Simplifying FedRAMP Compliance with Teleport
Jun 27
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Deploy Teleport on Kubernetes

Teleport can provide secure, unified access to your Kubernetes clusters. This guide will show you how to deploy Teleport on a Kubernetes cluster using Helm.

While completing this guide, you will deploy one Teleport pod each for the Auth Service and Proxy Service in your Kubernetes cluster, and a load balancer that forwards outside traffic to your Teleport cluster. Users can then access your Kubernetes cluster via the Teleport cluster running within it.

If you are already running the Teleport Auth Service and Proxy Service 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 Enterprise 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 Enterprise Cloud.


  • A registered domain name. This is required for Teleport to set up TLS via Let's Encrypt and for Teleport clients to verify the Proxy Service host.

  • A Kubernetes cluster hosted by a cloud provider, which is required for the load balancer we deploy in this guide. We recommend following this guide on a non-production cluster to start.

  • A persistent volume that the Auth Service can use for storing cluster state. Make sure your Kubernetes cluster has one available:

    kubectl get pv

    If there are no persistent volumes available, you will need to either provide one or enable dynamic volume provisioning for your cluster. For example, in Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, you can configure the Elastic Block Store Container Storage Interface driver add-on.

    To tell whether you have dynamic volume provisioning enabled, check for the presence of a default StorageClass:

    kubectl get storageclasses

    If you are using eksctl to launch a fresh Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service cluster in order to follow this guide, the following example configuration sets up the EBS CSI driver add-on.

    The example configuration below assumes that you are familiar with how eksctl works, are not using your EKS cluster in production, and understand that you are proceeding at your own risk.

    Update the cluster name, version, node group size, and region as required:

    kind: ClusterConfig
      name: my-cluster
      region: us-east-1
      version: "1.23"
      withOIDC: true
    - name: aws-ebs-csi-driver
      version: v1.11.4-eksbuild.1
      - arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/service-role/AmazonEBSCSIDriverPolicy
      - name: managed-ng-2
        instanceType: t3.medium
        minSize: 2
        maxSize: 3
  • The tsh client tool v16.0.1+ installed on your workstation. You can download this from our installation page.

  • Kubernetes >= v1.17.0

  • Helm >= 3.4.2

    Verify that Helm and Kubernetes are installed and up to date.

    helm version


    kubectl version

    Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"17+"}

    Server Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"17+"}

It is worth noting that this guide shows you how to set up Kubernetes access with the broadest set of permissions. This is suitable for a personal demo cluster, but if you would like to set up Kubernetes RBAC for production usage, we recommend getting familiar with the Teleport Kubernetes RBAC guide before you begin.

Step 1/2. Install Teleport

To deploy a Teleport cluster on Kubernetes, you need to:

  1. Install the teleport-cluster Helm chart, which deploys the Teleport Auth Service and Proxy Service on your Kubernetes cluster.
  2. Once your cluster is running, create DNS records that clients can use to access your cluster.

Install the teleport-cluster Helm chart

To deploy the Teleport Auth Service and Proxy Service on your Kubernetes cluster, follow the instructions below to install the teleport-cluster Helm chart.

  1. Set up the Teleport Helm repository.

    Allow Helm to install charts that are hosted in the Teleport Helm repository:

    helm repo add teleport

    Update the cache of charts from the remote repository so you can upgrade to all available releases:

    helm repo update
  2. Create a namespace for Teleport and configure its Pod Security Admission, which enforces security standards on pods in the namespace:

    kubectl create namespace teleport-cluster
    namespace/teleport-cluster created
    kubectl label namespace teleport-cluster ''
    namespace/teleport-cluster labeled
  3. Set the kubectl context to the namespace to save some typing:

    kubectl config set-context --current --namespace=teleport-cluster
  4. Assign clusterName to a subdomain of your domain name, e.g.,

  5. Assign email to an email address that you will use to receive notifications from Let's Encrypt, which provides TLS credentials for the Teleport Proxy Service's HTTPS endpoint.

  6. Create a Helm values file:

    Write a values file (teleport-cluster-values.yaml) which will configure a single node Teleport cluster and provision a cert using ACME.

    cat << EOF > teleport-cluster-values.yamlclusterName: clusterNameproxyListenerMode: multiplexacme: trueacmeEmail: emailEOF

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

    To obtain your license file, navigate to your Teleport account dashboard and log in. You can start at and enter your Teleport account name (e.g. my-company). After logging in you will see a "GENERATE LICENSE KEY" button, which will generate a new license file and allow you to download it.

    Ensure that your license is saved to your terminal's working directory at the path license.pem.

    Using your license file, create a secret called "license" in the teleport-cluster namespace:

    kubectl create secret generic license --from-file=license.pem
    secret/license created

    Write a values file (teleport-cluster-values.yaml) which will configure a single node Teleport cluster and provision a cert using ACME.

    cat << EOF > teleport-cluster-values.yamlclusterName: clusterNameproxyListenerMode: multiplexacme: trueacmeEmail: emailenterprise: trueEOF
  7. Install the teleport-cluster Helm chart using the values file you wrote:

    helm install teleport-cluster teleport/teleport-cluster \ --create-namespace \ --version 16.0.1 \ --values teleport-cluster-values.yaml
  8. After installing the teleport-cluster chart, wait a minute or so and ensure that both the Auth Service and Proxy Service pods are running:

    kubectl get pods
    NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGEteleport-cluster-auth-000000000-00000 1/1 Running 0 114steleport-cluster-proxy-0000000000-00000 1/1 Running 0 114s

Set up DNS records

In this section, you will enable users and services to connect to your cluster by creating DNS records that point to the address of your Proxy Service.

