Trying to enable Kubernetes audit policy on my Kops cluster but ran into some problems during my setup. Some of this guide is very specific to the problem about the audit policy but I think this is a good guide on general troubleshooting the Kubernetes Masters when a problem arises and what you should take a look at to figure out what the Kube masters are doing and if it is running correctly.

If you are troubleshooting the Kubernetes masters, you might not have kubectl access. This means you will have to ssh into the Kubernetes master’s nodes. Yup, back to Linux!! I’ll run you through what you should be looking for.

Here is the link to the doc:

Copying this section into my cluster config:

    auditLogPath: /var/log/kube-apiserver-audit.log
    auditLogMaxAge: 10
    auditLogMaxBackups: 1
    auditLogMaxSize: 100
    auditPolicyFile: /srv/kubernetes/audit.yaml

Following the direction to load this in via the fileAsset directive:

  - name: apiserver-audit-policy
    path: /srv/kubernetes/audit.yaml
    roles: [Master]
    content: |
      apiVersion: # This is required.
      # apiVersion:
      kind: Policy
      # Don't generate audit events for all requests in RequestReceived stage.
        - "RequestReceived"
        # Log pod changes at RequestResponse level
        - level: RequestResponse
          - group: ""

Was able to apply this but non of the masters came back up and reachable.

So now, it is time to ssh into the master to find out what is going on.

If you are like me, I have the entire cluster on private subnets with no public IPs. You will need a bastion host and jump from there to be able to reach the Kube master. Here is the instructions on how to enable a bastion host in Kops:

Lets take a look at what the kubelet is telling us:

core@ip-172-16-30-135 ~ $ journalctl -fu kubelet
Mar 26 02:56:56 ip-172-16-30-135.ec2.internal kubelet[2341]: I0326 02:56:56.266464    2341 kuberuntime_manager.go:757] checking backoff for container "kube-apiserver" in pod "kube-apiserver-ip-172-16-30-135.ec2.internal_kube-system(9725139d01a4b4c33809817a7f87b185)"
Mar 26 02:56:56 ip-172-16-30-135.ec2.internal kubelet[2341]: I0326 02:56:56.266637    2341 kuberuntime_manager.go:767] Back-off 2m40s restarting failed container=kube-apiserver pod=kube-apiserver-ip-172-16-30-135.ec2.internal_kube-system(9725139d01a4b4c33809817a7f87b185)
Mar 26 02:56:56 ip-172-16-30-135.ec2.internal kubelet[2341]: E0326 02:56:56.266668    2341 pod_workers.go:186] Error syncing pod 9725139d01a4b4c33809817a7f87b185 ("kube-apiserver-ip-172-16-30-135.ec2.internal_kube-system(9725139d01a4b4c33809817a7f87b185)"), skipping: failed to "StartContainer" for "kube-apiserver" with CrashLoopBackOff: "Back-off 2m40s restarting failed container=kube-apiserver pod=kube-apiserver-ip-172-16-30-135.ec2.internal_kube-system(9725139d01a4b4c33809817a7f87b185)"

This is a lot of output but the kubelet is telling us that the kube-apiserver pod is crashing. Lets check the logs of this container by listing the containers running on this system:

core@ip-172-16-30-135 ~ $ docker ps -a | grep api
add61058922f        d82b2643a56a                         "/bin/sh -c 'mkfifo …"   3 minutes ago       Exited (1) 3 minutes ago                       k8s_kube-apiserver_kube-apiserver-ip-172-16-30-135.ec2.internal_kube-system_9725139d01a4b4c33809817a7f87b185_6

This is telling us that the container k8s_kube-apiserver_kube-apiserver-ip... exited. With Docker containers this means that PID 1 exited and did not hold the process as it should. Lets take a look at the logs:

core@ip-172-16-30-135 ~ $ docker logs add61058922f
I0326 03:02:46.509849       1 server.go:145] Version: v1.11.7
Error: loading audit policy file: failed decoding file "/srv/kubernetes/audit.yaml": no kind "Policy" is registered for version ""
  kube-apiserver [flags]


Ive omitted a bunch of logs and just showing what is pertinent here. Looks like the Kube API tried to load my audit.yaml file but it failed on:

no kind "Policy" is registered for version ""

Lets Google this!

First page I got was:

Same problem!! Yay!

No solved answer =(

However, one person did say he fixed it by changing this:


to, this:


Let’s give it a try!

Edit the file: /srv/kubernetes/audit.yaml

and change the apiVersion

After the change, just wait a minute or so. The kubelet is continually restarting this pod, which will restart the container.

Checking docker again:

core@ip-172-16-30-135 ~ $ docker ps | grep api
8215a06872dd        d82b2643a56a                         "/bin/sh -c 'mkfifo …"   About a minute ago   Up About a minute                       k8s_kube-apiserver_kube-apiserver-ip-172-16-30-135.ec2.internal_kube-system_9725139d01a4b4c33809817a7f87b185_8

It looks like the container has been up for a minute. That is good news. take a look at the logs with docker logs and the server has started and functioning.

I can now use kubectl to see if I can talk to the Kube API:

core@ip-172-16-30-135 ~ $ kubectl get nodes
NAME                            STATUS    ROLES     AGE       VERSION
ip-172-16-30-135.ec2.internal   Ready     master    55s       v1.11.7

This is looking good.

This post showed you how to fix this specific issue, but in general the workflow is valid for other Kubernetes Master related issues where it is so early in the process where the Master doesn’t even start up. At that point, you will have to ssh into the Master’s node and start debugging from there. I showed you that you should first look at the kubelet logs to see if it is telling you anything, then from there you might even have to interact with docker to get more logs and details on what the problem is.

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