Installing kubectl

Installing kubectl

Kubernetes uses a command line utility called kubectl for communicating with the cluster API server. The kubectl binary is available in many operating system package managers, and this option is often much easier than a manual download and install process. You can follow the instructions for your specific operating system or package manager in the Kubernetes documentation to install.

This topic helps you to download and install the Amazon EKS vended kubectl binaries for macOS, Linux, and Windows operating systems. Select the tab name of your operating system. These binaries are identical to the upstream community versions, and are not unique to Amazon EKS or AWS.


You must use a kubectl version that is within one minor version difference of your Amazon EKS cluster control plane. For example, a 1.18 kubectl client works with Kubernetes 1.17, 1.18 and 1.19 clusters.

Select the tab with the name of the operating system that you want to install kubectl on.

To install kubectl on Linux

Download the Amazon EKS vended kubectl binary for your cluster's Kubernetes version from Amazon S3. To download the Arm version, change amd64 to arm64 before running the command.

Kubernetes 1.19:

curl -o kubectl

Kubernetes 1.18:

curl -o kubectl

Kubernetes 1.17:

curl -o kubectl

Kubernetes 1.16:

curl -o kubectl

Apply execute permissions to the binary.

chmod +x ./kubectl

Copy the binary to a folder in your PATH. If you have already installed a version of kubectl, then we recommend creating a $HOME/bin/kubectl and ensuring that $HOME/bin comes first in your $PATH.

mkdir -p $HOME/bin && cp ./kubectl $HOME/bin/kubectl && export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin

After you install kubectl , you can verify its version with the following command:

kubectl version –short –client


If after installing the binary you are unable to run the command and get the following error:

$ sudo kubectl version –short –client
sudo: kubectl: command not found

Delete the binary that you installed:

$ sudo rm -rf kubectl

and download a different version.

No token or token has expired.