Cloud logging

This document describes how GKE on AWS integrates with Cloud Logging and shows you how to access your logs.


GKE on AWS supports Cloud Logging for workloads and for system components running on control plane and node pool nodes.

GKE on AWS includes a Fluentbit-based logging agent. On the control plane nodes, the logging agent runs as a system component; on the node pool nodes, it runs as a Daemonset. Data collected by the logging agents can be managed and deleted like any other metric and log data, as described in Cloud Logging documentation.

What data is collected

GKE on AWS logs the following information:

  • Logs for system components on each of the control plane replica.
  • Logs for system services on each of the node pool nodes.
  • Optionally, logs for workloads

Enable workload logging

To enable workload logging, you must create a new Kubernetes cluster, version 1.22 or later.

By default, when you create a cluster GKE on AWS enables system logging. To enable workload logging, you must create a cluster with the --logging flag. You can choose to enable logging for system components, workloads, or both.

For example, to enable both system and workload logging on a new cluster, follow the instructions to create a cluster, but include the --logging flag in your gcloud command:

gcloud container aws clusters create CLUSTER_NAME

or to update an existing cluster:

gcloud container aws clusters update CLUSTER_NAME

Access your logs

There are several ways to access your GKE on AWS logs in Cloud Logging:

  • Logs Explorer – You can see your logs directly from the Logs Explorer by using the logging filters to select the Kubernetes resources, such as cluster, node, namespace, pod, or container logs.

  • Google Cloud CLI – Using the gcloud logging read command, select the appropriate cluster, node, pod, and container logs.

Understanding your logs

A log in Cloud Logging is a collection of log entries, and each log entry applies to a certain type of logging resource.

Resource types

These are the resource types that are specific to GKE on AWS:

Resource type Display name
k8s_control_plane_component Control plane component logs
k8s_node Node pool logs
k8s_container Workload container logs

When GKE on AWS writes your cluster's logs, each log entry includes the resource type. Understanding where logs appear makes it easier to find logs when you need them.

Control Plane logs

Control plane logs use the k8s_control_plane_component resource type. These include logs from system components running on the control plane replicas, such as kube-apiserver.

Node logs

Node logs fall under the k8s_node resource type. These include logs from critical system component running on the worker nodes, such as kubelet and containerd.

System apps logs

System apps logs fall under the k8s_container resource type. These include logs from pods installed on the worker nodes by GKE on AWS. Specifically, containers running in the following namespaces are included:

  • kube-system
  • gke-connect
  • gke-system
  • gmp-system
  • asm-user-auth
  • cnrm-system
  • config-management-system
  • gatekeeper-system
  • gmp-public
  • istio-system
  • knative-serving

Find your logs in the Cloud Logging user interface

You can view your logs using the Logs Explorer in the Cloud Logging user interface.

Logs Explorer

Using the Query Builder, you can build a query by adding query parameters manually. For example, if you want to explore logs for system workloads, you can start with selecting or searching for the k8s_container resource type, and then select the location and cluster name. You can then refine your search by filtering the container or Pod names.

The Logs Explorer offers an additional way to build your search queries using the Logs field explorer. It shows the count of log entries, sorted by decreasing count, for the given log field. Using the Logs field explorer is particularly useful for GKE on AWS logs because it provides an easy way to select the Kubernetes values for your resources. For example, you can select logs for a specific cluster, Namespace, Pod name, and container name.

For more information, see Using the Logs Explorer.

Sample queries

This section includes sample queries that you can make on Logs Explorer.

Example 1: Get the logs of kube-apiserver on control plane nodes for an AWS cluster CLUSTER_NAME:


Example 2: Get the logs of kubelet on worker nodes for an AWS cluster CLUSTER_NAME:


Example 3: Get the logs of the cilium-agent container for an AWS cluster CLUSTER_NAME:


What's next