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Version: 3.28 (latest)

Install calicoctl

Big picture

This guide helps you install the calicoctl command line tool to manage Calico resources and perform administrative functions.

Value

The calicoctl command line tool is required to use many of Calico's features. It is used to manage Calico policies and configuration, as well as view detailed cluster status.

Concepts

API groups

All Kubernetes resources belong to an API group. The API group is indicated by the resource's apiVersion. For example, Calico uses resources in the projectcalico.org/v3 API group for configuration, and the operator uses resources in the operator.tigera.io/v1 API group.

You can read more about API groups in the Kubernetes documentation.

calicoctl and kubectl

To manage Calico APIs in the projectcalico.org/v3 API group, you should use calicoctl. This is because calicoctl provides important validation and defaulting for these resources that is not available in kubectl. However, kubectl should still be used to manage other Kubernetes resources.

note

If you would like to use kubectl to manage projectcalico.org/v3 API resources, you can use the Calico API server.

caution

Never modify resources in the crd.projectcalico.org API group directly. These are internal data representations and modifying them directly may result in unexpected behavior. In addition to resource management, calicoctl also enables other Calico administrative tasks such as viewing IP pool utilization and BGP status.

Datastore

Calico objects are stored in one of two datastores, either etcd or Kubernetes. The choice of datastore is determined at the time Calico is installed. Typically for Kubernetes installations the Kubernetes datastore is the default.

You can run calicoctl on any host with network access to the Calico datastore as either a binary or a container. For step-by-step instructions, refer to the section that corresponds to your desired deployment.

How to

note

Make sure you always install the version of calicoctl that matches the version of Calico running on your cluster.

Install calicoctl as a binary on a single host

  1. Log into the host, open a terminal prompt, and navigate to the location where you want to install the binary.

    tip

    Consider navigating to a location that's in your PATH. For example, /usr/local/bin/.

  2. Use the following command to download the calicoctl binary.

    curl -L https://github.com/projectcalico/calico/releases/download/v3.28.0/calicoctl-linux-amd64 -o calicoctl
  3. Set the file to be executable.

    chmod +x ./calicoctl
    note

    If the location of calicoctl is not already in your PATH, move the file to one that is or add its location to your PATH. This will allow you to invoke it without having to prepend its location.

Install calicoctl as a kubectl plugin on a single host

  1. Log into the host, open a terminal prompt, and navigate to the location where you want to install the binary.

    tip

    Consider navigating to a location that's in your PATH. For example, /usr/local/bin/.

  2. Use the following command to download the calicoctl binary.

    curl -L https://github.com/projectcalico/calico/releases/download/v3.28.0/calicoctl-linux-amd64 -o kubectl-calico
  3. Set the file to be executable.

    chmod +x kubectl-calico
    note

    If the location of kubectl-calico is not already in your PATH, move the file to one that is or add its location to your PATH. This is required in order for kubectl to detect the plugin and allow you to use it.

Verify the plugin works.

kubectl calico -h

You can now run any calicoctl subcommands through kubectl calico.

note

If you run these commands from your local machine (instead of a host node), some of the node related subcommands will not work (like node status).

Install calicoctl as a container on a single host

To install calicoctl as a container on a single host, log into the target host and issue the following command.

docker pull calico/ctl:v3.28.0

Next step:

Configure calicoctl to connect to your datastore.