Troubleshooting IAM - Amazon EKS

Troubleshooting IAM

This topic covers some common errors that you may see while using Amazon EKS with IAM and how to work around them.


If you receive an AccessDeniedException when calling an AWS API operation, then the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) user or role credentials that you are using do not have the required permissions to make that call.

An error occurred (AccessDeniedException) when calling the DescribeCluster operation: User: arn:aws:iam::111122223333:user/user_name is not authorized to perform: eks:DescribeCluster on resource: arn:aws:eks:region:111122223333:cluster/cluster_name

In the above example message, the user does not have permissions to call the Amazon EKS DescribeCluster API operation. To provide Amazon EKS admin permissions to a user, see Amazon EKS identity-based policy examples.

For more general information about IAM, see Controlling access using policies in the IAM User Guide.

aws-auth ConfigMap does not grant access to the cluster

AWS IAM authenticator does not permit a path in the role ARN used in the configuration map. Therefore, before you specify rolearn, remove the path. For example, change arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/team/developers/eks-admin to arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/eks-admin.

I Am not authorized to perform iam:PassRole

If you receive an error that you're not authorized to perform the iam:PassRole action, then you must contact your administrator for assistance. Your administrator is the person that provided you with your user name and password. Ask that person to update your policies to allow you to pass a role to Amazon EKS.

Some AWS services allow you to pass an existing role to that service, instead of creating a new service role or service-linked role. To do this, you must have permissions to pass the role to the service.

The following example error occurs when an IAM user named marymajor tries to use the console to perform an action in Amazon EKS. However, the action requires the service to have permissions granted by a service role. Mary does not have permissions to pass the role to the service.

User: arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/marymajor is not authorized to perform: iam:PassRole

In this case, Mary asks her administrator to update her policies to allow her to perform the iam:PassRole action.

I want to view my access keys

After you create your IAM user access keys, you can view your access key ID at any time. However, you can't view your secret access key again. If you lose your secret key, you must create a new access key pair.

Access keys consist of two parts: an access key ID (for example, AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE) and a secret access key (for example, wJalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY). Like a user name and password, you must use both the access key ID and secret access key together to authenticate your requests. Manage your access keys as securely as you do your user name and password.


Do not provide your access keys to a third party, even to help find your canonical user ID. By doing this, you might give someone permanent access to your account.

When you create an access key pair, you are prompted to save the access key ID and secret access key in a secure location. The secret access key is available only at the time you create it. If you lose your secret access key, you must add new access keys to your IAM user. You can have a maximum of two access keys. If you already have two, you must delete one key pair before creating a new one. To view instructions, see Managing Access Keys in the IAM User Guide.

I'm an administrator and want to allow others to access Amazon EKS

To allow others to access Amazon EKS, you must create an IAM entity (user or role) for the person or application that needs access. They will use the credentials for that entity to access AWS. You must then attach a policy to the entity that grants them the correct permissions in Amazon EKS.

To get started right away, see Creating Your First IAM Delegated User and Group in the IAM User Guide.

I want to allow people outside of my AWS account to access my Amazon EKS resources

You can create a role that users in other accounts or people outside of your organization can use to access your resources. You can specify who is trusted to assume the role. For services that support resource-based policies or access control lists (ACLs), you can use those policies to grant people access to your resources.

To learn more, consult the following: