GKE Whitelisting

This page covers how to enable GKE IP Whitelisting. This feature is useful for deploying from a CloudBuild with GKE Private Clusters.

GKE Private Clusters whitelist and only allow authorized IPs to communicate with the Kubernetes control plane. An issue with CloudBuild is that the IP address is not well-known. Google creates a VM to run the CI scripts and throws it away when finished. Kubes can detect the IP of the CloudBuild machine, add it to the cluster, deploy, and remove the IP afterward.


To enable the GKE IP whitelisting feature, it’s a few simple configurations:


KubesGoogle.configure do |config|
  config.gke.cluster_name = "dev-cluster"
  config.gke.google_region = ENV['GOOGLE_REGION']
  config.gke.google_project = ENV['GOOGLE_PROJECT']
  config.gke.enable_hooks   = KubesGoogle.cloudbuild?
  config.gke.enable_get_credentials = KubesGoogle.cloudbuild? # enable hook to call: gcloud container clusters get-credentials

This enables kubes apply before and after hooks to add and remove the current machine IP.


  • Notice the use of KubesGoogle.configure instead of Kubes.configure here.
  • The KubesGoogle.cloudbuild? checks if kubes is running on a CloudBuild machine. So hooks don’t run locally on your machine.


Here are the config.gke settings:

Name Description Default
gke.cluster_name GKE cluster name. This is required when using the GKE whitelisting feature. nil
gke.enable_get_credentials Whether or not to run the hook that calls gcloud container clusters get-credentials. This spares you from having to call it manually. false
gke.enable_hooks This will be true when the cluster_name is set. So there’s no need to set it. The option provides a quick way to override and disable running the hooks. true
gke.google_project Google project. Can also be set with the env var GOOGLE_PROJECT. GOOGLE_PROJECT takes precedence. nil
gke.google_region Google region cluster is in. Can also be set with the env var GOOGLE_REGION. GOOGLE_REGION takes precedence. nil
gke.whitelist_ip Explicit IP to whitelist. By default the IP address of the current machine is automatically detected and used. nil

Build Docker Image

To build kubes as a Docker image entrypoint for Google CloudBuild Custom Builder.

git clone http://github.com/boltops-tools/kubes
cd kubes
gcloud builds submit --tag gcr.io/$GOOGLE_PROJECT/kubes

Be sure to set GOOGLE_PROJECT to your own project id.

Example Cloudbuild YAML


- name: 'gcr.io/$PROJECT_ID/kubes'
  args: ['deploy']
  - 'DOCKER_REPO=gcr.io/$PROJECT_ID/demo'
  - 'GOOGLE_PROJECT=$PROJECT_ID' # .kubes/config.rb: config.repo

  _KUBES_ENV: dev
    substitution_option: 'ALLOW_LOOSE'

Make sure to replace the substitutions with your own values. IE: _KUBES_ENV, etc.

Google CloudBuild IAM Permissions

In order to update the GKE cluster master authorized IP and whitelist the CloudBuild IP, you’ll need to allow the CloudBuild IAM role permissions.

Important: The “Kubernetes Engine Developer” that is available in the Cloud Build Settings page as described in Configuring access for Cloud Build Service Account does not suffice. You’ll need to add the “Kubernetes Engine Cluster Admin” role. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Google IAM Console and search “cloudbuild”
  2. Click “Edit Member”
  3. Add the “Kubernetes Engine Cluster Admin” role

Run CloudBuild

Run cloudbuild to deploy the dev env:

gcloud builds submit --config cloudbuild.yaml

To deploy the prod env:

gcloud builds submit --config cloudbuild.yaml --substitutions _KUBES_ENV=prod

See gcloud builds submit reference docs for more options.