Version 1.0. This version is not fully supported. For the latest patches and updates for security vulnerabilities, exposures, and issues impacting GKE On-Prem, upgrade to a fully supported version. You can find the most recent version here.


The following sections describe issues you might encounter while using GKE On-Prem, and how to resolve them.

Before you begin

Check the following sections before you begin troubleshooting an issue.

Diagnosing cluster issues using gkectl

Use gkectl diagnosecommands to identify cluster issues and share cluster information with Google. See Diagnosing cluster issues.

Default logging behavior

For gkectl and gkeadm it is sufficient to use the default logging settings:

  • By default, log entries are saved as follows:

    • For gkectl, the default log file is /home/ubuntu/.config/gke-on-prem/logs/gkectl-$(date).log, and the file is symlinked with the logs/gkectl-$(date).log file in the local directory where you run gkectl.
    • For gkeadm, the default log file is logs/gkeadm-$(date).log in the local directory where you run gkeadm.
  • All log entries are saved in the log file, even if they are not printed in the terminal (when --alsologtostderr is false).
  • The -v5 verbosity level (default) covers all the log entries needed by the support team.
  • The log file also contains the command executed and the failure message.

We recommend that you send the log file to the support team when you need help.

Specifying a non-default location for the log file

To specify a non-default location for the gkectl log file, use the --log_file flag. The log file that you specify will not be symlinked with the local directory.

To specify a non-default location for the gkeadm log file, use the --log_file flag.

Locating Cluster API logs in the admin cluster

If a VM fails to start after the admin control plane has started, you can try debugging this by inspecting the Cluster API controllers' logs in the admin cluster:

  1. Find the name of the Cluster API controllers Pod in the kube-system namespace, where [ADMIN_CLUSTER_KUBECONFIG] is the path to the admin cluster's kubeconfig file:

    kubectl --kubeconfig [ADMIN_CLUSTER_KUBECONFIG] -n kube-system get pods | grep clusterapi-controllers
  2. Open the Pod's logs, where [POD_NAME] is the name of the Pod. Optionally, use grep or a similar tool to search for errors:

    kubectl --kubeconfig [ADMIN_CLUSTER_KUBECONFIG] -n kube-system logs [POD_NAME] vsphere-controller-manager


Debugging F5 BIG-IP issues using the admin cluster control plane node's kubeconfig

After an installation, GKE On-Prem generates a kubeconfig file in the home directory of your admin workstation named internal-cluster-kubeconfig-debug. This kubeconfig file is identical to your admin cluster's kubeconfig, except that it points directly at the admin cluster's control plane node, where the admin control plane runs. You can use the internal-cluster-kubeconfig-debug file to debug F5 BIG-IP issues.

gkectl check-config validation fails: can't find F5 BIG-IP partitions


Validation fails because F5 BIG-IP partitions can't be found, even though they exist.

Potential causes

An issue with the F5 BIG-IP API can cause validation to fail.


Try running gkectl check-config again.

gkectl prepare --validate-attestations fails: could not validate build attestation


Running gkectl prepare with the optional --validate-attestations flag returns the following error:

could not validate build attestation for VIOLATES_POLICY
Potential causes

An attestation might not exist for the affected image(s).


Try downloading and deploying the admin workstation OVA again, as instructed in Creating an admin workstation. If the issue persists, reach out to Google for assistance.

Debugging using the bootstrap cluster's logs

During installation, GKE On-Prem creates a temporary bootstrap cluster. After a successful installation, GKE On-Prem deletes the bootstrap cluster, leaving you with your admin cluster and user cluster. Generally, you should have no reason to interact with this cluster.

If something goes wrong during an installation, and you did pass --cleanup-external-cluster=false to gkectl create cluster, you might find it useful to debug using the bootstrap cluster's logs. You can find the Pod, and then get its logs:

kubectl --kubeconfig /home/ubuntu/.kube/kind-config-gkectl get pods -n kube-system
kubectl --kubeconfig /home/ubuntu/.kube/kind-config-gkectl -n kube-system get logs [POD_NAME]

Admin workstation

openssl can't validate admin workstation OVA


Running openssl dgst against the admin workstation OVA file doesn't return Verified OK

Potential causes

An issue is present in the OVA file that prevents successful validation.


