Quickstart: Connect an existing Kubernetes cluster to Azure Arc

In this quickstart, you'll learn the benefits of Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes and how to connect an existing Kubernetes cluster to Azure Arc. For a conceptual look at connecting clusters to Azure Arc, see the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes Agent Architecture article.

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.


  • Use the Bash environment in Azure Cloud Shell.

    Launch Cloud Shell in a new window

  • If you prefer, install the Azure CLI to run CLI reference commands.

    • If you're using a local installation, sign in to the Azure CLI by using the az login command. To finish the authentication process, follow the steps displayed in your terminal. For additional sign-in options, see Sign in with the Azure CLI.

    • When you're prompted, install Azure CLI extensions on first use. For more information about extensions, see Use extensions with the Azure CLI.

    • Run az version to find the version and dependent libraries that are installed. To upgrade to the latest version, run az upgrade.

  • An up-and-running Kubernetes cluster. If you don't have one, you can create a cluster using one of these options:

    • Kubernetes in Docker (KIND)

    • Create a Kubernetes cluster using Docker for Mac or Windows

    • Self-managed Kubernetes cluster using Cluster API

    • If you want to connect a OpenShift cluster to Azure Arc, you need to execute the following command just once on your cluster before running az connectedk8s connect:

      oc adm policy add-scc-to-user privileged system:serviceaccount:azure-arc:azure-arc-kube-aad-proxy-sa


    The cluster needs to have at least one node of operating system and architecture type linux/amd64. Clusters with only linux/arm64 nodes aren't yet supported.

  • A kubeconfig file and context pointing to your cluster.

  • 'Read' and 'Write' permissions on the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes resource type (Microsoft.Kubernetes/connectedClusters).

  • Install the latest release of Helm 3.

  • Install or upgrade Azure CLI to version >= 2.16.0

  • Install the connectedk8s Azure CLI extension of version >= 1.0.0:

    az extension add --name connectedk8s


For custom locations on your cluster, use East US or West Europe regions. For all other Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes features, select any region from this list.

Meet network requirements


Azure Arc agents require both of the following protocols/ports/outbound URLs to function:

  • TCP on port 443: https://:443
  • TCP on port 9418: git://:9418
Endpoint (DNS) Description
https://management.azure.com (for Azure Cloud), https://management.usgovcloudapi.net (for Azure US Government) Required for the agent to connect to Azure and register the cluster.
https://<region>.dp.kubernetesconfiguration.azure.com (for Azure Cloud), https://<region>.dp.kubernetesconfiguration.azure.us (for Azure US Government) Data plane endpoint for the agent to push status and fetch configuration information.
https://login.microsoftonline.com (for Azure Cloud), https://login.microsoftonline.us (for Azure US Government) Required to fetch and update Azure Resource Manager tokens.
https://mcr.microsoft.com Required to pull container images for Azure Arc agents.
https://<region-code>.his.arc.azure.com (for Azure Cloud), https://usgv.his.arc.azure.us (for Azure US Government) Required to pull system-assigned Managed Service Identity (MSI) certificates. <region-code> mapping for Azure cloud regions: eus (East US), weu (West Europe), wcus (West Central US), scus (South Central US), sea (South East Asia), uks (UK South), wus2 (West US 2), ae (Australia East), eus2 (East US 2), ne (North Europe), fc (France Central).

1. Register providers for Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes

  1. Enter the following commands:
    az provider register --namespace Microsoft.Kubernetes
    az provider register --namespace Microsoft.KubernetesConfiguration
    az provider register --namespace Microsoft.ExtendedLocation
  2. Monitor the registration process. Registration may take up to 10 minutes.
    az provider show -n Microsoft.Kubernetes -o table
    az provider show -n Microsoft.KubernetesConfiguration -o table
    az provider show -n Microsoft.ExtendedLocation -o table

2. Create a resource group

Run the following command:

az group create --name AzureArcTest --location EastUS --output table


Location    Name
----------  ------------
eastus      AzureArcTest

3. Connect an existing Kubernetes cluster

Run the following command:

az connectedk8s connect --name AzureArcTest1 --resource-group AzureArcTest


Helm release deployment succeeded

      "aadProfile": {
        "clientAppId": "",
        "serverAppId": "",
        "tenantId": ""
      "agentPublicKeyCertificate": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx",
      "agentVersion": null,
      "connectivityStatus": "Connecting",
      "distribution": "gke",
      "id": "/subscriptions/xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx/resourceGroups/AzureArcTest/providers/Microsoft.Kubernetes/connectedClusters/AzureArcTest1",
      "identity": {
        "principalId": "xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx",
        "tenantId": "xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx",
        "type": "SystemAssigned"
      "infrastructure": "gcp",
      "kubernetesVersion": null,
      "lastConnectivityTime": null,
      "location": "eastus",
      "managedIdentityCertificateExpirationTime": null,
      "name": "AzureArcTest1",
      "offering": null,
      "provisioningState": "Succeeded",
      "resourceGroup": "AzureArcTest",
      "tags": {},
      "totalCoreCount": null,
      "totalNodeCount": null,
      "type": "Microsoft.Kubernetes/connectedClusters"


The above command without the location parameter specified creates the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes resource in the same location as the resource group. To create the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes resource in a different location, specify either --location <region> or -l <region> when running the az connectedk8s connect command.


