Config Qinling with existing kubernetes/etcd cluster

In most cases, it’s not ideal to set up a new dedicated kubernetes cluster for Qinling. The component which works with kubernetes cluster in Qinling is the qinling-engine. Follow the steps below to configure Qinling to work with existing kubernetes/etcd cluster, and make Qinling access the kubernetes/etcd service with authentication and authorization.


  • You know the kubernetes API address and etcd service address, for example:

    export K8S_ADDRESS=
    export ETCD_ADDRESS=
    export QINLING_SERVICE_USER=qinling

    Make sure the kubernetes and etcd services are both accessible to external.

  • You know the IP address that qinling-engine service talks to kubernetes, for example:

  • You have CA certificates of the kubernetes and etcd respectively and store on the host that qinling-engine is running.

    export K8S_CA_CERT=$HOME/ca.crt
    export K8S_CA_KEY=$HOME/ca.key
    export ETCD_CA_CERT=$HOME/etcd_ca.crt
    export ETCD_CA_KEY=$HOME/etcd_ca.key
  • This guide assumes RBAC is enabled in the kubernetes cluster.

  • All the following commands are supposed to be executed under root permission.

Qinling configurations

Below are the options and their default values that relate to accessing the Kubernetes API and etcd in Qinling’s configuration file.

kube_host =
use_api_certificate = True
ssl_ca_cert = /etc/qinling/pki/kubernetes/ca.crt
cert_file = /etc/qinling/pki/kubernetes/qinling.crt
key_file = /etc/qinling/pki/kubernetes/qinling.key

host =
port = 2379
protocol = https
ca_cert = /etc/qinling/pki/etcd/ca.crt
cert_file = /etc/qinling/pki/etcd/qinling-etcd-client.crt
cert_key = /etc/qinling/pki/etcd/qinling-etcd-client.key

First, change the kubernetes and etcd service addresses in the config file, and add the addresses that qinling-engine uses to talk to kubernetes services to the trusted_cidrs option. We will create all the related certificates in the following steps.


If the qinling-engine service is running behind a NAT device, make sure you get the correct IP address that talks to kubernetes.

kube_host = https://${K8S_ADDRESS}:6443
trusted_cidrs = ${QINLING_ENGINE_ADDRESS}/32
host = ${ETCD_ADDRESS}

Generate and config client certificates for Qinling

There are a lot of tools out there for certificate generation. We use cfssl as the example here.

  1. Download and prepare the command line tools as needed.

    curl -L -o /tmp/cfssl
    chmod +x /tmp/cfssl
    curl -L -o /tmp/cfssljson
    chmod +x /tmp/cfssljson
  2. Generate the kubernetes and etcd client certificates for Qinling.

    mkdir -p /tmp/certs; cd /tmp/certs
    curl -SL -o /tmp/certs/cfssl-ca-config.json
    curl -SL -o /tmp/certs/cfssl-client-csr.json
    /tmp/cfssl gencert -ca=${K8S_CA_CERT} \
        -ca-key=${K8S_CA_KEY} \
        -config=/tmp/certs/cfssl-ca-config.json \
        -profile=client \
        /tmp/certs/cfssl-client-csr.json | /tmp/cfssljson -bare k8s-client
    /tmp/cfssl gencert -ca=${ETCD_CA_CERT} \
        -ca-key=${ETCD_CA_KEY} \
        -config=/tmp/certs/cfssl-ca-config.json \
        -profile=client \
        /tmp/certs/cfssl-client-csr.json | /tmp/cfssljson -bare etcd-client
  3. Move the certificates to the pre-defined locations in the config file and ensure the qinling service user has the permission to those locations.

    mkdir -p /etc/qinling/pki/{kubernetes,etcd}
    cp k8s-client-key.pem /etc/qinling/pki/kubernetes/qinling.key
    cp k8s-client.pem /etc/qinling/pki/kubernetes/qinling.crt
    cp etcd-client-key.pem /etc/qinling/pki/etcd/qinling-etcd-client.key
    cp etcd-client.pem /etc/qinling/pki/etcd/qinling-etcd-client.crt
    cp ${K8S_CA_CERT} /etc/qinling/pki/kubernetes/ca.crt
    cp ${ETCD_CA_CERT} /etc/qinling/pki/etcd/ca.crt
    chown -R ${QINLING_SERVICE_USER}:${QINLING_SERVICE_USER} /etc/qinling/pki
    cd -; rm -rf /tmp/certs

Create Role and RoleBinding in Kubernetes

According to the least privilege principle, the operation permission of qinling service user in kubernetes cluster should be restricted, this could be easily achieved by applying the pre-defined authorization manifest file. The following command is supposed to be executed with admin access of the kubernetes cluster.

curl -sSL | kubectl apply -f -

Restart Qinlig services

Restart all the Qinling services. Now Qinling is accessing the Kubernetes API and etcd service using TLS. The requests that Qinling makes to the Kubernetes API are also authorized.

systemctl restart devstack@qinling-*.service

Access the Kubernetes API Insecurely (For testing purpose ONLY)

Qinling can also connect to the Kubernetes API insecurely if the Kubernetes API server serves for insecure connections. However, this is not recommended and should be used for testing purpose only.

In the configuration file, under the kubernetes section, set kube_host to the URI which the Kubernetes API serves for insecure HTTP connections, for example, kube_host = http://localhost:8080, and set use_api_certificate to False to disable Qinling using a client certificate to access the Kubernetes API.

kube_host = http://localhost:8080
use_api_certificate = False