Using calicoctl in Kubernetes

There are two ways to run calicoctl in Kubernetes:

  • As a standalone binary
  • As a Kubernetes pod

a. Running calicoctl as a standalone binary

You can install calicoctl by downloading the appropriate release to any machine with access to your etcd cluster by setting ETCD_ENDPOINTS. For example:

ETCD_ENDPOINTS=http://etcd:2379 calicoctl get profile

Note: In kubeadm deployments, Calico is not configured to use the etcd run by kubeadm on the Kubernetes master. Instead, it launches its own instance of etcd as a pod, available at Ensure you are connecting to the correct etcd or you will not see any of the expected data.

b. Running calicoctl as a Kubernetes Pod

The calico/ctl docker image can be deployed as a pod and used to run calicoctl commands. This pod will need to be configured for the Kubernetes environment it is in.

Note: When calicoctl is run as a pod, the calicoctl node ... suite of commands is not available.

For the etcd backend (e.g. kubeadm):

kubectl apply -f

For Kubernetes Datastore Backend:

kubectl apply -f

You can then run calicoctl commands through the Pod using kubectl:

$ kubectl exec -ti -n kube-system calicoctl -- /calicoctl get profiles -o wide
NAME                 TAGS
k8s_ns.default       k8s_ns.default
k8s_ns.kube-system   k8s_ns.kube-system

See the calicoctl reference guide for more information.