How to connect to your EKS cluster with kubectl

How to connect to your EKS cluster using kubectl

Qovery makes it easy to create an EKS cluster on your AWS account and manage the deployment of applications on it. But you still might want to execute operations on it via kubectl like you would on any other Kubernetes cluster.


This tutorial will show you how to access a Qovery managed cluster on AWS with kubectl and shell into a running application container.

  1. Install and configure your toolchain


    To interact with your cluster, you will need kubectl installed.


    The AWS CLI must be installed and configured on your machine.

  2. Add your IAM user to the Admin group

    Since kubectl will use IAM to authenticate, you need to add your IAM user (the one the AWS CLI is authenticated with) to the Admins group you created when setting up Qovery.

    AWS console - add admin user

  3. Download the Kubeconfig file

    To connect to your EKS cluster you will need to set a context to kubectl. This is done with a Kubeconfig file.

    When installing a new cluster, Qovery stores it in an S3 bucket on your account. You can retrieve the Kubeconfig of your cluster directly from the Qovery interface by following the procedure "Get your cluster kubeconfig file" within this section.

  4. Set the context for kubectl

    To set the context for kubectl, run the following command:

    export KUBECONFIG=<path to the kubeconfig file you downloaded>

    You can check that it works with a kubectl command. For example:

    kubectl get nodes

    You are good to go if you see an output like the following:

    zb81b1cd4-ub667 Ready <none> 14d v1.19.15
    zb81b1cd4-ujkm8 Ready <none> 24d v1.19.15
    zb81b1cd4-ujkmc Ready <none> 24d v1.19.15
  5. Get your application namespace

    When you deploy an application, Qovery will create a separate namespace for each environment on your Kubernetes cluster.

    You can get the list of the namespaces on your cluster using the following command:

    kubectl get namespaces

    You will get an output similar to this one:

    cert-manager Active 44d
    default Active 44d
    kube-node-lease Active 44d
    kube-public Active 44d
    kube-system Active 44d
    logging Active 44d
    nginx-ingress Active 44d
    prometheus Active 44d
    qovery Active 44d
    z0121531e-zb2daee81 Active 35d
    z016bd165-zeb51c37e Active 31d

    The Qovery application namespaces are the ones begining with z.

    In case you have several environments running, to identify the right one:

    • Go to the Qovery console
    • Go to the right environment

    In your URL bar you'll have something like:<organisation id>/projects/<project id>/environments/<environment id>/applications

    Qovery console - environment

    The environment namespace is defined the following way: z<project short ID>-z<environment short ID>.

    The short ID is the first section of the ID. For example, given the following ID: e0aabc0d-99cb-4867-ad39-332d6162c32c, the short ID will be e0aabc0d.

    The following environment URL:<organisation ID>/projects/e0aabc0d-99cb-4867-ad39-332d6162c32c/environments/b91d2eb8-a850-49b5-8626-ade7afc4a28b/applications would translate to the following namespace: ze0aabc0d-zb91d2eb8.

  6. Identify the right application pod(s)

    To list the pods running in your environment namespace, run the following command:

    kubectl get pods --namespace <your namespace>

    The output should be similar to this one:

    app-z2fc29b74-5db6745975-nrw8v 1/1 Running 0 29h
    app-zabbcf976-74f969f848-kzp87 1/1 Running 0 29h

    The same principle goes for finding the right application pod. Go to the application page on the Qovery console.

    You'll get an URL looking like this:<organisation ID>/projects/<project ID>/environments/<environment ID>/applications/abbcf976-27a1-4531-9cdd-e4d15d7b2c27/summary

    Get the short ID of our application, in our case abbcf976 which means the application pod name will start with app-zabbcf976.

    In case you setup your app to run multiple replicas, it is possible that you see several pods begining with the same string. You can pick any of them.

    In our case the right pod corresponding to our application would be app-zabbcf976-74f969f848-kzp87.

  7. Shell into the container

    To get a shell access to the container running inside the application pod, all you have to do is:

    kubectl exec -ti --namespace <your namespace> <your pod name> -- sh

    This will open a shell inside of your application container. You can now execute any command you need.


Qovery helps you manage your Kubernetes cluster and deploy your applications on it while still giving you the power of a full access to your cluster.