The following steps will quickly deploy a Rancher Server on AWS with a single node cluster attached.


Note Deploying to Amazon AWS will incur charges.

  • Amazon AWS Account: An Amazon AWS Account is required to create resources for deploying Rancher and Kubernetes.
  • Amazon AWS Access Key: Use this link to follow a tutorial to create an Amazon AWS Access Key if you don’t have one yet.
  • Amazon AWS Key Pair Use this link and follow instructions to create a Key Pair.
  • Terraform: Used to provision the server and cluster in Amazon AWS.

Getting Started

  1. Clone Rancher Quickstart to a folder using git clone

  2. Go into the AWS folder containing the terraform files by executing cd quickstart/aws.

  3. Rename the terraform.tfvars.example file to terraform.tfvars.

  4. Edit terraform.tfvars and customize the following variables:

    • aws_access_key - Amazon AWS Access Key
    • aws_secret_key - Amazon AWS Secret Key
    • rancher_server_admin_password - Admin password for created Rancher server
  5. Optional: Modify optional variables within terraform.tfvars. See the Quickstart Readme and the AWS Quickstart Readme for more information. Suggestions include:

    • aws_region - Amazon AWS region, choose the closest instead of the default
    • prefix - Prefix for all created resources
    • instance_type - EC2 instance size used, minimum is t3a.medium but t3a.large or t3a.xlarge could be used if within budget
    • ssh_key_file_name - Use a specific SSH key instead of ~/.ssh/id_rsa (public key is assumed to be ${ssh_key_file_name}.pub)
  6. Run terraform init.

  7. Install the RKE terraform provider, see installation instructions.

  8. To initiate the creation of the environment, run terraform apply --auto-approve. Then wait for output similar to the following:

    Apply complete! Resources: 16 added, 0 changed, 0 destroyed.
    rancher_node_ip = xx.xx.xx.xx
    rancher_server_url =
    workload_node_ip = yy.yy.yy.yy
  9. Paste the rancher_server_url from the output above into the browser. Log in when prompted (default username is admin, use the password set in rancher_server_admin_password).


Two Kubernetes clusters are deployed into your AWS account, one running Rancher Server and the other ready for experimentation deployments.

What’s Next?

Use Rancher to create a deployment. For more information, see Creating Deployments.

Destroying the Environment

  1. From the quickstart/aws folder, execute terraform destroy --auto-approve.

  2. Wait for confirmation that all resources have been destroyed.