Guide to Installing Jenkins X on an AWS EKS Cluster (Blog Series Pt.3)

by Bachu Paul, Devops Engineer, Rackspace Technology


Jenkins X is an open-source tool that automates CI/CD workflow for cloud native apps on Kubernetes. It harnesses the power of Kubernetes and let its users use it without knowing internal working of Kubernetes. Jenkins X is a collection of some of the best of breed tools and microservices like Kubernetes, Tekton, Helm, Lighthouse, Terraform, Octant(UI)], Hashicorp Vault, Kaniko, Grafana, Prometheus, kuberhealthy, etc.

Create Jenkins X cluster git repo

Jenkins X provides a cluster git repository template for managing Jenkins X configuration. To change anything in your Jenkins X cluster, open a pull request to this repository. Fork this repository to your GitHub organization account by clicking on this link.

The recommended approach to install Jenkins X is via terraform script that is provided by another git repository. Fork this repository into your GitHub organization account via this link .

Jenkins Pic 1

Now clone this repository into your local and open the project via your favorite IDE.

cd terraform-aws-eks-jx/

Open file and modify below parameter



*sensitive: true*

Jenkins Pic 2

Also, open the file and modify the following parameters: 



  _default: “my-eks-cluster”_


  _default: “default”_


  _default: “20”_


  _default: “my-eks-vpc-stack-VPC”_


  _default: ["", ""]_


  _default: ["", ""]_


  _default: ""_


  _default: false_


  _default: (your-cluster-git-repo(jx3-eks-vault)_


  _default: (your-new-bot-user)_


  _default: false_


  _default: false_

  _default: (vpc-id-of-eks-cluster)_

  _default: “3.12.0”_

Jenkins Pic 4

Save GitHub bot user token as an environment variable

export TF_VAR_jx_bot_token=<git-bot-user-token

To initialize terraform

terraform init

To see potential changes made by Terraform

terraform plan

To execute the install

terraform apply

When prompted for, enter the AWS region where your EKS cluster is provisioned.
If the terraform apply command ran successfully then you will see similar output as below 


Jenkins Pic 5

Note: It can take up to 10 minutes to install Jenkins X. 

To verify Jenkins X installation

jx ns jx
kubectl get es -A

Expected output:

Jenkins Pic 6

Check all pods are running in jx namespace

kubectl get pods -n jx

Expected output:

Jenkins Pic 7

Another command to verify successful Jenkins X installation

jx verify install

Expected output:

Jenkins Pic 8

To visualize Jenkins X installation and pipelines on UI, run this command. It will automatically open UI in a browser

jx ui

Expected output: 

Jenkins Pic 9

Verify ingress is working. Replace <hook-jx…> below with the value of hook’s HOSTS.

kubectl get ing -A
curl -v http://<hook-jx…>/hook  

Expected output:

Jenkins Pic 10

Troubleshooting Tips:

TIP #1 

If _kubectl get es -A_ gives _404 status error_, it most likely means that the secret generation step in the boot log did not work. One way to re-generate secrets is by making a direct push to the main branch of the cluster git repo (not by creating a pull request).

Jenkins Pic 11


Jenkins Pic 12
Jenkins Pic 12

 To verify successful secret generation, check admin logs using the following command and select the latest log

jx admin log

Expected output:

Jenkins Pic 13

TIP #2

If ingress controller is not working:  

curl -v http://<hook-jx…>/hook

does not give a 200 status code then check your ingress controller pod (nexus-nexus-…) is running via kubectl get pods -n jx 

Jenkins Pic 14

Verify this ingress IP is same as Elastic Network Interface (ENI) public IPv4 of the Network Load Balancer (NLB) created during Jenkins X installation. 


As you can see how easily we can tweak input variables as per our need in terraform script and run only one command *(terraform apply)* to create the entire Jenkins X cluster. Now we can import our application git repository to this Jenkins X cluster and can create multiple pipelines.

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