Upgrade an Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) cluster

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) makes it easy to perform common management tasks including upgrading Kubernetes clusters.

Upgrade an AKS cluster

Before upgrading a cluster, use the az aks get-upgrades command to check which Kubernetes releases are available for upgrade.

az aks get-upgrades --name myAKSCluster --resource-group myResourceGroup --output table


Name     ResourceGroup    MasterVersion    NodePoolVersion    Upgrades
-------  ---------------  ---------------  -----------------  -------------------
default  mytestaks007     1.8.10           1.8.10             1.9.1, 1.9.2, 1.9.6

We have three versions available for upgrade: 1.9.1, 1.9.2 and 1.9.6. We can use the az aks upgrade command to upgrade to the latest available version. During the upgrade process, nodes are carefully cordoned and drained to minimize disruption to running applications. Before initiating a cluster upgrade, ensure that you have enough additional compute capacity to handle your workload as cluster nodes are added and removed.


When upgrading an AKS cluster, Kubernetes minor versions cannot be skipped. For example, upgrades between 1.7.x > 1.8.x or 1.8.x > 1.9.x are allowed, however 1.7 > 1.9 is not.

az aks upgrade --name myAKSCluster --resource-group myResourceGroup --kubernetes-version 1.9.6


  "id": "/subscriptions/<Subscription ID>/resourcegroups/myResourceGroup/providers/Microsoft.ContainerService/managedClusters/myAKSCluster",
  "location": "eastus",
  "name": "myAKSCluster",
  "properties": {
    "accessProfiles": {
      "clusterAdmin": {
        "kubeConfig": "..."
      "clusterUser": {
        "kubeConfig": "..."
    "agentPoolProfiles": [
        "count": 1,
        "dnsPrefix": null,
        "fqdn": null,
        "name": "myAKSCluster",
        "osDiskSizeGb": null,
        "osType": "Linux",
        "ports": null,
        "storageProfile": "ManagedDisks",
        "vmSize": "Standard_D2_v2",
        "vnetSubnetId": null
    "dnsPrefix": "myK8sClust-myResourceGroup-4f48ee",
    "fqdn": "myk8sclust-myresourcegroup-4f48ee-406cc140.hcp.eastus.azmk8s.io",
    "kubernetesVersion": "1.9.6",
    "linuxProfile": {
      "adminUsername": "azureuser",
      "ssh": {
        "publicKeys": [
            "keyData": "..."
    "provisioningState": "Succeeded",
    "servicePrincipalProfile": {
      "clientId": "e70c1c1c-0ca4-4e0a-be5e-aea5225af017",
      "keyVaultSecretRef": null,
      "secret": null
  "resourceGroup": "myResourceGroup",
  "tags": null,
  "type": "Microsoft.ContainerService/ManagedClusters"

Confirm that the upgrade was successful with the az aks show command.

az aks show --name myAKSCluster --resource-group myResourceGroup --output table


Name          Location    ResourceGroup    KubernetesVersion    ProvisioningState    Fqdn
------------  ----------  ---------------  -------------------  -------------------  ----------------------------------------------------------------
myAKSCluster  eastus     myResourceGroup  1.9.6                 Succeeded            myk8sclust-myresourcegroup-3762d8-2f6ca801.hcp.eastus.azmk8s.io

Next steps

Learn more about deploying and managing AKS with the AKS tutorials.