Skip to content

ArgoCD on Amazon EKS

This tutorial guides you through deploying an Amazon EKS cluster with addons configured via ArgoCD, employing the GitOps Bridge Pattern.

The GitOps Bridge Pattern enables Kubernetes administrators to utilize Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and GitOps tools for deploying Kubernetes Addons and Workloads. Addons often depend on Cloud resources that are external to the cluster. The configuration metadata for these external resources is required by the Addons' Helm charts. While IaC is used to create these cloud resources, it is not used to install the Helm charts. Instead, the IaC tool stores this metadata either within GitOps resources in the cluster or in a Git repository. The GitOps tool then extracts these metadata values and passes them to the Helm chart during the Addon installation process. This mechanism forms the bridge between IaC and GitOps, hence the term "GitOps Bridge."

Additional examples available on the GitOps Bridge Pattern:


Before you begin, make sure you have the following command line tools installed:

  • git
  • terraform
  • kubectl
  • argocd

(Optional) Fork the GitOps git repositories

See the appendix section Fork GitOps Repositories for more info on the terraform variables to override.

Deploy the EKS Cluster

Initialize Terraform and deploy the EKS cluster:

terraform init
terraform apply -target="module.vpc" -auto-approve
terraform apply -target="module.eks" -auto-approve
terraform apply -auto-approve

To retrieve kubectl config, execute the terraform output command:

terraform output -raw configure_kubectl

The expected output will have two lines you run in your terminal

export KUBECONFIG="/tmp/getting-started-gitops"
aws eks --region us-west-2 update-kubeconfig --name getting-started-gitops

The first line sets the KUBECONFIG environment variable to a temporary file that includes the cluster name. The second line uses the aws CLI to populate that temporary file with the kubectl configuration. This approach offers the advantage of not altering your existing kubectl context, allowing you to work in other terminal windows without interference.

Terraform will add GitOps Bridge Metadata to the ArgoCD secret. The annotations contain metadata for the addons' Helm charts and ArgoCD ApplicationSets.

kubectl get secret -n argocd -l -o json | jq '.items[0].metadata.annotations'

The output looks like the following:

  "addons_repo_basepath": "argocd/",
  "addons_repo_path": "bootstrap/control-plane/addons",
  "addons_repo_revision": "main",
  "addons_repo_url": "",
  "aws_account_id": "0123456789",
  "aws_cluster_name": "getting-started-gitops",
  "aws_load_balancer_controller_iam_role_arn": "arn:aws:iam::0123456789:role/alb-controller",
  "aws_load_balancer_controller_namespace": "kube-system",
  "aws_load_balancer_controller_service_account": "aws-load-balancer-controller-sa",
  "aws_region": "us-west-2",
  "aws_vpc_id": "vpc-001d3f00151bbb731",
  "cluster_name": "in-cluster",
  "environment": "dev",
  "workload_repo_basepath": "patterns/gitops/",
  "workload_repo_path": "getting-started-argocd/k8s",
  "workload_repo_revision": "main",
  "workload_repo_url": ""

The labels offer a straightforward way to enable or disable an addon in ArgoCD for the cluster.

kubectl get secret -n argocd -l -o json | jq '.items[0].metadata.labels' | grep -v false | jq .

The output looks like the following:

  "": "cluster",
  "aws_cluster_name": "getting-started-gitops",
  "cluster_name": "in-cluster",
  "enable_argocd": "true",
  "enable_aws_load_balancer_controller": "true",
  "enable_metrics_server": "true",
  "environment": "dev",
  "kubernetes_version": "1.28"

Deploy the Addons

Bootstrap the addons using ArgoCD:

kubectl apply -f bootstrap/addons.yaml

Monitor GitOps Progress for Addons

Wait until all the ArgoCD applications' HEALTH STATUS is Healthy. Use Ctrl+C or Cmd+C to exit the watch command. ArgoCD Applications can take a couple of minutes in order to achieve the Healthy status.

kubectl get applications -n argocd -w

The expected output should look like the following:

NAME                                            SYNC STATUS   HEALTH STATUS
addon-in-cluster-argo-cd                        Synced        Healthy
addon-in-cluster-aws-load-balancer-controller   Synced        Healthy
addon-in-cluster-metrics-server                 Synced        Healthy
cluster-addons                                  Synced        Healthy

Verify the Addons

Verify that the addons are ready:

kubectl get deployment -n kube-system \
  aws-load-balancer-controller \
kubectl get deploy -n argocd \
  argo-cd-argocd-applicationset-controller \
  argo-cd-argocd-repo-server \

The expected output should look like the following:

NAME                                       READY   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
aws-load-balancer-controller               2/2     2            2           7m21s
metrics-server                             1/1     1            1           7m41s
argo-cd-argocd-applicationset-controller   1/1     1            1           109m
argo-cd-argocd-repo-server                 1/1     1            1           109m
argo-cd-argocd-server                      1/1     1            1           109m

(Optional) Access ArgoCD

Access to the ArgoCD's UI is completely optional, if you want to do it, run the commands shown in the Terraform output as the example below:

terraform output -raw access_argocd

The expected output should contain the kubectl config followed by kubectl command to retrieve the URL, username, password to login into ArgoCD UI or CLI.

