For information on deploying flannel manually, using the Kubernetes installer toolkit kubeadm, see Installing Kubernetes on Linux with kubeadm.

NOTE: If kubeadm is used, then pass --pod-network-cidr= to kubeadm init to ensure that the podCIDR is set.

kubeadm has RBAC enabled by default so you must apply the kube-flannel-rbac.yml manifest as well as the kube-flannel.yml manifest.

  • kubectl apply -f kube-flannel-rbac.yml -f kube-flannel.yml

If you didn't apply the kube-flannel-rbac.yml manifest, you'll see errors in your flanneld logs about failing to connect.

  • Failed to create SubnetManager: error retrieving pod spec...

If you forgot to apply the kube-flannel-rbac.yml manifest and notice that flannel fails to start, then it is safe to just apply the kube-flannel-rbac.yml manifest without running kubectl delete -f kube-flannel.yaml first.

  • kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/coreos/flannel/master/Documentation/kube-flannel-rbac.yml


The flannel manifest defines three things:

  1. A service account for flannel to use.
  2. A ConfigMap containing both a CNI configuration and a flannel configuration. The network in the flannel configuration should match the pod network CIDR. The choice of backend is also made here and defaults to VXLAN.
  3. A DaemonSet to deploy the flannel pod on each Node. The pod has two containers 1) the flannel daemon itself, and 2) a container for deploying the CNI configuration to a location that the kubelet can read.

When you run pods, they will be allocated IP addresses from the pod network CIDR. No matter which node those pods end up on, they will be able to communicate with each other.

The flannel CNI plugin

The flannel CNI plugin can be found in the CNI plugins reposistory. For additional details, see the README

Kubernetes 1.6 requires CNI plugin version 0.5.1 or later.


See troubleshooting