About Calico for Windows

Because the Kubernetes and Calico control components do not run on Windows yet, a hybrid Linux/Windows cluster is required. Calico for Windows standard installation is distributed as a .zip archive.

What’s supported in this release

✓ Install: Manifest install for Kubernetes clusters

✓ Platforms: Kubernetes, EKS

✓ Networking: Calico CNI with VXLAN, or other supported CNI


CNI and networking options

The following table summarizes the networking options and considerations.

Networking Components Value/Content
Calico VXLAN Windows CNI plugin:

Linux: Calico for policy and networking
Calico’s VXLAN overlay, supports:

- VXLAN overlay, which can traverse most networks.
- Auto-configured node-to-node routing
- Calico IPAM and IP aggregation (with some limitations)
- Both etcd and Kubernetes API datastore drivers
Note: VXLAN runs on UDP port 4789 (this is the only port supported by Windows), remember to open that port between your Calico hosts in any firewalls / security groups.
Cloud provider Windows CNI plugin: win-bridge.exe

Linux: Calico policy-only
A useful fallback, particularly if you have a Kubernetes cloud provider that automatically installs inter-host routes. Calico has been tested with the standard win-bridge.exe CNI plugin so it should work with any networking provider that ultimately uses win-bridge.exe to network the pod (such as the Azure CNI plugin and cloud provider).


Whether you use etcd or Kubernetes datastore (kdd), the datastore for the Windows node/Kubernetes cluster must be the same as the datastore for the Linux control node. (You cannot mix datastores in a Calico for Windows implementation.)

Kubernetes version

  • Versions 1.18, 1.17, 1.16

Earlier versions may work, but we do not actively test Calico for Windows against them, and they may have known issues and incompatibilities.

Linux platform

  • At least one Linux Kubernetes worker node to run Calico’s cluster-wide components that meets Linux system requirements, and is installed with Calico v3.12.0+

Windows platform

  • Windows versions:
    • Windows Server 1903 (AKA 19H1) build 18317 or greater
    • Windows Server 2019 / 1809 (RS5) or greater, with some limitations
  • Powershell for the installer
  • Windows nodes support only a single IP pool type (so, if using a VXLAN pool, you should only use VXLAN throughout the cluster).
  • TLS v1.2 enabled. For example:
PS C:\> [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = `

Next steps

Install Calico for Windows