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CI CD for EKS Using AWS CodePipeline

Now, let's see how you can set up CI/CD for a containerized application on EKS using AWS CodePipeline.

Step 1: Create a Private GitHub Repository

In the first step let's create a private github repository. Let's call it node-app. You can name it anything you prefer.

Make sure to choose gitignore for Node.js application. This will create a .gitignore file for Node.js application.

Step 2: Clone the GitHub Repository

Now, let's clone the repository on local machine so that we can make changes and push it to the repo.

git clone <github-repository-url>

Step 3: Test the Application Locally

This is a simple Node.js app using express. Make sure you have Node.js and npm installed on your local machine so that you can test it locally.

# Verify if node is installed
node --version

# Verify if npm is installed
npm --version
const express = require('express')
const app = express()
var os = require('os');

const PORT = process.env.PORT || 5000;

app.get('/', function (_req, res) {
  let host = os.hostname();
  data = {
    Host: host,
    Version: "v1"

app.get('/health', function(_req, res) {

app.listen(PORT, () => {
  console.log(`Server is running on port ${PORT}`);
  "name": "nodeapp",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "server.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC",
  "dependencies": {
    "express": "^4.18.2"

Assuming your folder structure looks like the one below:

|-- nodeapp
│   |-- .gitignore
│   |-- package.json
│   |-- server.js

Run the following command to install the npm packages:

npm install

Run the following command to test the app:

node server.js

Now, open another terminal and call localhost on port 5000.

# Call root endpoint
curl localhost:5000

## Call health endpoint
curl localhost:5000/health

Or, visit these URLs in any browser.

Step 4: Containerize the App and Test it Locally

Let's create a Dockerfile and create a Docker image out of it. Also, add a .dockerignore file.


A .dockerignore is a configuration file that describes files and directories that you want to exclude when building a Docker image.

FROM node:18

# Create app directory
WORKDIR /usr/src/app

# Copy package.json and package-lock.json
COPY package*.json ./

# Install packages mentioned package.json
RUN npm install

# Bundle app source
COPY . .

CMD [ "node", "server.js" ]
# Dependency directories

# Environment variable files

# Logs

Assuming your folder structure looks like the one below:

|-- nodeapp
│   |-- Dockerfile
│   |-- .dockerignore
│   |-- .gitignore
│   |-- server.js

Run the following command to build the docker image:

docker build -t my-node-app .

Now, run a container from the docker image:

docker run --name my-node-container -p 5000:5000 my-node-app

Verify the application endpoints:

curl localhost:5000
curl localhost:5000/health

Stop and delete the container:

# list containers
docker ps -a | grep my-node-container

# stop the container
docker stop my-node-container

# Delete the container
docker rm my-node-container

Step 5: Create Amazon ECR Repository

Create ECR repository to which we will later push the my-node-app:latest image that we built.

aws ecr create-repository \
    --repository-name my-node-app \
    --image-scanning-configuration scanOnPush=true

Step 6: Create Kubernetes Manifest Files

Let's prepare kubernetes manifest files for our application.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Namespace
  name: nodeapp
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: my-nodeapp
  namespace: nodeapp
  replicas: 2
      app: nodeapp
        app: nodeapp
      - name: nodeapp
        image: CONTAINER_IMAGE
          - containerPort: 5000
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: my-nodeapp-service
  namespace: nodeapp
    app: nodeapp
    - port: 80
      targetPort: 5000

Note that CONTAINER_IMAGE is a placeholder that will be replace with actual ECR image URI during deployment.

Step 7: Create Buildspec for AWS CodeBuild

A buildspec is a collection of build commands and related settings, in YAML format, that CodeBuild uses to run a build.

version: 0.2
run-as: root


      - echo Nothing to Install.
      - echo AWS CodeBuild image already has the required tools we need.
      - echo We will verify it in the next stage.

      # Check if kubectl is installed
      - echo Checking if kubectl is installed...
      - kubectl version --client
      # Check if aws-cli is installed
      - echo Checking if aws-cli is installed...
      - aws --version
      # Login to ECR
      - echo Logging in to Amazon ECR...
      - $(aws ecr get-login --region $AWS_DEFAULT_REGION --no-include-email)
      # GitHub commit hash to tag the image
      # Additional latest tag
      - IMAGE_TAG='latest'

      # Build the Docker image and add an additional latest tag
      - echo Building the Docker image...     
      - docker build -t $REPOSITORY_URI:$COMMIT_HASH .

      # Push the Docker images to ECR
      - echo Pushing the Docker image with commit hash as tag...
      - docker push $REPOSITORY_URI:$COMMIT_HASH
      - echo Pushing the Docker image with the latest image tag...
      - docker push $REPOSITORY_URI:$IMAGE_TAG
      - echo Pushed images to ECR.
      # Update kube config. This requires the codebuild role to have eks:DescribeCluster permission
      - aws eks update-kubeconfig --name $CLUSTER_NAME
      # Replace the CONTAINER_IMAGE placeholder with actual image URI
      - sed -i "s|CONTAINER_IMAGE|$REPOSITORY_URI:$COMMIT_HASH|g" k8s-manifests/deployment.yml
      # Apply any manifest changes in k8s-manifest folder. 
      - echo Applying kubernetes manifest changes...
      - kubectl apply -f k8s-manifests

The script performs the following actions:

  1. Verifies whether the necessary dependencies, such as kubectl and aws-cli, are installed.
  2. Logs into Amazon ECR.
  3. Builds the Docker image.
  4. Pushes the image to ECR.
  5. Updates the deployment manifest by substituting the CONTAINER_IMAGE placeholder with the newly pushed image on ECR.
  6. Deploys the kubernetes manifests to EKS.

