Configuring calicoctl - etcdv2 datastore

This document covers the configuration options for calicoctl when using an etcdv2 datastore.

There are two ways to configure calicoctl with your etcdv2 cluster details: configuration file or environment variables.

Configuration File

By default calicoctl looks for a configuration file at /etc/calico/calicoctl.cfg.

The file location may be overridden using the --config option on commands that required datastore access.

The config file is a yaml or json document in the following format:

apiVersion: v1
kind: calicoApiConfig
  datastoreType: "etcdv2"
  etcdEndpoints: "http://etcd1:2379,http://etcd2:2379"

See table below for details on the etcdv2 specific fields that may be included in the spec section.

If the file exists, then it must be valid and readable by calicoctl. If the file does not exist, calicoctl will read access details from the environment variables.

Environment variables

If you are not using a config file to specify your access information, calicoctl will check a particular set of environment variables.

See the table below for details on the etcdv2 specific environment variables.

Note that if neither file nor environment variables are set, calicoctl defaults to using etcdv2 with a single endpoint of

Complete list of etcdv2 connection configuration

Spec field Environment Description Examples
datastoreType DATASTORE_TYPE Indicates the datastore to use (optional, defaults to etcdv2) etcdv2
etcdEndpoints ETCD_ENDPOINTS A comma separated list of etcd endpoints (optional, defaults to http://etcd1:2379
etcdUsername ETCD_USERNAME Username for RBAC (optional) “user”
etcdPassword ETCD_PASSWORD Password for the given username (optional) “password”
etcdKeyFile ETCD_KEY_FILE Path to the etcd key file (optional) /etc/calico/key.pem
etcdCertFile ETCD_CERT_FILE Path to the etcd client cert (optional) /etc/calico/cert.pem
etcdCACertFile ETCD_CA_CERT_FILE Path to the etcd CA file (optional) /etc/calico/ca.pem


  1. If you are running with TLS enabled, ensure your endpoint addresses use https
  2. When specifying through environment variables, the DATASTORE_TYPE environment is not required for etcdv2.
  3. All environment variables may also be prefixed with “CALICO_”, for example “CALICO_DATASTORE_TYPE” and “CALICO_END_ENDPOINTS” etc. may also be used. This is useful if the non-prefixed names clash with existing environment variables defined on your system
  4. Previous versions of calicoctl supported ETCD_SCHEME and ETC_AUTHORITY environment variables as a mechanism for specifying the etcd endpoints. These variables are deprecated in favor of the ETCD_ENDPOINTS list.


Example configuration file

apiVersion: v1
kind: calicoApiConfig
  etcdEndpoints: http://etcd1:2379,http://etcd2:2379,http://etcd3:2379
  etcdKeyFile: /etc/calico/key.pem
  etcdCertFile: /etc/calico/cert.pem
  etcdCACertFile: /etc/calico/ca.pem

Example using environment variables

ETCD_ENDPOINTS=http://myhost1:2379 calicoctl get bgppeers

Example using IPv6

Create a single node etcd cluster listening on IPv6 localhost [::1].

etcd --listen-client-urls=http://[::1]:2379 --advertise-client-urls=http://[::1]:2379

Use the etcd IPv6 cluster:

ETCD_ENDPOINTS=http://[::1]:2379 calicoctl get bgppeers

Example using mixed IPv4/IPv6

Create a single node etcd cluster listening on IPv4 and IPv6 localhost [::1].

etcd --listen-client-urls=http://[::1]:2379, --advertise-client-urls=http://[::1]:2379

Use the IPv6 endpoint:

ETCD_ENDPOINTS=http://[::1]:2379 calicoctl get bgppeers

Use the IPv4 endpoint:

ETCD_ENDPOINTS= calicoctl get bgppeers


It is important to note that not only will calicoctl will use the specified keys directly on the host to access etcd, it will also pass on these environment variables and volume mount the keys into the started calico-node container.

Therefore, configuring calico-node for etcd is easily accomplished by running calicoctl node run with the parameters set correctly.