AWS Load Balancer Controller - Amazon EKS

AWS Load Balancer Controller

The AWS Load Balancer Controller manages AWS Elastic Load Balancers for a Kubernetes cluster. The controller provisions the following resources.

  • An AWS Application Load Balancer (ALB) when you create a Kubernetes Ingress.

  • An AWS Network Load Balancer (NLB) when you create a Kubernetes Service of type LoadBalancer. In the past, you used the Kubernetes in-tree load balancer for instance targets, but used the AWS Load balancer Controller for IP targets. With the AWS Load Balancer Controller version 2.2.0 or later, you can create Network Load Balancers using either target type. For more information about NLB target types, see Target type in the User Guide for Network Load Balancers.

The controller was formerly named the AWS ALB Ingress Controller. It is an open source project managed on GitHub. This topic helps you install the controller using default options. You can view the full documentation for the controller on GitHub. Before deploying the controller we recommend that you review the prerequisites and considerations in Application load balancing on Amazon EKS and Network load balancing on Amazon EKS. Those topics also include steps to deploy a sample application that require the controller to provision AWS resources.


To deploy the AWS Load Balancer Controller to an Amazon EKS cluster

In the following steps, replace the example values with your own values.

  1. Download an IAM policy for the AWS Load Balancer Controller that allows it to make calls to AWS APIs on your behalf. You can view the policy document on GitHub.

    curl -o iam_policy.json
  2. Create an IAM policy using the policy downloaded in the previous step.

    aws iam create-policy \ --policy-name AWSLoadBalancerControllerIAMPolicy \ --policy-document file://iam_policy.json

    Take note of the policy ARN that is returned.

  3. Create an IAM role and annotate the Kubernetes service account named aws-load-balancer-controller in the kube-system namespace for the AWS Load Balancer Controller using eksctl or the AWS Management Console and kubectl.


    Replace my_cluster with the name of your cluster and 111122223333 with your account ID and then run the command.

    eksctl create iamserviceaccount \ --cluster=my_cluster \ --namespace=kube-system \ --name=aws-load-balancer-controller \ --attach-policy-arn=arn:aws:iam::111122223333:policy/AWSLoadBalancerControllerIAMPolicy \ --override-existing-serviceaccounts \ --approve
    AWS Management Console and kubectl

    Using the AWS Management Console and kubectl

    1. Open the IAM console at

    2. In the navigation panel, choose Roles, Create Role.

    3. In the Select type of trusted entity section, choose Web identity.

    4. In the Choose a web identity provider section:

      1. For Identity provider, choose the URL for your cluster.

      2. For Audience, choose

    5. Choose Next: Permissions.

    6. In the Attach Policy section, select the AWSLoadBalancerControllerIAMPolicy policy that you created in step 2 to use for your service account.

    7. Choose Next: Tags.

    8. On the Add tags (optional) screen, you can add tags for the account. Choose Next: Review.

    9. For Role Name, enter a name for your role, such as AmazonEKSLoadBalancerControllerRole, and then choose Create Role.

    10. After the role is created, choose the role in the console to open it for editing.

    11. Choose the Trust relationships tab, and then choose Edit trust relationship.

    12. Find the line that looks similar to the following:

      "": ""

      Change the line to look like the following line. Replace EXAMPLED539D4633E53DE1B716D3041E with your cluster's OIDC provider ID and replace region-code with the Region code that your cluster is in.

      "": "system:serviceaccount:kube-system:aws-load-balancer-controller"
    13. Choose Update Trust Policy to finish.

    14. Note the ARN of the role for use in a later step.

    15. Save the following contents to a file named aws-load-balancer-controller-service-account.yaml, replacing 111122223333 with your account ID.

      apiVersion: v1 kind: ServiceAccount metadata: labels: controller aws-load-balancer-controller name: aws-load-balancer-controller namespace: kube-system annotations: arn:aws:iam::111122223333:role/AmazonEKSLoadBalancerControllerRole
    16. Create the service account on your cluster.

      kubectl apply -f aws-load-balancer-controller-service-account.yaml
  4. If you currently have the AWS ALB Ingress Controller for Kubernetes installed, uninstall it. The AWS Load Balancer Controller replaces the functionality of the AWS ALB Ingress Controller for Kubernetes.

