AWS Controllers for Kubernetes (ACK) lets you define and use AWS service resources directly from Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA). With ACK, you can take advantage of AWS-managed services for your applications without needing to define resources outside of the cluster or run services that provide supporting capabilities such as databases or message queues within the cluster.

You can install various ACK Operators directly from OperatorHub. This makes it easy to get started and use the Operators with your applications. This controller is a component of the AWS Controller for Kubernetes project, which is currently in developer preview.

Use this tutorial to deploy the ACK S3 Operator. You can also adapt it for any other ACK Operator in the OperatorHub of your cluster.


  • A ROSA cluster

  • A user account with cluster-admin privileges

  • The OpenShift CLI (oc)

  • The Amazon Web Services (AWS) CLI (aws)

Setting up your environment

  1. Configure the following environment variables, changing the cluster name to suit your cluster:

    $ export CLUSTER_NAME=$(oc get infrastructure cluster -o=jsonpath="{.status.infrastructureName}"  | sed 's/-[a-z0-9]\{5\}$//')
    $ export REGION=$(rosa describe cluster -c ${ROSA_CLUSTER_NAME} --output json | jq -r .region.id)
    $ export OIDC_ENDPOINT=$(oc get authentication.config.openshift.io cluster -o json | jq -r .spec.serviceAccountIssuer | sed  's|^https://||')
    $ export AWS_ACCOUNT_ID=`aws sts get-caller-identity --query Account --output text`
    $ export ACK_SERVICE=s3
    $ export ACK_SERVICE_ACCOUNT=ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-controller
    $ export POLICY_ARN=arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonS3FullAccess
    $ export AWS_PAGER=""
    $ export SCRATCH="/tmp/${ROSA_CLUSTER_NAME}/ack"
    $ mkdir -p ${SCRATCH}
  2. Ensure all fields output correctly before moving to the next section:

    $ echo "Cluster: ${ROSA_CLUSTER_NAME}, Region: ${REGION}, OIDC Endpoint: ${OIDC_ENDPOINT}, AWS Account ID: ${AWS_ACCOUNT_ID}"

Preparing your AWS Account

  1. Create an AWS Identity Access Management (IAM) trust policy for the ACK Operator:

    $ cat <<EOF > "${SCRATCH}/trust-policy.json"
     "Version": "2012-10-17",
     "Statement": [
     "Effect": "Allow",
     "Condition": {
       "StringEquals" : {
         "${OIDC_ENDPOINT}:sub": "system:serviceaccount:ack-system:${ACK_SERVICE_ACCOUNT}"
     "Principal": {
       "Federated": "arn:aws:iam::$AWS_ACCOUNT_ID:oidc-provider/${OIDC_ENDPOINT}"
     "Action": "sts:AssumeRoleWithWebIdentity"
  2. Create an AWS IAM role for the ACK Operator to assume with the AmazonS3FullAccess policy attached:

    You can find the recommended policy in each project’s GitHub repository, for example https://github.com/aws-controllers-k8s/s3-controller/blob/main/config/iam/recommended-policy-arn.

    $ ROLE_ARN=$(aws iam create-role --role-name "ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-controller" \
       --assume-role-policy-document "file://${SCRATCH}/trust-policy.json" \
       --query Role.Arn --output text)
    $ echo $ROLE_ARN
    $ aws iam attach-role-policy --role-name "ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-controller" \
         --policy-arn ${POLICY_ARN}

Installing the ACK S3 Controller

  1. Create a project to install the ACK S3 Operator into:

    $ oc new-project ack-system
  2. Create a file with the ACK S3 Operator configuration:

    ACK_WATCH_NAMESPACE is purposefully left blank so the controller can properly watch all namespaces in the cluster.

    $ cat <<EOF > "${SCRATCH}/config.txt"
  3. Use the file from the previous step to create a ConfigMap:

    $ oc -n ack-system create configmap \
      --from-env-file=${SCRATCH}/config.txt ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-user-config
  4. Install the ACK S3 Operator from OperatorHub:

    $ cat << EOF | oc apply -f -
    apiVersion: operators.coreos.com/v1
    kind: OperatorGroup
      name: ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-controller
      namespace: ack-system
      upgradeStrategy: Default
    apiVersion: operators.coreos.com/v1alpha1
    kind: Subscription
      name: ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-controller
      namespace: ack-system
      channel: alpha
      installPlanApproval: Automatic
      name: ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-controller
      source: community-operators
      sourceNamespace: openshift-marketplace
  5. Annotate the ACK S3 Operator service account with the AWS IAM role to assume and restart the deployment:

    $ oc -n ack-system annotate serviceaccount ${ACK_SERVICE_ACCOUNT} \
      eks.amazonaws.com/role-arn=${ROLE_ARN} && \
      oc -n ack-system rollout restart deployment ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-controller
  6. Verify that the ACK S3 Operator is running:

    $ oc -n ack-system get pods
    Example output
    NAME                                 READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    ack-s3-controller-585f6775db-s4lfz   1/1     Running   0          51s

Validating the deployment

  1. Deploy an S3 bucket resource:

    $ cat << EOF | oc apply -f -
    apiVersion: s3.services.k8s.aws/v1alpha1
    kind: Bucket
       name: ${CLUSTER-NAME}-bucket
       namespace: ack-system
       name: ${CLUSTER-NAME}-bucket
  2. Verify the S3 bucket was created in AWS:

    $ aws s3 ls | grep ${CLUSTER_NAME}-bucket
    Example output
    2023-10-04 14:51:45 mrmc-test-maz-bucket

Cleaning up

  1. Delete the S3 bucket resource:

    $ oc -n ack-system delete bucket.s3.services.k8s.aws/${CLUSTER-NAME}-bucket
  2. Delete the ACK S3 Operator and the AWS IAM roles:

    $ oc -n ack-system delete subscription ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-controller
    $ aws iam detach-role-policy \
      --role-name "ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-controller" \
      --policy-arn ${POLICY_ARN}
    $ aws iam delete-role \
      --role-name "ack-${ACK_SERVICE}-controller"
  3. Delete the ack-system project:

    $ oc delete project ack-system