Troubleshooting AWS EKS kubectl with heptio-authenticator

Revision history
Tags: aws kubernetes


Was setting up my first EKS cluster in AWS when I followed the Getting started -guides to get it up and running.

NOTE: Since I followed the guide pretty closely, this post is mostly for troubleshooting, and not a complete guide of any kind.

Installing heptio authenticator

I installed this using go get package manager. As I already had Go installed it proved to be easier than manually downloading the compiled binary. Followed the [README of the GitHub repository][heptio-repo]

$ go get -u

And make sure that $GOPATH/bin is in your executable path. Output the current default GOPATH

$ go env GOPATH

And verify that the path is part of your PATH environment variable

$ printenv PATH

For detailed instructions, refer to the Configure kubectl for Amazon EKS guide


kubectl cluster-info unauthorized

Getting an error when trying to get cluster information

$ kubectl cluster-info
Kubernetes master is running at

To further debug and diagnose cluster problems, use 'kubectl cluster-info dump'.
error: You must be logged in to the server (Unauthorized)

Another hint came along when I tried to get a list available EKS clusters through the aws CLI

$ aws eks list-clusters

Could not connect to the endpoint URL: ""

Got it solved by changing the default region to us-east-1 (where the cluster is located). It was initially set to eu-west-1, a region of which does not even support EKS yet, hence the 404-like error message.

$ aws configure
AWS Access Key ID [****************x6x7]:
AWS Secret Access Key [****************xx42]:
Default region name [eu-west-1]: us-east-1
Default output format [None]

heptio-authenticator-aws not found in path

Attempting to use kubectl with the cluster yields errors about the missing authenticator

$ kubectl cluster-info dump
Unable to connect to the server: getting token: exec: exec: "heptio-authenticator-aws": executable file not found in $PATH

Still error unauthorized

Make sure that the command in the kubectl configuration file contains the actual cluster name as it is output by the AWS CLI

$ aws eks list-clusters
    "clusters": [

Verify this name towards the command arguments passed to the heptio-authenticator-aws

$ grep -C 4 heptio ~/.kube/config
- name: my-test-cluster-admin-user
      command: heptio-authenticator-aws
      - token
      - -i
      - my-test-cluster


If you have any comments or feedback, please send me an e-mail. (stig at stigok dotcom).

Did you find any typos, incorrect information, or have something to add? Then please propose a change to this post.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.