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eksdemo - kubectl-like CLI for Amazon EKS

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The easy button for learning, testing, and demoing Amazon EKS:

  • Install complex applications and dependencies with a single command
  • Extensive application catalog (over 50 CNCF, open source and related projects)
  • Customize application installs easily with simple command line flags
  • Query and search AWS resources with over 60 kubectl-like get commands

Note: eksdemo is in beta and is intended for demo and test environments only.

Table of Contents

Why eksdemo?

While creating an EKS cluster is fairly easy thanks to eksctl, manually installing and configuring applications on EKS is complex, time consuming and error-prone. One of the most powerful feature of eksdemo is its extensive application catalog. An application can be installed (including dependencies) with a single command.

For example, the command: eksdemo install autoscaling-karpenter -c <cluster-name> will:

  1. Create the EC2 Spot Service Linked Role (if it doesn't already exist)
  2. Create the Karpenter Controller IAM Role (IRSA)
  3. Create the Karpenter Node IAM Role
  4. Create an SQS Queue and EventBridge rules for native Spot Termination Handling
  5. Add an entry to the aws-auth ConfigMap for the Karpenter Node IAM Role
  6. Install the Karpenter Helm Chart
  7. Create default Karpenter Provisioner and AWSNodeTemplate Custom Resources

No Magic

Application installs are:

  • Transparent
    • The --dry-run flag prints out all the steps eksdemo will take to create dependencies and install the application
  • Customizable
    • Each application has optional flags for common configuration options
    • The --set flag is available to override any settings in a Helm chart's values file
  • Managed by Helm
    • eksdemo embeds Helm as a library and it's used to install all applications, even those that don't have a Helm chart

eksdemo vs EKS Blueprints

Both eksdemo and EKS Blueprints automate the creation of EKS clusters and install commonly used applications. Why would you use eksdemo for learning, testing, and demoing EKS?

eksdemo EKS Blueprints
Use cases: learning, testing, and demoing EKS Use cases: customers deploying to prod and non-prod environments
Kubectl-like CLI installs apps with single command Infrastructure as Code (IaC) built on Terraform or CDK
Imperative tooling is great for iterative testing Declarative IaC tooling is not designed for iterative testing
Used to get up and running quickly Used to drive standards and communicate vetted architecture patterns for utilizing EKS within customer organizations

Install eksdemo

eksdemo is a Golang binary and releases include support for Mac, Linux and Windows running on x86 or arm64. There are two ways you can install:

  • Homebrew — This is the easiest method for Mac and Linux users.
  • Manually — This method is required for Windows users.


  1. AWS Account with Administrator access
  2. Route53 Public Hosted Zone (Optional but strongly recommended)
    1. You can update the domain registration of your existing domain (using any domain registrar) to change the name servers for the domain to use the four Route 53 name servers.
    2. You can still use eksdemo if you don’t have a Route53 Hosted Zone. Most applications that explose an Ingress resource default to deploying a Service of type LoadBalancer if you don't use the --ingress-host flag and your connection to the application will be unencrypted.

Install using Homebrew

Homebrew installation method is supported for Mac and Linux. Using the Terminal, enter the following commands:

brew tap aws/tap
brew install eksdemo

Application Catalog

eksdemo comes with an extensive application catalog. Each application can be installed with a single command: eksdemo install <application> -c <cluster-name> [flags]

To install applications under a group, you can use either a space or a hyphen. For example, each of the following are valid: eksdemo install ingress nginx or eksdemo install ingress-nginx

The application catalog includes:

  • ack — AWS Operators for Kubernetes (ACK)
    • apigatewayv2-controller — ACK API Gateway v2 Controller
    • ec2-controller — ACK EC2 Controller
    • ecr-controller — ACK ECR Controller
    • eks-controller — ACK EKS Controller
    • iam-controller — ACK IAM Controller
    • prometheusservice-controller — ACK Prometheus Service Controller
    • s3-controller — ACK S3 Controller
  • adot-operator — AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry Operator
  • appmesh-controller — AWS App Mesh Controller
  • argo — Get stuff done with Kubernetes!
    • cd — Declarative continuous deployment for Kubernetes
    • workflows — Workflow engine for Kubernetes
  • autoscaling — Kubernetes Autoscaling Applications
    • cluster-autoscaler — Kubernetes Cluster Autoscaler
    • goldilocks — Get your resource requests "Just Right"
    • inflate — Example App to Demonstrate Autoscaling
    • karpenter — Karpenter Node Autoscaling
    • keda — Kubernetes-based Event Driven Autoscaling
    • vpa — Vertical Pod Autoscaler
  • aws-fluent-bit — AWS Fluent Bit
  • aws-lb-controller — AWS Load Balancer Controller
  • cert-manager — Cloud Native Certificate Management
  • cilium — eBPF-based Networking, Observability, Security
  • container-insights — CloudWatch Container Insights
    • adot-collector — Container Insights ADOT Metrics
    • cloudwatch-agent — Container Insights CloudWatch Agent Metrics
    • fluent-bit — Container Insights Fluent Bit Logs
    • prometheus — CloudWatch Container Insights monitoring for Prometheus
  • core-dump-handler - Automatically saves core dumps to S3
  • crossplane — Cloud Native Control Planes
  • example — Example Applications
    • eks-workshop — EKS Workshop Example Microservices
    • game-2048 — Example Game 2048
    • kube-ops-view — Kubernetes Operational View
    • podinfo — Go app w/microservices best practices
    • wordpress — WordPress Blog
  • external-dns — ExternalDNS
  • falco — Cloud Native Runtime Security
  • flux — GitOps family of projects
    • controllers — Flux Controllers
    • sync — Flux GitRepository to sync with
  • harbor — Cloud Native Registry
  • headlamp - An easy-to-use and extensible Kubernetes web UI
  • ingress — Ingress Controllers
    • contour — Ingress Controller using Envoy proxy
    • emissary — Open Source API Gateway from Ambassador
    • nginx — Ingress NGINX Controller
  • istio — Istio Service Mesh
    • base — Istio Base (includes CRDs)
    • istiod — Istio Control Plane
  • keycloak-amg — Keycloak SAML iDP for Amazon Managed Grafana
  • kube-prometheus — End-to-end Cluster Monitoring with Prometheus
    • karpenter-dashboards — Karpenter Dashboards and ServiceMonitor
    • stack — Kube Prometheus Stack
    • stack-amp — Kube Prometheus Stack using Amazon Managed Prometheus
  • kube-state-metrics — Kube State Metrics
  • kubecost — Visibility Into Kubernetes Spend
    • eks — EKS optimized bundle of Kubecost
    • eks-amp — EKS optimized Kubecost using Amazon Managed Prometheus
    • vendor — Vendor distribution of Kubecost
  • metrics-server — Kubernetes Metric Server
  • policy — Kubernetes Policy Controllers
    • kyverno — Kubernetes Native Policy Management
    • opa-gatekeeper — Policy Controller for Kubernetes
  • prometheus-node-exporter — Prometheus Node Exporter
  • storage — Kubernetes Storage Solutions
    • ebs-csi — Amazon EBS CSI driver
    • efs-csi — Amazon EFS CSI driver
    • fsx-lustre-csi — Amazon FSx for Lustre CSI Driver
    • openebs — Kubernetes storage simplified
  • velero — Backup and Migrate Kubernetes Applications
  • vpc-lattice-controller — Amazon VPC Lattice (Gateway API) Controller

Kubectl-like get commands

eksdemo makes it easy to view AWS resources from the command line with commands that are very similar to how kubectl get works. Output defaults to a table, but raw AWS API output can be viewed with -o yaml and -o json flag options.

Almost all of the command have shorthand alaises to make it easier to type. For example, get ec2 is an alias for get ec2-instance. You can find the aliases using the help command, eksdemo get ec2-instance -h.

