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First steps with Constellation

The following steps guide you through the process of creating a cluster and deploying a sample app. This example assumes that you have successfully installed and set up Constellation, and have access to a cloud subscription.


If you don't have a cloud subscription, you can also set up a local Constellation cluster using virtualization for testing.


If you encounter any problem with the following steps, make sure to use the latest release and check out the known issues.

Create a cluster

  1. Create the configuration file and state file for your cloud provider. If you are following the steps of this guide, there is no need to edit the file.

    constellation config generate aws
  2. Create your IAM configuration.

    constellation iam create aws --zone=us-east-2a --prefix=constellTest --update-config

    This command creates IAM configuration for the AWS zone us-east-2a using the prefix constellTest for all named resources being created. It also updates the configuration file constellation-conf.yaml in your current directory with the IAM values filled in.

    Depending on the attestation variant selected on config generation, different regions are available. AMD SEV-SNP machines (requires the default attestation variant awsSEVSNP) are currently available in the following regions:

    • eu-west-1
    • us-east-2

    You can find a list of regions that support AMD SEV-SNP in AWS's documentation.

    NitroTPM machines (requires the attestation variant awsNitroTPM) are available in all regions. Constellation OS images are currently replicated to the following regions:

    • eu-central-1
    • eu-west-1
    • eu-west-3
    • us-east-2
    • ap-south-1

    If you require the OS image to be available in another region, let us know.

    You can find a list of all regions in AWS's documentation.


    To learn about all options you have for managing IAM resources and Constellation configuration, see the Configuration workflow.

  1. Create the cluster. constellation apply uses options set in constellation-conf.yaml. If you want to manually manage your cloud resources, for example by using Terraform, follow the corresponding instructions in the Create workflow.


    On Azure, you may need to wait 15+ minutes at this point for role assignments to propagate.

    constellation apply -y

    This should look similar to the following:

    $ constellation apply -y
    Checking for infrastructure changes
    The following Constellation cluster will be created:
    3 control-plane nodes of type n2d-standard-4 will be created.
    1 worker node of type n2d-standard-4 will be created.
    Cloud infrastructure created successfully
    Your Constellation master secret was successfully written to ./constellation-mastersecret.json
    Initializing cluster
    Installing Kubernetes components
    Your Constellation cluster was successfully initialized.

    Constellation cluster identifier g6iMP5wRU1b7mpOz2WEISlIYSfdAhB0oNaOg6XEwKFY=
    Kubernetes configuration constellation-admin.conf

    You can now connect to your cluster by executing:
    export KUBECONFIG="$PWD/constellation-admin.conf"

    The cluster's identifier will be different in your output. Keep constellation-mastersecret.json somewhere safe. This will allow you to recover your cluster in case of a disaster.


    Depending on your CSP and region, constellation apply may take 10+ minutes to complete.

  2. Configure kubectl.

    export KUBECONFIG="$PWD/constellation-admin.conf"

Deploy a sample application

  1. Deploy the emojivoto app

    kubectl apply -k
  2. Expose the frontend service locally

    kubectl wait --for=condition=available --timeout=60s -n emojivoto --all deployments
    kubectl -n emojivoto port-forward svc/web-svc 8080:80 &
    curl http://localhost:8080
    kill %1

Terminate your cluster

Use the CLI to terminate your cluster. If you manually used Terraform to manage your cloud resources, follow the corresponding instructions in the Terminate workflow.

constellation terminate

This should give the following output:

$ constellation terminate
You are about to terminate a Constellation cluster.
All of its associated resources will be DESTROYED.
This action is irreversible and ALL DATA WILL BE LOST.
Do you want to continue? [y/n]:

Confirm with y to terminate the cluster:

Terminating ...
Your Constellation cluster was terminated successfully.

Optionally, you can also delete your IAM resources.