Configure calicoctl to connect to the Kubernetes API datastore


Default configuration

By default, calicoctl will attempt to read from the Kubernetes API using the default kubeconfig located at $(HOME)/.kube/config.

If the default kubeconfig does not exist, or you would like to specify alternative API access information, you can do so using the following configuration options.

Complete list of Kubernetes API connection configuration

Configuration file option Environment variable Description Schema
datastoreType DATASTORE_TYPE Indicates the datastore to use. [Default: kubernetes] kubernetes, etcdv3
kubeconfig KUBECONFIG When using the Kubernetes datastore, the location of a kubeconfig file to use, e.g. /path/to/kube/config. string
k8sAPIEndpoint K8S_API_ENDPOINT Location of the Kubernetes API. Not required if using kubeconfig. [Default: https://kubernetes-api:443] string
k8sCertFile K8S_CERT_FILE Location of a client certificate for accessing the Kubernetes API, e.g., /path/to/cert. string
k8sKeyFile K8S_KEY_FILE Location of a client key for accessing the Kubernetes API, e.g., /path/to/key. string
k8sCAFile K8S_CA_FILE Location of a CA for accessing the Kubernetes API, e.g., /path/to/ca. string
k8sToken   Token to be used for accessing the Kubernetes API. string

Note: All environment variables may also be prefixed with "CALICO_", for example "CALICO_DATASTORE_TYPE" and "CALICO_KUBECONFIG" etc. may be used. This is useful if the non-prefixed names clash with existing environment variables defined on your system.


Kubernetes command line

DATASTORE_TYPE=kubernetes KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/config calicoctl get nodes

Example configuration file

kind: CalicoAPIConfig
  datastoreType: "kubernetes"
  kubeconfig: "/path/to/.kube/config"

Example using environment variables

export DATASTORE_TYPE=kubernetes
export KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/config
calicoctl get workloadendpoints

And using CALICO_ prefixed names:

export CALICO_DATASTORE_TYPE=kubernetes
export CALICO_KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/config
calicoctl get workloadendpoints

With multiple kubeconfig files:

export DATASTORE_TYPE=kubernetes
export KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/main:~/.kube/auxy
calicoctl get --context main workloadendpoints
calicoctl get --context auxy workloadendpoints

Checking the configuration

Here is a simple command to check that the installation and configuration is correct.

calicoctl get nodes

A correct setup will yield a list of the nodes that have registered. If an empty list is returned you are either pointed at the wrong datastore or no nodes have registered. If an error is returned then attempt to correct the issue then try again.

Next steps

Now you are ready to read and configure most aspects of Calico. You can find the full list of commands in the Command Reference.

The full list of resources that can be managed, including a description of each, can be found in the Resource Definitions.