At this point your git repository folder structure should look like the following:

|-- nodeapp
│   |-- k8s-manifests
|   |   |-- 00-namespace.yml
|   |   |-- deployment.yml
|   |   |-- service.yml
│   |-- .dockerignore
│   |-- .gitignore
│   |-- Dockerfile
│   |-- buildspec.yml
│   |-- package-lock.json
│   |-- package.json
│   |-- server.js

Step 8: Create AWS CodeBuild Project

AWS CodeBuild is a fully managed continuous integration service that compiles source code, runs tests, and produces software packages that are ready to deploy.

Before we proceed, let's create an IAM role for CodeBuild project. It is important that you create role first otherwise a role will be created in service-role namespace and AWS EKS doesn't work with that role. This is a bug.

Now, follow the instruction below to create a CodeBuild project:

  1. Go to AWS CodeBuild console
  2. Click on Build projects in the left navigation panel.
  3. Click on Create build project button on the top right corner.
  4. In the Project configuration section, provide the Project name. We'll name it node-app.
  5. In the Source section select GitHub as source provider.
  6. For Repository select Repository in my GitHub account.
  7. Select Connect using OAuth and click on Connect to GitHub.
  8. A new window will open for authorization.
  9. Click on Authorize aws-codesuite after you have selected the required permissions.
  10. In the Source version provide branch name. It should be master in our case.
  11. In the Environment section, select Managed Image.
  12. Select Amazon Linux 2 as the Operating system.
  13. In the Runtime select standard.
  14. For Image select the latest version. 7.0 as of today.
  15. For Image version select Always use the latest image for this runtime version.
  16. Check the Privileged checkbox.
  17. In the Service role select existing.
  18. In the Buildspec section, select Use a buildspec file.
  19. In the Buildspec name provide the name of the buildspec file. It is buildspec.yml in our case.
  20. In the Logs section, check the CloudWatch logs.
  21. Leave the Group name empty. (Auto create).
  22. Leave the Stream name empty. (Auto create).

We need to assign the required permissions to the role attached to the CodeBuild project.

Open the service role attached to the codebuild project and assign the following permissions:

  1. AmazonEC2ContainerRegistryPowerUser: Allows codebuild project to push image to the ECR repository.
  2. Add the following inline policy. This allows codebuild project to get required EKS permissions.
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": "*"


It is recommended to use granular permissions but for simplicity we are avoiding that.

Also, edit the CodeBuild project and add the following environent variables:

  1. REPOSITORY_URI: ECR repository URI that we created
  2. CLUSTER_NAME: EKS cluster name

Now, update the aws-auth ConfigMap to allow CodeBuild to apply k8s manifest files:

# View the current ConfigMap
kubectl get configmap aws-auth -n kube-system -o yaml

# Edit the aws-auth ConfigMap
export KUBE_EDITOR=nano
kubectl edit configmap aws-auth -n kube-system

Update the aws-auth ConfigMap by adding the following item in the mapRoles list as shown below:

mapRoles: |
   - groups:
     - system:masters
     rolearn: <codebuild-service-role-arn>
     username: <codebuild-project-service-role-name>

Now, trigger the CodeBuild project manually to test if deployment is working as expected.

Step 9: Create AWS CodePipeline

Create an AWS CodePipeline to trigger the build whenever a change is pushed to the repository in the master branch.

Follow the instruction below to create the CodePipeline:

  1. Go to AWS CodePipeline console.
  2. Click on Create pipeline.
  3. Provide Pipeline name.
  4. In Service role, select New service role.
  5. Leave everything else as default.
  6. Click on Next.
  7. In Source provider, select GitHub (Version 2).
  8. In Connection, click on Connect to GitHub.
  9. A new window will open to create a new connection.
  10. Provide connection name and authorize.
  11. In GitHub Apps click on Install a new App.
  12. Authorize and install app.
  13. In Repository name select the required repository.
  14. In Branch name select master.
  15. Check the box that says Start the pipeline on source code change.
  16. Leave everything else as default
  17. Click on Next.
  18. In Build, select AWS CodeBuild as Build provider.
  19. Select Region.
  20. Select Project name.
  21. Leave everything else as default.
  22. Click on Next.
  23. Skip deploy stage.
  24. Click on Create pipeline.

Step 10: Verify the Working of CI/CD Pipeline

Make some changes to your repository and verify that the pipeline gets triggered automatically.

Change the version of the app to v2 and verify if the changes are reflected in EKS cluster.