Configuring calicoctl to connect to an etcd datastore

Complete list of etcd configuration options

Configuration file option Environment variable Description Schema
datastoreType DATASTORE_TYPE Indicates the datastore to use. If unspecified, defaults to etcdv3. (optional) kubernetes, etcdv3
etcdEndpoints ETCD_ENDPOINTS A comma-separated list of etcd endpoints. Example:, (required) string
etcdUsername ETCD_USERNAME User name for RBAC. Example: user (optional) string
etcdPassword ETCD_PASSWORD Password for the given user name. Example: password (optional) string
etcdKeyFile ETCD_KEY_FILE Path to the file containing the private key matching the calicoctl client certificate. Enables calicoctl to participate in mutual TLS authentication and identify itself to the etcd server. Example: /etc/calicoctl/key.pem (optional) string
etcdCertFile ETCD_CERT_FILE Path to the file containing the client certificate issued to calicoctl. Enables calicoctl to participate in mutual TLS authentication and identify itself to the etcd server. Example: /etc/calicoctl/cert.pem (optional) string
etcdCACertFile ETCD_CA_CERT_FILE Path to the file containing the root certificate of the certificate authority (CA) that issued the etcd server certificate. Configures calicoctl to trust the CA that signed the root certificate. The file may contain multiple root certificates, causing calicoctl to trust each of the CAs included. Example: /etc/calicoctl/ca.pem (optional) string


  • If you are running with TLS enabled, ensure your endpoint addresses use HTTPS.
  • When specifying through environment variables, the DATASTORE_TYPE environment is not required for etcdv3.
  • All environment variables may also be prefixed with CALICO_, for example CALICO_DATASTORE_TYPE and CALICO_ETCD_ENDPOINTS etc. may also be used. This is useful if the non-prefixed names clash with existing environment variables defined on your system
  • Previous versions of calicoctl supported ETCD_SCHEME and ETC_AUTHORITY environment variables as a mechanism for specifying the etcd endpoints. These variables are no longer supported. Use ETCD_ENDPOINTS instead.
  • 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.


Example configuration file

kind: CalicoAPIConfig
  etcdEndpoints: https://etcd1:2379,https://etcd2:2379,https://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.

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.