  • acm-certificate — ACM Cerificate
  • addon — EKS Managed Addon
  • addon-versions — EKS Managed Addon Versions
  • alarm — CloudWatch Alarm
  • amg-workspace — Amazon Managed Grafana Workspace
  • amp-rule — Amazon Managed Prometheus Rule Namespace
  • amp-workspace — Amazon Managed Prometheus Workspace
  • application — Installed Applications
  • auto-scaling-group — Auto Scaling Group
  • availability-zone — Availability Zone
  • cloudformation-stack — CloudFormation Stack
  • cloudtrail-event — CloudTrail Event History
  • cloudtrail-trail — CloudTrail Trail
  • cluster — EKS Cluster
  • dns-record — Route53 Resource Record Set
  • ec2-instance — EC2 Instance
  • ecr-repository — ECR Repository
  • elastic-ip — Elastic IP Address
  • event-rule — EventBridge Rule
  • fargate-profile — EKS Fargate Profile
  • hosted-zone — Route53 Hosted Zone
  • iam-oidc — IAM OIDC Identity Provider
  • iam-policy — IAM Policy
  • iam-role — IAM Role
  • internet-gateway — Internet Gateway
  • kms-key — KMS Key
  • listener — Load Balancer Listener
  • listener-rule — Load Balancer Listener Rule
  • load-balancer — Elastic Load Balancer
  • log-event — CloudWatch Log Events
  • log-group — CloudWatch Log Group
  • log-stream — CloudWatch Log Stream
  • logs-insights — CloudWatch Logs Insights
    • query — Logs Insights Query History
    • results — Logs Insights Query Results
    • stats — Logs Insights Query Statistics
  • metric — CloudWatch Metric
  • nat-gateway — NAT Gateway
  • network-acl — Network ACL
  • network-acl-rule — Network ACL
  • network-interface — Elastic Network Interface
  • node — Kubernetes Node
  • nodegroup — EKS Managed Nodegroup
  • organization — AWS Organization
  • prefix-list — Managed Prefix List
  • route-table — Route Table
  • s3-bucket — Amazon S3 Bucket
  • security-group — Security Group
  • security-group-rule — Security Group Rule
  • sqs-queue — SQS Queue
  • ssm-node — SSM Managed Node
  • ssm-session — SSM Session
  • subnet — VPC Subnet
  • target-group — Target Group
  • target-health — Target Health
  • volume — EBS Volume
  • vpc — Virtual Private Cloud
  • vpc-endpoint — VPC Endpoint
  • vpc-lattice — VPC Lattice Resources
    • service — VPC Lattice Service
    • service-network — VPC Lattice Service Network
    • target-group — VPC Lattice Target Group
  • vpc-summary — VPC Summary

Troubleshoot Homebrew Install

Note: Depending on how you originally installed eksctl, you may receive the error: eksctl is already installed from homebrew/core! This is because eksdemo uses the official Weaveworks tap weaveworks/tap as a dependency.

If you receive the error above, run the following commands:

brew uninstall eksctl
brew install eksdemo

Install Manually

Navigate to Releases, look under Assets and locate the binary that matches your operation system and platform. Download the file, uncompress and copy to a location of your choice that is in your path. A common location on Mac and Linux is /usr/local/bin. Note that eksctl is required and must be installed as well.

Set the AWS Region

For most eksdemo commands, it requires that you have configured a default AWS region or use the --region flag. There are 2 ways to configure a default region, either:

  • Set in the the AWS CLI Configuration file. On Linux and MacOS this file is located in ~/.aws/config. You can use the aws configure command to set the region.
  • Set the AWS_REGION environment variable to the desired default region. An example is export AWS_REGION=us-west-2. Unless you set the environment variable in your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc, you will need to set this every time you open a new terminal.

Validate Install

To validate installation you can run the eksdemo version command and confirm you are running the latest version. The output will be similar to below:

» eksdemo version
eksdemo version info: cmd.Version{Version:"0.8.0", Date:"2023-06-03T17:45:05Z", Commit:"bac7ddb"}

To validate the AWS region is set, you can run eksdemo get cluster which will list running EKS clusters in the default region. If you don’t have any EKS clusters in the region, you will get the response: No resources found.

» eksdemo get cluster
|    Age     | Status | Cluster | Version | Platform | Endpoint |
| 3 weeks    | ACTIVE | green   |    1.26 | eks.5    | Public   |
| 20 minutes | ACTIVE | *blue   |    1.29 | eks.1    | Public   |
* Indicates current context in local kubeconfig


The Basics tutorials provide detailed knowledge on how eksdemo works. It's recommended you review the Basics tutorials before proceeding to Advanced tutorial as they assume this knowlege.



Support & Feedback

This project is maintained by AWS Solution Architects. It is not part of an AWS service and support is provided best-effort by the maintainers. To post feedback, submit feature ideas, or report bugs, please use the Issues section of this repo. If you are interested in contributing, please see the Contribution guide.


See CONTRIBUTING for more information.


This library is licensed under the MIT-0 License. See the LICENSE file.