Use cluster connect to securely connect to Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes clusters

With cluster connect, you can securely connect to Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes clusters from anywhere without requiring any inbound port to be enabled on the firewall.

Access to the apiserver of the Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes cluster enables the following scenarios:

  • Interactive debugging and troubleshooting.
  • Cluster access to Azure services for custom locations and other resources created on top of it.

Before you begin, review the conceptual overview of the cluster connect feature.


  • Install or update Azure CLI to the latest version.

  • Install the latest version of the connectedk8s Azure CLI extension:

    az extension add --name connectedk8s

    If you've already installed the connectedk8s extension, update the extension to the latest version:

    az extension update --name connectedk8s
  • Replace the placeholders and run the below command to set the environment variables used in this document:

    ARM_ID_CLUSTER=$(az connectedk8s show -n $CLUSTER_NAME -g $RESOURCE_GROUP --query id -o tsv)
  • In addition to meeting the network requirements for Arc-enabled Kubernetes, enable these endpoints for outbound access:

    Endpoint Port
    * 443, * 443


    To translate the * wildcard into specific endpoints, use the command \GET<location>. Within this command, the region must be specified for the <location> placeholder.

To get the region segment of a regional endpoint, remove all spaces from the Azure region name. For example, East US 2 region, the region name is eastus2.

For example: san-af-<region> should be in the East US 2 region.

To see a list of all regions, run this command:

az account list-locations -o table
Get-AzLocation | Format-Table

Set up authentication

On the existing Arc-enabled cluster, create the ClusterRoleBinding with either Microsoft Entra authentication, or a service account token.

Microsoft Entra authentication option

  1. Get the objectId associated with your Microsoft Entra entity.

    • For a Microsoft Entra user account:

      AAD_ENTITY_OBJECT_ID=$(az ad signed-in-user show --query id -o tsv)
    • For a Microsoft Entra application:

      AAD_ENTITY_OBJECT_ID=$(az ad sp show --id <id> --query id -o tsv)
  2. Authorize the entity with appropriate permissions.

    • If you're using Kubernetes native ClusterRoleBinding or RoleBinding for authorization checks on the cluster, with the kubeconfig file pointing to the apiserver of your cluster for direct access, you can create one mapped to the Microsoft Entra entity (service principal or user) that needs to access this cluster. For example:

      kubectl create clusterrolebinding demo-user-binding --clusterrole cluster-admin --user=$AAD_ENTITY_OBJECT_ID
    • If you're using Azure RBAC for authorization checks on the cluster, you can create an applicable Azure role assignment mapped to the Microsoft Entra entity. For example:

      az role assignment create --role "Azure Arc Kubernetes Viewer" --assignee $AAD_ENTITY_OBJECT_ID --scope $ARM_ID_CLUSTER
      az role assignment create --role "Azure Arc Enabled Kubernetes Cluster User Role" --assignee $AAD_ENTITY_OBJECT_ID --scope $ARM_ID_CLUSTER

Service account token authentication option

  1. With the kubeconfig file pointing to the apiserver of your Kubernetes cluster, run this command to create a service account. This example creates the service account in the default namespace, but you can substitute any other namespace for default.

    kubectl create serviceaccount demo-user -n default
  2. Create ClusterRoleBinding to grant this service account the appropriate permissions on the cluster. If you used a different namespace in the first command, substitute it here for default.

    kubectl create clusterrolebinding demo-user-binding --clusterrole cluster-admin --serviceaccount default:demo-user
  3. Create a service account token:

    kubectl apply -f - <<EOF
    apiVersion: v1
    kind: Secret
      name: demo-user-secret
      annotations: demo-user
    TOKEN=$(kubectl get secret demo-user-secret -o jsonpath='{$.data.token}' | base64 -d | sed 's/$/\n/g')
  4. Get the token to output to console

    echo $TOKEN

Access your cluster from a client device

Now you can access the cluster from a different client. Run the following steps on another client device.

  1. Sign in using either Microsoft Entra authentication or service account token authentication.

  2. Get the cluster connect kubeconfig needed to communicate with the cluster from anywhere (from even outside the firewall surrounding the cluster), based on the authentication option used:

    • If using Microsoft Entra authentication:

      az connectedk8s proxy -n $CLUSTER_NAME -g $RESOURCE_GROUP
    • If using service account token authentication:

      az connectedk8s proxy -n $CLUSTER_NAME -g $RESOURCE_GROUP --token $TOKEN


      This command will open the proxy and block the current shell.

  3. In a different shell session, use kubectl to send requests to the cluster:

    kubectl get pods -A

You should now see a response from the cluster containing the list of all pods under the default namespace.

Known limitations

Use az connectedk8s show to check your Arc-enabled Kubernetes agent version.

When making requests to the Kubernetes cluster, if the Microsoft Entra entity used is a part of more than 200 groups, you might see the following error:

You must be logged in to the server (Error:Error while retrieving group info. Error:Overage claim (users with more than 200 group membership) is currently not supported.

This is a known limitation. To get past this error:

  1. Create a service principal, which is less likely to be a member of more than 200 groups.
  2. Sign in to Azure CLI with the service principal before running the az connectedk8s proxy command.

Next steps