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Get started with Teleport on DigitalOcean Kubernetes


This guide will show you how to get started with Teleport on DigitalOcean Kubernetes.

If you are already running Teleport on another platform, you can use your existing Teleport deployment to access your Kubernetes cluster. Follow our guide to connect your Kubernetes cluster to Teleport.

Teleport Cloud takes care of this setup for you so you can provide secure access to your infrastructure right away.

Get started with a free trial of Teleport Cloud.


  • DigitalOcean account.
  • Your workstation configured with kubectl, Helm, doctl, and the Teleport tsh client.

Step 1/4. Create a DigitalOcean Kubernetes cluster

Create a new DigitalOcean Kubernetes Cluster

Create DigitalOcean Kubernetes cluster
Create DigitalOcean Kubernetes cluster

While the Kubernetes cluster is being provisioned, follow the "Getting Started" guide as shown below:

Set up DigitalOcean Kubernetes client
Set up DigitalOcean Kubernetes client

Step 2/4. Install Teleport

To allow Helm to install charts that are hosted in the Teleport Helm repository, use helm repo add:

helm repo add teleport

To update the cache of charts from the remote repository, run helm repo update:

helm repo update

Install Teleport in your Kubernetes cluster using the teleport-cluster Helm chart: # replace with your preferred domain name
[email protected] # replace with your email
helm install teleport-cluster teleport/teleport-cluster \ --create-namespace \ --namespace=teleport-cluster \ --set clusterName=$CLUSTERNAME \ --set acme=true \ --set acmeEmail=$EMAIL_ADDR \ --version 13.0.3

NAME: teleport-cluster

LAST DEPLOYED: Tue Oct 26 17:01:21 2021

NAMESPACE: teleport-cluster

STATUS: deployed



Create a namespace for your Teleport cluster resources and configure the PodSecurityAdmission:

kubectl create namespace teleport-cluster

namespace/teleport-cluster created

kubectl label namespace teleport-cluster ''

namespace/teleport-cluster labeled

The Teleport Auth Service reads a license file to authenticate your Teleport Enterprise account.

To obtain your license file, navigate to your Teleport account and enter your account name (e.g., my-license). After logging in, click the "DOWNLOAD LICENSE KEY" button to download your license file.

License File Download
kubectl -n teleport-cluster create secret generic license --from-file=license.pem

Install Teleport: # replace with your preferred domain name
[email protected] # replace with your email
helm install teleport-cluster teleport/teleport-cluster \ --namespace=teleport-cluster \ --set clusterName=$CLUSTERNAME \ --set acme=true \ --set acmeEmail=$EMAIL_ADDR \ --set enterprise=true \ --version 13.0.3

NAME: teleport-cluster

LAST DEPLOYED: Tue Oct 26 17:01:21 2021

NAMESPACE: teleport-cluster

STATUS: deployed



Update DNS for clusterName

First, get the external IP (from the EXTERNAL-IP field) for the Kubernetes cluster.

kubectl --namespace=teleport-cluster get services


teleport-cluster LoadBalancer 443:31959/TCP,3023:30525/TCP,3026:30079/TCP,3024:32437/TCP 19m

teleport-cluster-auth ClusterIP <none> 3025/TCP,3026/TCP 19m

Once you get the value for the external IP (it may take a few minutes for this field to be populated), update your DNS record such that the clusterName's A record points to this IP address. For example is the external IP in the above case.

Configure DNS
Configure DNS

Step 3/4. Create and set up Teleport user

Now we create a Teleport user by executing the tctl command with kubectl.

kubectl --namespace teleport-cluster exec deployment/teleport-cluster-auth -- tctl users add tadmin --roles=access,editor --logins=ubuntu

User "tadmin" has been created but requires a password. Share this URL with the user to complete user setup, link is valid for 1h:<invite-token>

NOTE: Make sure points at a Teleport proxy which users can access.

Copy the link shown after executing the above command and open the link in a web browser to complete the user registration process (the link is<invite-token> in the above case).

Set up user
Set up user

After you complete the registration process by setting up a password and enrolling in two-factor authentication, you will be logged in to Teleport Web UI.

In this step, we created a user tadmin with roles access, edit. These are the default roles available in Teleport. However, to allow this user to access the Kubernetes cluster, we will need to assign tadmin a role authorized to access the Kubernetes cluster. So first, let's create a role named member with the Kubernetes privilege system:master.

Create a new Kubernetes Role named "member"

Create a file named member.yaml with the following spec:

kind: role
version: v4
  name: member
    kubernetes_groups: ["system:masters"]

system:masters is a Kubernetes built-in role that is similar to sudo permissions in Linux systems. It is used here for demonstration purposes and should be used in production only when necessary.

Next, create this role in Kubernetes with the command:

kubectl --namespace=teleport-cluster exec -i deployment/teleport-cluster-auth -- tctl create -f < member.yaml

Assign the "member" role to user "tadmin"

Now we will assign Teleport user tadmin with this role. The example below shows a process using Teleport Web UI: First, lets select user edit menu:

Edit user
Edit user

Second, update the tadmin user role to assign the member role:

Update role
Update role

We've updated the user tadmin to have the member role, which is allowed to access a Kubernetes cluster with privilege system:master.

Step 4/4. Access your Kubernetes cluster using Teleport

The following steps show how to access the Kubernetes cluster using tsh.

Log in to Teleport

First, authenticate to Teleport using tsh as the tadmin user we created in the third step.


The following process will override your global kubectl configuration file. To write your kubectl configuration to a separate file instead of having your global kubectl configuration modified, run the following command:

export KUBECONFIG=${HOME?}/teleport-kubeconfig.yaml
tsh login --auth=local --user=tadmin

Enter password for Teleport user tadmin:

Enter your OTP token:


> Profile URL:

Logged in as: tadmin


Roles: access, editor, member

Logins: ubuntu

Kubernetes: enabled

Valid until: 2021-10-27 06:37:15 +0000 UTC [valid for 12h0m0s]

Extensions: permit-agent-forwarding, permit-port-forwarding, permit-pty

Select the Kubernetes cluster

tsh kube login

Logged into kubernetes cluster "". Try 'kubectl version' to test the connection.

Connect to the Kubernetes cluster

kubectl --namespace=teleport-cluster get pods


teleport-cluster-6cc679b6f6-7xr5h 1/1 Running 0 14h

Voila! User tadmin was able to list the pods in their DigitalOcean Kubernetes cluster.

Teleport keeps an audit log of access to a Kubernetes cluster. In the screenshot below, the Teleport audit log shows that the user tadmin has logged into the cluster.

View audit log
View audit log

Next steps

To see all of the options you can set in the values file for the teleport-cluster Helm chart, consult our reference guide.

Read our guides to additional ways you can protect a Kubernetes cluster with Teleport: