Khader Syed

Kubernetes Setup Using Azure ACS Engine - Part I

Tue Oct 03 2017


These days I spend nearly all of my time on Azure. Ansible support for Azure hasn’t been great until version 2.4, so I’ve even had to build custom modules to do some stuff internally for ourselves.

Beyond that, there’s a lot of interesting and innovative stuff happening in Azure.

In this post, I want to focus on one very specific thing - setting up Kubernetes[^1] on Azure. Microsoft already has some great documentation on setting up Kubernetes on Azure and there’s other documentation on the Kubernetes site itself.

I’ve done some work on getting a Kubernetes cluster up in Azure using acs-engine and this post is intended to document that.

Let’s start. I am using Debian 9 as my operating system[^2].

  1. First things first - install the dependencies
$ sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl 
  1. Add the docker repository public key, so we can…
$ curl -fsSL$(. /etc/os-release; echo "$ID")/gpg | sudo apt-key add -
  1. Add the docker repository to the sources list
$ sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64]$(. /etc/os-release; echo "$ID") 
    $(lsb_release -cs) 
  1. Install Docker Community Edition
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install docker-ce

That should be all the required software we need to start using acs-engine.

  1. Next, checkout the acs-engine repo
$ git clone
  1. And “bootstrap” the environment, so to speak. For the next step(s), you’ll need to run as a user who can pull docker images, which could be either root or a docker user
$ cd acs-engine
$ ./scripts/

The last step above should take a while, as it pulls docker images and all the other dependencies required for acs-engine.

It should then drop you inside a docker container shell.

  1. Once you’re in the container shell, we bootstrap and build
# make bootstrap
# make build
  1. Once complete, there should be an acs-engine binary in the bin folder.
# ./bin/acs-engine
ACS-Engine deploys and manages Kubernetes, Swarm Mode, and DC/OS clusters in Azure

      acs-engine [command]

    Available Commands:
      deploy        deploy an Azure Resource Manager template
      generate      Generate an Azure Resource Manager template
      help          Help about any command
      orchestrators provide info about supported orchestrators
      upgrade       upgrades an existing Kubernetes cluster
      version       Print the version of ACS-Engine

          --debug   enable verbose debug logs
      -h, --help    help for acs-engine

    Use "acs-engine [command] --help" for more information about a command.

That’s what we will use to generate templates and build our clusters using azure cli tools.

In Part II, I’ll cover the following:

  • Creating a template from the examples provided in the examples folder
  • Generate deployment templates using the template we create
  • Create a resource group to use for the kubernetes cluster. Alternately, use an existing one.
  • Validate and deploy the template
  • Login and check the kubernetes cluster we just deployed

[^1]: Take a look at DigitalOcean’s intro to kubernetes.

[^2]: The steps for other Linux distributions and operations systems are available here. For other operating systems, after you install docker, you can continue from Step 5 above.