-binding
  apiGroup: rbac.authorization.k8s.io
  kind: ClusterRole
  name: system:discovery
- apiGroup: rbac.authorization.k8s.io
  kind: Group
  name: my-group

For this case, this ClusterRoleBinding says “give all member of the Group named my-group all the permissions of the ClusterRole named system:discovery on all namespaces” (you can bind to ServiceAccounts as well, please see the docs for more details).


So, to summarize:

  • If you wish to add an IAM role/user to be an admin in the K8s cluster, go ahead and use the admin_arns field for the AWS k8s-base module
  • If you wish to add an IAM role/user to a different set of K8s permissions already found in a pre-existing group, go ahead and manually add them in the aws-auth configmap on the kube-system namespace
  • If you wish to create a new K8s group to capture a new set of permissions, go ahead and do so with role binding/cluster role bindings.

Last modified August 5, 2022 : Cleanup install script (#197) (2175394)