    1. Check to see if the controller is currently installed.

      kubectl get deployment -n kube-system alb-ingress-controller

      Output if the controller isn't installed. Skip to step 5.

      Error from server (NotFound): deployments.apps "alb-ingress-controller" not found

      Output if the controller is installed.

      NAME READY UP-TO-DATE AVAILABLE AGE alb-ingress-controller 1/1 1 1 122d
    2. Enter the following commands to remove the controller.

      kubectl delete -f kubectl delete -f
    3. Add the following IAM policy to the IAM role created in step 3. The policy allows the AWS Load Balancer Controller access to the resources that were created by the ALB Ingress Controller for Kubernetes.

      1. Download the IAM policy. You can also view the policy.

        curl -o iam_policy_v1_to_v2_additional.json
      2. Create the IAM policy and note the ARN returned.

        aws iam create-policy \ --policy-name AWSLoadBalancerControllerAdditionalIAMPolicy \ --policy-document file://iam_policy_v1_to_v2_additional.json
      3. Attach the IAM policy to the IAM role that you created in step 3. Replace your-role-name with the name of the role. If you created the role using eksctl, then to find the role name that was created, open the AWS CloudFormation console and select the eksctl-your-cluster-name-addon-iamserviceaccount-kube-system-aws-load-balancer-controller stack. Select the Resources tab. The role name is in the Physical ID column. If you used the AWS Management Console to create the role, then the role name is whatever you named it, such as AmazonEKSLoadBalancerControllerRole.

        aws iam attach-role-policy \ --role-name eksctl-your-role name \ --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::111122223333:policy/AWSLoadBalancerControllerAdditionalIAMPolicy
  5. Install the AWS Load Balancer Controller using Helm V3 or later or by applying a Kubernetes manifest.

    Helm V3 or later
    1. Install the TargetGroupBinding custom resource definitions.

      kubectl apply -k ""
    2. Add the eks-charts repository.

      helm repo add eks
    3. Update your local repo to make sure that you have the most recent charts.

      helm repo update
    4. Install the AWS Load Balancer Controller.


      If you are deploying the controller to Amazon EC2 nodes that you have restricted access to the Amazon EC2 instance metadata service (IMDS) from, or if you are deploying to Fargate, then you need to add the following flags to the command that you run:

      • --set region=region-code

      • --set vpcId=vpc-xxxxxxxx

      helm upgrade -i aws-load-balancer-controller eks/aws-load-balancer-controller \ --set clusterName=cluster-name \ --set serviceAccount.create=false \ --set \ -n kube-system

      The deployed chart does not receive security updates automatically. You need to manually upgrade to a newer chart when it becomes available.

    Kubernetes manifest
    1. Install cert-manager to inject certificate configuration into the webhooks.

      kubectl apply \ --validate=false \ -f
    2. Install the controller.

      1. Download the controller specification. For more information about the controller, see the documentation on GitHub.

        curl -o v2_2_0_full.yaml
      2. Make the following edits to the v2_2_0_full.yaml file:

        • Delete the ServiceAccount section in lines 546-553 of the file. Deleting this section prevents the annotation with the IAM role from being overwritten when the controller is deployed and preserves the service account that you created in step 4 if you delete the controller.

        • Replace your-cluster-name on line 797 in the Deployment spec section of the file with the name of your cluster.

      3. Apply the file.

        kubectl apply -f v2_2_0_full.yaml
  6. Verify that the controller is installed.

    kubectl get deployment -n kube-system aws-load-balancer-controller


    NAME READY UP-TO-DATE AVAILABLE AGE aws-load-balancer-controller 2/2 2 2 84s
  7. Before using the controller to provision AWS resources, your cluster must meet specific requirements. For more information, see Application load balancing on Amazon EKS and Network load balancing on Amazon EKS.