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Troubleshooting kubeadm

As with any program, you might run into an error installing or running kubeadm. This page lists some common failure scenarios and have provided steps that can help you understand and fix the problem.

If your problem is not listed below, please follow the following steps:

ebtables or some similar executable not found during installation

If you see the following warnings while running kubeadm init

[preflight] WARNING: ebtables not found in system path
[preflight] WARNING: ethtool not found in system path

Then you may be missing ebtables, ethtool or a similar executable on your node. You can install them with the following commands:

kubeadm blocks waiting for control plane during installation

If you notice that kubeadm init hangs after printing out the following line:

[apiclient] Created API client, waiting for the control plane to become ready

This may be caused by a number of problems. The most common are:

  error: failed to run Kubelet: failed to create kubelet:
  misconfiguration: kubelet cgroup driver: "systemd" is different from docker cgroup driver: "cgroupfs"

There are two common ways to fix the cgroup driver problem:

  1. Install docker again following instructions here.
  2. Change the kubelet config to match the Docker cgroup driver manually, you can refer to Configure cgroup driver used by kubelet on Master Node for detailed instructions.

kubeadm blocks when removing managed containers

The following could happen if Docker halts and does not remove any Kubernetes-managed containers:

sudo kubeadm reset
[preflight] Running pre-flight checks
[reset] Stopping the kubelet service
[reset] Unmounting mounted directories in "/var/lib/kubelet"
[reset] Removing kubernetes-managed containers

A possible solution is to restart the Docker service and then re-run kubeadm reset:

sudo systemctl restart docker.service
sudo kubeadm reset

Inspecting the logs for docker may also be useful:

journalctl -ul docker

Pods in RunContainerError, CrashLoopBackOff or Error state

Right after kubeadm init there should not be any pods in these states.

coredns (or kube-dns) is stuck in the Pending state

This is expected and part of the design. kubeadm is network provider-agnostic, so the admin should install the pod network solution of choice. You have to install a Pod Network before CoreDNS may deployed fully. Hence the Pending state before the network is set up.

HostPort services do not work

The HostPort and HostIP functionality is available depending on your Pod Network provider. Please contact the author of the Pod Network solution to find out whether HostPort and HostIP functionality are available.

Calico, Canal, and Flannel CNI providers are verified to support HostPort.

For more information, see the CNI portmap documentation.

If your network provider does not support the portmap CNI plugin, you may need to use the NodePort feature of services or use HostNetwork=true.

Pods are not accessible via their Service IP

TLS certificate errors

The following error indicates a possible certificate mismatch.

# kubectl get pods
Unable to connect to the server: x509: certificate signed by unknown authority (possibly because of "crypto/rsa: verification error" while trying to verify candidate authority certificate "kubernetes")
  mv  $HOME/.kube $HOME/.kube.bak
  sudo cp -i /etc/kubernetes/admin.conf $HOME/.kube/config
  sudo chown $(id -u):$(id -g) $HOME/.kube/config

Default NIC When using flannel as the pod network in Vagrant

The following error might indicate that something was wrong in the pod network:

Error from server (NotFound): the server could not find the requested resource

Vagrant typically assigns two interfaces to all VMs. The first, for which all hosts are assigned the IP address, is for external traffic that gets NATed.

This may lead to problems with flannel, which defaults to the first interface on a host. This leads to all hosts thinking they have the same public IP address. To prevent this, pass the --iface eth1 flag to flannel so that the second interface is chosen.

Non-public IP used for containers

In some situations kubectl logs and kubectl run commands may return with the following errors in an otherwise functional cluster:

Error from server: Get dial tcp getsockopt: no route to host

Use ip addr show to check for this scenario instead of ifconfig because ifconfig will not display the offending alias IP address. Alternatively an API endpoint specific to Digital Ocean allows to query for the anchor IP from the droplet:


The workaround is to tell kubelet which IP to use using --node-ip. When using Digital Ocean, it can be the public one (assigned to eth0) or the private one (assigned to eth1) should you want to use the optional private network. The KubeletExtraArgs section of the MasterConfiguration file can be used for this.

Then restart kubelet:

  systemctl daemon-reload
  systemctl restart kubelet

Services with externalTrafficPolicy=Local are not reachable

On nodes where the hostname for the kubelet is overridden using the --hostname-override option, kube-proxy will default to treating as the node IP, which results in rejecting connections for Services configured for externalTrafficPolicy=Local. This situation can be verified by checking the output of kubectl -n kube-system logs <kube-proxy pod name>:

W0507 22:33:10.372369       1 server.go:586] Failed to retrieve node info: nodes "ip-10-0-23-78" not found
W0507 22:33:10.372474       1 proxier.go:463] invalid nodeIP, initializing kube-proxy with as nodeIP

A workaround for this is to modify the kube-proxy DaemonSet in the following way:

kubectl -n kube-system patch --type json daemonset kube-proxy -p "$(cat <<'EOF'
        "op": "add",
        "path": "/spec/template/spec/containers/0/env",
        "value": [
                "name": "NODE_NAME",
                "valueFrom": {
                    "fieldRef": {
                        "apiVersion": "v1",
                        "fieldPath": "spec.nodeName"
        "op": "add",
        "path": "/spec/template/spec/containers/0/command/-",
        "value": "--hostname-override=${NODE_NAME}"