Provisioning Configuration

Learn AWS-specific Karpenter provisioning settings

Provisioner settings specific to Karpenter for the AWS cloud provider are described here. The following example shows optional and required settings for a Karpenter provisioner for AWS:

kind: Provisioner
  name: default
    - key:         # optional, set to on-demand by default, spot if both are listed
      operator: In
      values: ["spot"]
      cpu: 1000                               # optional, recommended to limit total provisioned CPUs
      memory: 1000Gi                          # optional, recommended to limit total provisioned memory
    subnetSelector:                           # required ${CLUSTER_NAME}
    securityGroupSelector:                    # required, when not using launchTemplate ${CLUSTER_NAME}
    instanceProfile: MyInstanceProfile        # optional, if already set in controller args
    launchTemplate: MyLaunchTemplate          # optional, see Launch Template documentation
      InternalAccountingTag: 1234             # optional, add tags for your own use
  ttlSecondsAfterEmpty: 30                    # optional, but never scales down if not set
  ttlSecondsUntilExpired: 2592000             # optional, but never expires if not set

Refer to Provisioner API for settings that are not specific to AWS. See below for other AWS provider-specific parameters.


This section covers parameters of the AWS Cloud Provider.

Review these fields in the code.


An InstanceProfile is a way to pass a single IAM role to an EC2 instance. Karpenter will not create one automatically. A default profile may be specified on the controller, allowing it to be omitted here. If not specified as either a default or on the controller, node provisioning will fail.

    instanceProfile: MyInstanceProfile


A launch template is a set of configuration values sufficient for launching an EC2 instance (e.g., AMI, storage spec).

A custom launch template is specified by name. If none is specified, Karpenter will automatically create a launch template.

Review the Launch Template documentation to learn how to create a custom one.

    launchTemplate: MyLaunchTemplate

SubnetSelector (required)

Karpenter discovers subnets using AWS tags.

Subnets may be specified by any AWS tag, including Name. Selecting tag values using wildcards (*) is supported.

Subnet IDs may be specified by using the key aws-ids and then passing the IDs as a comma-separated string value.

When launching nodes, Karpenter automatically chooses a subnet that matches the desired zone. If multiple subnets exist for a zone, the one with the most available IP addresses will be used.


Select all subnets with a specified tag:

  subnetSelector: '*'

Select subnets by name:

    Name: my-subnet

Select subnets by an arbitrary AWS tag key/value pair:

    MySubnetTag: value

Select subnets using wildcards:

    Name: "*Public*"

Specify subnets explicitly by ID:

    aws-ids: "subnet-09fa4a0a8f233a921,subnet-0471ca205b8a129ae"

SecurityGroupSelector (required, when not using launchTemplate)

The security group of an instance is comparable to a set of firewall rules.

EKS creates at least two security groups by default, review the documentation for more info.

Security groups may be specified by any AWS tag, including “Name”. Selecting tags using wildcards (*) is supported.

To verify if this restriction affects you, run the following commands.

CLUSTER_VPC_ID="$(aws eks describe-cluster --name $CLUSTER_NAME --query cluster.resourcesVpcConfig.vpcId --output text)"

aws ec2 describe-security-groups --filters Name=vpc-id,Values=$CLUSTER_VPC_ID Name=tag-key,$CLUSTER_NAME --query 'SecurityGroups[].[GroupName]' --output text

If multiple securityGroups are printed, you will need a more targeted securityGroupSelector.


Select all security groups with a specified tag:

    securityGroupSelector: '*'

Select security groups by name, or another tag (all criteria must match):

   Name: my-security-group
   MySecurityTag: '' # matches all resources with the tag

Select security groups by name using a wildcard:

   Name: "*Public*"

Specify security groups explicitly by ID:

   aws-ids: "sg-063d7acfb4b06c82c,sg-06e0cf9c198874591"


Karpenter adds tags to all resources it creates, including EC2 Instances, EBS volumes, and Launch Templates. The default set of AWS tags are listed below.

Name:<provisioner-name> <provisioner-name><cluster-name>: owned

Additional tags can be added in the provider tags section which are merged with and can override the default tag values.

      InternalAccountingTag: 1234 Calculator MyTeam

Metadata Options

Control the exposure of Instance Metadata Service on EC2 Instances launched by this provisioner using a generated launch template.

Refer to recommended, security best practices for limiting exposure of Instance Metadata and User Data to pods.

If metadataOptions are omitted from this provisioner, the following default settings will be used.

      httpEndpoint: enabled
      httpProtocolIPv6: disabled
      httpPutResponseHopLimit: 2
      httpTokens: required

Amazon Machine Image (AMI) Family

The AMI used when provisioning nodes can be controlled by the amiFamily field. Based on the value set for amiFamily, Karpenter will automatically query for the appropriate EKS optimized AMI via AWS Systems Manager (SSM).

Currently, Karpenter supports amiFamily values AL2, Bottlerocket, and Ubuntu. GPUs are only supported with AL2 and Bottlerocket.

Note: If a custom launch template is specified, then the AMI value in the launch template is used rather than the amiFamily value.

    amiFamily: Bottlerocket

Block Device Mappings

The blockDeviceMappings field in a Provisioner can be used to control the Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes that Karpenter attaches to provisioned nodes. Karpenter uses default block device mappings for the AMI Family specified. For example, the Bottlerocket AMI Family defaults with two block device mappings, one for Bottlerocket’s control volume and the other for container resources such as images and logs.

Learn more about block device mappings.

Note: If a custom launch template is specified, then the BlockDeviceMappings field in the launch template is used rather than the provisioner’s blockDeviceMappings.

      - deviceName: /dev/xvda
          volumeSize: 100Gi
          volumeType: gp3
          iops: 10000
          encrypted: true
          kmsKeyID: "arn:aws:kms:us-west-2:111122223333:key/1234abcd-12ab-34cd-56ef-1234567890ab"
          deleteOnTermination: true
          throughput: 125
          snapshotID: snap-0123456789

Other Resources

Accelerators, GPU

Accelerator (e.g., GPU) values include


Karpenter supports accelerators, such as GPUs.

Additionally, include a resource requirement in the workload manifest. This will cause the GPU dependent pod will be scheduled onto the appropriate node.

Here is an example of an accelerator resource in a workload manifest (e.g., pod):

      - resources:
Last modified June 15, 2022 : Release v0.11.1 (205c4db5)