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The EKS Ephemeral Cluster Manager


This is a service for development and test environments. It is not an official AWS offering, use at your own risk.

Managing Amazon EKS clusters for development and test environments manually is boring. You have to wait until they're provisioned and then have to remember to tear them down again, in order to minimize costs. How about automating these steps?

Meet EKSphemeral, the simple manager for ephemeral EKS clusters, allowing you to launch EKS clusters that auto-tear down after some time, and you can also prolong their lifetime if you want to continue to use them.

If you like, you can have a look at a video walkthrough, before you try it out yourself.

You can either use the EKSphemeral UI:

UI showing cluster create

Or the EKSphemeral CLI:

UI showing cluster create


In order to use EKSphemeral you need to have jq (install) and the aws CLI (install) installed. All other dependencies, such as the Fargate CLI will be installed automatically, if not present on the system.


Make sure to set the respective environment variables as shown here before you proceed. Most install issue come from not all environment variables set.

The following environment variables need to be set so that the install process knows where the dependencies are and which S3 bucket to use for the control plane (EKSPHEMERAL_SVC_BUCKET) and where to put the cluster metadata (EKSPHEMERAL_CLUSTERMETA_BUCKET), for example:

$ export EKSPHEMERAL_HOME=~/eksp
$ export EKSPHEMERAL_CLUSTERMETA_BUCKET=eks-cluster-meta

Optionally, in order to receive email notifications about cluster creation and destruction, you need to set the EKSPHEMERAL_EMAIL_FROM environment variable, for example:

$ export


In addition to setting the EKSPHEMERAL_EMAIL_FROM environment variable, you MUST verify both the source email, that is, the address you provide in EKSPHEMERAL_EMAIL_FROM as well as the target email address (in the owner field of the cluster spec, see below for details) in the EU (Ireland) eu-west-1 region.

We're now in the position to install EKSphemeral with a single command, here shown for an install below your home directory:

$ curl -sL | sudo --preserve-env bash

This process can take several minutes. After this, EKSphemeral is installed in your AWS environment as well as the CLI is locally available. Learn more about what exactly is created and running as part of the install process by perusing the EKSphemeral architecture.


You can create, inspect, and prolong the lifetime of a cluster with the CLI or, if you prefer a visual interface check out the local EKSphemeral UI proxy, which requires Docker.