Amazon EKS control plane logging - Amazon EKS
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Amazon EKS control plane logging

Amazon EKS control plane logging provides audit and diagnostic logs directly from the Amazon EKS control plane to CloudWatch Logs in your account. These logs make it easy for you to secure and run your clusters. You can select the exact log types you need, and logs are sent as log streams to a group for each Amazon EKS cluster in CloudWatch. For more information, see Amazon CloudWatch logging.

You can start using Amazon EKS control plane logging by choosing which log types you want to enable for each new or existing Amazon EKS cluster. You can enable or disable each log type on a per-cluster basis using the Amazon Web Services Management Console, Amazon CLI (version 1.16.139 or higher), or through the Amazon EKS API. When enabled, logs are automatically sent from the Amazon EKS cluster to CloudWatch Logs in the same account.

When you use Amazon EKS control plane logging, you're charged standard Amazon EKS pricing for each cluster that you run. You are charged the standard CloudWatch Logs data ingestion and storage costs for any logs sent to CloudWatch Logs from your clusters. You are also charged for any Amazon resources, such as Amazon EC2 instances or Amazon EBS volumes, that you provision as part of your cluster.

The following cluster control plane log types are available. Each log type corresponds to a component of the Kubernetes control plane. To learn more about these components, see Kubernetes Components in the Kubernetes documentation.

API server (api)

Your cluster's API server is the control plane component that exposes the Kubernetes API. If you enable API server logs when you launch the cluster, or shortly thereafter, the logs include API server flags that were used to start the API server. For more information, see kube-apiserver and the audit policy in the Kubernetes documentation.

Audit (audit)

Kubernetes audit logs provide a record of the individual users, administrators, or system components that have affected your cluster. For more information, see Auditing in the Kubernetes documentation.

Authenticator (authenticator)

Authenticator logs are unique to Amazon EKS. These logs represent the control plane component that Amazon EKS uses for Kubernetes Role Based Access Control (RBAC) authentication using IAM credentials. For more information, see Cluster management.

Controller manager (controllerManager)

The controller manager manages the core control loops that are shipped with Kubernetes. For more information, see kube-controller-manager in the Kubernetes documentation.

Scheduler (scheduler)

The scheduler component manages when and where to run Pods in your cluster. For more information, see kube-scheduler in the Kubernetes documentation.

Enabling and disabling control plane logs

By default, cluster control plane logs aren't sent to CloudWatch Logs. You must enable each log type individually to send logs for your cluster. CloudWatch Logs ingestion, archive storage, and data scanning rates apply to enabled control plane logs. For more information, see CloudWatch pricing.

To update the control plane logging configuration, Amazon EKS requires up to five available IP addresses in each subnet. When you enable a log type, the logs are sent with a log verbosity level of 2.

Amazon Web Services Management Console
To enable or disable control plane logs with the Amazon Web Services Management Console
  1. Open the Amazon EKS console at

  2. Choose the name of the cluster to display your cluster information.

  3. Choose the Logging tab.

  4. Choose Manage logging.

  5. For each individual log type, choose whether the log type should be Enabled or Disabled. By default, each log type is Disabled.

  6. Choose Save changes to finish.

Amazon CLI
To enable or disable control plane logs with the Amazon CLI
  1. Check your Amazon CLI version with the following command.

    aws --version

    If your Amazon CLI version is earlier than 1.16.139, you must first update to the latest version. To install or upgrade the Amazon CLI, see Installing the Amazon Command Line Interface in the Amazon Command Line Interface User Guide.

  2. Update your cluster's control plane log export configuration with the following Amazon CLI command. Replace my-cluster with your cluster name and specify your desired endpoint access values.


    The following command sends all available log types to CloudWatch Logs.

    aws eks update-cluster-config \ --region region-code \ --name my-cluster \ --logging '{"clusterLogging":[{"types":["api","audit","authenticator","controllerManager","scheduler"],"enabled":true}]}'

    An example output is as follows.

    { "update": { "id": "883405c8-65c6-4758-8cee-2a7c1340a6d9", "status": "InProgress", "type": "LoggingUpdate", "params": [ { "type": "ClusterLogging", "value": "{\"clusterLogging\":[{\"types\":[\"api\",\"audit\",\"authenticator\",\"controllerManager\",\"scheduler\"],\"enabled\":true}]}" } ], "createdAt": 1553271814.684, "errors": [] } }
  3. Monitor the status of your log configuration update with the following command, using the cluster name and the update ID that were returned by the previous command. Your update is complete when the status appears as Successful.

    aws eks describe-update \ --region region-code\ --name my-cluster \ --update-id 883405c8-65c6-4758-8cee-2a7c1340a6d9

    An example output is as follows.

    { "update": { "id": "883405c8-65c6-4758-8cee-2a7c1340a6d9", "status": "Successful", "type": "LoggingUpdate", "params": [ { "type": "ClusterLogging", "value": "{\"clusterLogging\":[{\"types\":[\"api\",\"audit\",\"authenticator\",\"controllerManager\",\"scheduler\"],\"enabled\":true}]}" } ], "createdAt": 1553271814.684, "errors": [] } }

Viewing cluster control plane logs

After you have enabled any of the control plane log types for your Amazon EKS cluster, you can view them on the CloudWatch console.

To learn more about viewing, analyzing, and managing logs in CloudWatch, see the Amazon CloudWatch Logs User Guide.

To view your cluster control plane logs on the CloudWatch console
  1. Open the CloudWatch console. The link opens the console and displays your current available log groups and filters them with the /aws/eks prefix.

  2. Choose the cluster that you want to view logs for. The log group name format is /aws/eks/my-cluster/cluster.

  3. Choose the log stream to view. The following list describes the log stream name format for each log type.


    As log stream data grows, the log stream names are rotated. When multiple log streams exist for a particular log type, you can view the latest log stream by looking for the log stream name with the latest Last event time.

    • Kubernetes API server component logs (api)kube-apiserver-1234567890abcdef01234567890abcde

    • Audit (audit)kube-apiserver-audit-1234567890abcdef01234567890abcde

    • Authenticator (authenticator)authenticator-1234567890abcdef01234567890abcde

    • Controller manager (controllerManager)kube-controller-manager-1234567890abcdef01234567890abcde

    • Scheduler (scheduler)kube-scheduler-1234567890abcdef01234567890abcde

  4. Look through the events of the log stream.

    For example, you should see the initial API server flags for the cluster when viewing the top of kube-apiserver-1234567890abcdef01234567890abcde.


    If you don't see the API server logs at the beginning of the log stream, then it is likely that the API server log file was rotated on the server before you enabled API server logging on the server. Any log files that are rotated before API server logging is enabled can't be exported to CloudWatch.

    However, you can create a new cluster with the same Kubernetes version and enable the API server logging when you create the cluster. Clusters with the same platform version have the same flags enabled, so your flags should match the new cluster's flags. When you finish viewing the flags for the new cluster in CloudWatch, you can delete the new cluster.