The teleport-cluster Helm chart exposes the Proxy Service to traffic from the internet using a Kubernetes service that sets up an external load balancer with your cloud provider.

Obtain the address of your load balancer by following the instructions below.

  1. Get information about the Proxy Service load balancer:

    kubectl get services/teleport-cluster
    NAME TYPE CLUSTER-IP EXTERNAL-IP PORT(S) AGEteleport-cluster LoadBalancer 443:31204/TCP 89s

    The teleport-cluster service directs traffic to the Teleport Proxy Service. Notice the EXTERNAL-IP field, which shows you the IP address or domain name of the cloud-hosted load balancer. For example, on AWS, you may see a domain name resembling the following:
  2. Set up two DNS records: for all traffic and * for any web applications you will register with Teleport. We are assuming that your domain name is and teleport is the subdomain you have assigned to your Teleport cluster.

    Depending on whether the EXTERNAL-IP column above points to an IP address or a domain name, the records will have the following details:

    Record TypeDomain NameValue
    Ateleport.example.comThe IP address of your load balancer
    A*.teleport.example.comThe IP address of your load balancer
    Record TypeDomain NameValue
    CNAMEteleport.example.comThe domain name of your load balancer
    CNAME*.teleport.example.comThe domain name of your load balancer
  3. Once you create the records, use the following command to confirm that your Teleport cluster is running:

    curl https://clusterName/webapi/ping

Step 2/2. Create a local user

While we encourage Teleport users to authenticate via their single sign-on provider, local users are a reliable fallback for cases when the SSO provider is down.

In this section, we will create a local user who has access to Kubernetes group system:masters via the Teleport role member. This user also has the built-in access and editor roles for administrative privileges.

Paste the following role specification into a file called member.yaml:

kind: role
version: v7
  name: member
    kubernetes_groups: ["system:masters"]
      '*': '*'
      - kind: '*'
        namespace: '*'
        name: '*'
        verbs: ['*']
  1. Create the role:

    kubectl exec -i deployment/teleport-cluster-auth -- tctl create -f < member.yaml
    role 'member' has been created
  2. Create the user and generate an invite link, replacing myuser with the name of the local Teleport user you want to create:

    kubectl exec -ti deployment/teleport-cluster-auth -- tctl users add myuser --roles=member,access,editor
    User "myuser" has been created but requires a password. Share this URL with the user tocomplete user setup, link is valid for 1h:
    NOTE: Make sure points at a Teleport proxy which users can access.
  3. Visit the invite link and follow the instructions in the Web UI to activate your user.

  4. Try tsh login with your local user:

    tsh login --proxy=clusterName:443 --user=myuser
  5. Once you're connected to the Teleport cluster, list the available Kubernetes clusters for your user:

    tsh kube ls
    Kube Cluster Name Selected-----------------
  6. Log in to the Kubernetes cluster. The tsh client tool updates your local kubeconfig to point to your Teleport cluster, so we will assign KUBECONFIG to a temporary value during the installation process. This way, if something goes wrong, you can easily revert to your original kubeconfig:

    KUBECONFIG=$HOME/teleport-kubeconfig.yaml tsh kube login clusterName

    KUBECONFIG=$HOME/teleport-kubeconfig.yaml kubectl get -n teleport-cluster pods
    NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGEteleport-cluster-auth-000000000-00000 1/1 Running 0 26mteleport-cluster-proxy-0000000000-00000 1/1 Running 0 26m


If you are experiencing errors connecting to the Teleport cluster, check the status of the Auth Service and Proxy Service pods. A successful state should show both pods running as below:

kubectl get pods -n teleport-cluster
NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGEteleport-cluster-auth-5f8587bfd4-p5zv6 1/1 Running 0 48steleport-cluster-proxy-767747dd94-vkxz6 1/1 Running 0 48s

If a pod's status is Pending, use the kubectl logs and kubectl describe commands for that pod to check the status. The Auth Service pod relies on being able to allocate a Persistent Volume Claim, and may enter a Pending state if no Persistent Volume is available.

The output of kubectl get events --sort-by='.metadata.creationTimestamp' -A can also be useful, showing the most recent events taking place inside the Kubernetes cluster.

Next steps

  • Set up Single Sign-On: In this guide, we showed you how to create a local user, which is appropriate for demo environments. For a production deployment, you should set up Single Sign-On with your provider of choice. See our Single Sign-On guides for how to do this.
  • Configure your Teleport deployment: To see all of the options you can set in the values file for the teleport-cluster Helm chart, consult our reference guide.
  • Register resources: You can register all of the Kubernetes clusters in your infrastructure with Teleport. To start, read our Auto-Discovery guides to see how to automatically register every cluster in your cloud. You can also register servers, databases, applications, and Windows desktops.
  • Fine-tune your Kubernetes RBAC: While the user you created in this guide can access the system:masters role, you can set up Teleport's RBAC to enable fine-grained controls for accessing Kubernetes resources. See our Kubernetes Access Controls Guide for more information.