echo "ArgoCD Username: admin"
echo "ArgoCD Password: $(kubectl get secrets argocd-initial-admin-secret -n argocd --template="{{index .data.password | base64decode}}")"
echo "ArgoCD URL: https://$(kubectl get svc -n argocd argo-cd-argocd-server -o jsonpath='{.status.loadBalancer.ingress[0].hostname}')"

Deploy the Workloads

Deploy a sample application located in k8s/game-2048.yaml using ArgoCD:

kubectl apply -f bootstrap/workloads.yaml

Monitor GitOps Progress for Workloads

Wait until all the ArgoCD applications' HEALTH STATUS is Healthy. Use Ctrl+C or Cmd+C to exit the watch command. ArgoCD Applications can take a couple of minutes in order to achieve the Healthy status.

watch kubectl get -n argocd applications workloads

The expected output should look like the following:

workloads   Synced        Healthy

Verify the Application

Verify that the application configuration is present and the pod is running:

kubectl get -n game-2048 deployments,service,ep,ingress

The expected output should look like the following:

NAME                        READY   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
deployment.apps/game-2048   1/1     1            1           7h59m

NAME                TYPE        CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)   AGE
service/game-2048   ClusterIP   <none>        80/TCP    7h59m

NAME                  ENDPOINTS       AGE
endpoints/game-2048   7h59m

NAME                CLASS   HOSTS   ADDRESS                              PORTS   AGE
ingress/game-2048   alb     *       k8s-<>   80      7h59m

AWS Load Balancer can take a couple of minutes in order to be created.

Run the following command and wait until and event for ingress game-2048 contains Successfully reconciled. Use Ctrl+C or Cmd+Cto exit the watch command.

kubectl events -n game-2048 --for ingress/game-2048 --watch

The expected output should look like the following:

LAST SEEN   TYPE     REASON                   OBJECT              MESSAGE
11m         Normal   SuccessfullyReconciled   Ingress/game-2048   Successfully reconciled

Access the Application using AWS Load Balancer

Verify the application endpoint health using wget:

kubectl exec -n game-2048 deploy/game-2048 -- \
wget -S --spider $(kubectl get -n game-2048 ingress game-2048 -o jsonpath='{.status.loadBalancer.ingress[0].hostname}')

The expected output should look like the following:

  HTTP/1.1 200 OK
  Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2023 22:44:57 GMT
  Content-Type: text/html
  Content-Length: 3988

A success response should contain HTTP/1.1 200 OK.

Retrieve the ingress URL to access the application in your local web browser.

echo "Application URL: http://$(kubectl get -n game-2048 ingress game-2048 -o jsonpath='{.status.loadBalancer.ingress[0].hostname}')"

Container Metrics

Check the application's CPU and memory metrics:

kubectl top pods -n game-2048

The expected output should look like the following:

NAME                         CPU(cores)   MEMORY(bytes)
game-2048-66fb78b995-h1bjv   1m           2Mi

Check the CPU and memory metrics for all pods for Addons and Workloads:

kubectl top pods -A

The expected output should look like the following:

NAMESPACE     NAME                                                        CPU(cores)   MEMORY(bytes)
argocd        argo-cd-argocd-application-controller-0                     43m          138Mi
argocd        argo-cd-argocd-applicationset-controller-5db688844c-79skp   1m           25Mi
argocd        argo-cd-argocd-dex-server-cd48d7bc-x7flf                    1m           16Mi
argocd        argo-cd-argocd-notifications-controller-7d7ccc6b9d-dg9r6    1m           17Mi
argocd        argo-cd-argocd-redis-7f89c69877-6m2cj                       2m           3Mi
argocd        argo-cd-argocd-repo-server-644b9b5668-m9ddg                 8m           62Mi
argocd        argo-cd-argocd-server-57cbbd6f94-lp4wx                      2m           26Mi
game-2048     game-2048-66fb78b995-h1bjv                                  1m           2Mi
kube-system   aws-load-balancer-controller-8488df87c-4nxv6                2m           26Mi
kube-system   aws-load-balancer-controller-8488df87c-zs4p6                1m           19Mi
kube-system   aws-node-ck6vq                                              3m           57Mi
kube-system   aws-node-fv2sg                                              3m           56Mi
kube-system   coredns-59754897cf-5r2xp                                    1m           13Mi
kube-system   coredns-59754897cf-fn7jb                                    1m           13Mi
kube-system   kube-proxy-lz2dc                                            1m           11Mi
kube-system   kube-proxy-pd2lm                                            1m           12Mi
kube-system   metrics-server-5b76987ff-5g1sv                              4m           17Mi

Destroy the EKS Cluster

To tear down all the resources and the EKS cluster, run the following command:



Fork GitOps Repositories

To modify the values.yaml file for addons or the workload manifest files (.ie yaml), you'll need to fork two repositories: aws-samples/eks-blueprints-add-ons for addons and for workloads located in this pattern directory.

After forking, update the following environment variables to point to your forks, replacing the default values.

export TF_VAR_gitops_addons_org=
export TF_VAR_gitops_addons_repo=eks-blueprints-add-ons
export TF_VAR_gitops_addons_revision=main

export TF_VAR_gitops_workload_org=
export TF_VAR_gitops_workload_repo=terraform-aws-eks-blueprints
export TF_VAR_gitops_workload_revision=main