Installing Calico on Kubernetes

Calico can be installed on a Kubernetes cluster in a number of configurations. This document gives an overview of the most popular approaches, and provides links to each for more detailed information.


Calico can run on any Kubernetes cluster which meets the following criteria.

  • The kubelet must be configured to use CNI network plugins (e.g --network-plugin=cni).
  • The kube-proxy must be started in iptables proxy mode. This is the default as of Kubernetes v1.2.0.
  • The kube-proxy must be started without the --masquerade-all flag, which conflicts with Calico policy.
  • The Kubernetes NetworkPolicy API requires at least Kubernetes version v1.3.0.
  • When RBAC is enabled, the proper accounts, roles, and bindings must be defined and utilized by the Calico components. See the cluster roles and bindings used in the hosted approach for an example.

Calico Hosted Install

Installs the Calico components as a DaemonSet entirely using Kubernetes manifests through a single kubectl command. This method is supported for Kubernetes versions >= v1.4.0.

Custom Installation

In addition to the hosted approach above, the Calico components can also be installed using your own orchestration mechanisms (e.g ansible, chef, bash, etc)

Follow the integration guide if you’re using a Kubernetes version < v1.4.0, or if you would like to integrate Calico into your own installation or deployment scripts.

Third Party Integrations

A number of popular Kubernetes installers use Calico to provide networking and/or network policy. Here are a few, listed alphabetically.