If you are logged into Azure CLI using a service principal, an additional parameter needs to be set for enabling the custom location feature on the cluster.

4. Verify cluster connection

Run the following command:

az connectedk8s list --resource-group AzureArcTest --output table


Name           Location    ResourceGroup
-------------  ----------  ---------------
AzureArcTest1  eastus      AzureArcTest


After onboarding the cluster, it takes around 5 to 10 minutes for the cluster metadata (cluster version, agent version, number of nodes, etc.) to surface on the overview page of the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes resource in Azure portal.

5. Connect using an outbound proxy server

If your cluster is behind an outbound proxy server, Azure CLI and the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes agents need to route their requests via the outbound proxy server.

  1. Set the environment variables needed for Azure CLI to use the outbound proxy server:

    • If you are using bash, run the following command with appropriate values:

      export HTTP_PROXY=<proxy-server-ip-address>:<port>
      export HTTPS_PROXY=<proxy-server-ip-address>:<port>
      export NO_PROXY=<cluster-apiserver-ip-address>:<port>
    • If you are using PowerShell, run the following command with appropriate values:

      $Env:HTTP_PROXY = "<proxy-server-ip-address>:<port>"
      $Env:HTTPS_PROXY = "<proxy-server-ip-address>:<port>"
      $Env:NO_PROXY = "<cluster-apiserver-ip-address>:<port>"
  2. Run the connect command with proxy parameters specified:

    az connectedk8s connect --name <cluster-name> --resource-group <resource-group> --proxy-https https://<proxy-server-ip-address>:<port> --proxy-http http://<proxy-server-ip-address>:<port> --proxy-skip-range <excludedIP>,<excludedCIDR> --proxy-cert <path-to-cert-file>


  • Specify excludedCIDR under --proxy-skip-range to ensure in-cluster communication is not broken for the agents.
  • --proxy-http, --proxy-https, and --proxy-skip-range are expected for most outbound proxy environments. --proxy-cert is only required if you need to inject trusted certificates expected by proxy into the trusted certificate store of agent pods.

6. View Azure Arc agents for Kubernetes

Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes deploys a few operators into the azure-arc namespace.

  1. View these deployments and pods using:

    kubectl get deployments,pods -n azure-arc
  2. Verify all pods are in a Running state.


     NAME                                        READY      UP-TO-DATE  AVAILABLE  AGE
     deployment.apps/cluster-metadata-operator     1/1             1        1      16h
     deployment.apps/clusteridentityoperator       1/1             1        1      16h
     deployment.apps/config-agent                  1/1             1        1      16h
     deployment.apps/controller-manager            1/1             1        1      16h
     deployment.apps/flux-logs-agent               1/1             1        1      16h
     deployment.apps/metrics-agent                 1/1             1        1      16h
     deployment.apps/resource-sync-agent           1/1             1        1      16h
     NAME                                           READY    STATUS   RESTART AGE
     pod/cluster-metadata-operator-7fb54d9986-g785b  2/2     Running  0       16h
     pod/clusteridentityoperator-6d6678ffd4-tx8hr    3/3     Running  0       16h
     pod/config-agent-544c4669f9-4th92               3/3     Running  0       16h
     pod/controller-manager-fddf5c766-ftd96          3/3     Running  0       16h
     pod/flux-logs-agent-7c489f57f4-mwqqv            2/2     Running  0       16h
     pod/metrics-agent-58b765c8db-n5l7k              2/2     Running  0       16h
     pod/resource-sync-agent-5cf85976c7-522p5        3/3     Running  0       16h

7. Clean up resources

You can delete the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes resource, any associated configuration resources, and any agents running on the cluster using Azure CLI using the following command:

az connectedk8s delete --name AzureArcTest1 --resource-group AzureArcTest


Deleting the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes resource using Azure portal removes any associated configuration resources, but does not remove any agents running on the cluster. Best practice is to delete the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes resource using az connectedk8s delete instead of Azure portal.

Next steps

Advance to the next article to learn how to deploy configurations to your connected Kubernetes cluster using GitOps.