Try downloading and deploying the admin workstation OVA again, as instructed in Download the admin workstation OVA . If the issue persists, reach out to Google for assistance.


Unable to register a user cluster

If you encounter issues with registering user clusters, reach out to Google for assistance.

Cluster created during alpha was deregistered

Refer to Registering a user cluster in the Connect documentation.

You might also choose to delete and recreate the cluster.


About downtime during upgrades

Resource Description
Admin cluster

When an admin cluster is down, user cluster control planes and workloads on user clusters continue to run, unless they were affected by a failure that caused the downtime

User cluster control plane

Typically, you should expect no noticeable downtime to user cluster control planes. However, long-running connections to the Kubernetes API server might break and would need to be re-established. In those cases, the API caller should retry until it establishes a connection. In the worst case, there can be up to one minute of downtime during an upgrade.

User cluster nodes

If an upgrade requires a change to user cluster nodes, GKE On-Prem recreates the nodes in a rolling fashion, and reschedules Pods running on these nodes. You can prevent impact to your workloads by configuring appropriate PodDisruptionBudgets and anti-affinity rules.

Resizing user clusters

Resizing a user cluster fails


A resize operation on a user cluster fails.

Potential causes

Several factors could cause resize operations to fail.


If a resize fails, follow these steps:

  1. Check the cluster's MachineDeployment status to see if there are any events or error messages:

    kubectl describe machinedeployments [MACHINE_DEPLOYMENT_NAME]
  2. Check if there are errors on the newly-created Machines:

    kubectl describe machine [MACHINE_NAME]

Error: "no addresses can be allocated"


After resizing a user cluster, kubectl describe machine [MACHINE_NAME] displays the following error:

   Type     Reason  Age                From                    Message
   ----     ------  ----               ----                    -------
   Warning  Failed  9s (x13 over 56s)  machineipam-controller  ipam: no addresses can be allocated
Potential causes

There aren't enough IP addresses available for the user cluster.


Allocate more IP addresses for the cluster. Then, delete the affected Machine:

kubectl delete machine [MACHINE_NAME]

If the cluster is configured correctly, a replacement Machine is created with an IP address.

Sufficient number of IP addresses allocated, but Machine fails to register with cluster


Network has enough addresses allocated but the Machine still fails to register with the user cluster.

Possible causes

There might be an IP conflict. The IP might be taken by another Machine or by your load balancer.


Check that the affected Machine's IP address is not taken. If there is a conflict, you need to resolve the conflict in your environment.


Terraform vSphere provider session limit

GKE On-Prem uses Terraform's vSphere provider to bring up VMs in your vSphere environment. The provider's session limit is 1000 sessions. The current implementation doesn't close active sessions after use. You might encounter 503 errors if you have too many sessions running.

Sessions are automatically closed after 300 seconds.


If you have too many sessions running, you might encounter the following error:

Error connecting to CIS REST endpoint: Login failed: body:
  {"messages":[{"args":["1000","1000"],"default_message":"Sessions count is
  limited to 1000. Existing sessions are 1000.",
  status: 503 Service Unavailable
Potential causes

There are too many Terraform provider sessions running in your environment.


Currently, this is working as intended. Sessions are automatically closed after 300 seconds. For more information, refer to to GitHub issue #618.

Using a proxy for Docker: oauth2: cannot fetch token


While using a proxy, you encounter the following error:

oauth2: cannot fetch token: Post proxyconnect tcp: tls: oversized record received with length 20527
Potential causes

You might have provided a HTTPS proxy instead of HTTP.


In your Docker configuration, change the proxy address to http:// instead of https://.

Verifying that licenses are valid

Remember to verify that your licenses is valid, especially if you are using trial licenses. You might encounter unexpected failures if your F5, ESXi host, or vCenter licenses have expired.