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Nutanix CSI Driver installation with CAPX

The Nutanix CSI driver is fully supported on CAPI/CAPX deployed clusters where all the nodes meet the Nutanix CSI driver prerequisites.

There are three methods to install the Nutanix CSI driver on a CAPI/CAPX cluster:

  • Helm
  • ClusterResourceSet
  • CAPX Flavor

For more information, check the next sections.

CAPI Workload cluster prerequisites for the Nutanix CSI Driver

Kubernetes workers need the following prerequisites to use the Nutanix CSI Drivers:

  • iSCSI initiator package (for Volumes based block storage)
  • NFS client package (for Files based storage)

These packages may already be present in the image you use with your infrastructure provider or you can also rely on your bootstrap provider to install them. More info is available in the Prerequisites docs.

The package names and installation method will also vary depending on the operating system you plan to use.

In the example below, kubeadm bootstrap provider is used to deploy these packages on top of an Ubuntu 20.04 image. The kubeadm bootstrap provider allows defining preKubeadmCommands that will be launched before Kubernetes cluster creation. These preKubeadmCommands can be defined both in KubeadmControlPlane for master nodes and in KubeadmConfigTemplate for worker nodes.

In the example with an Ubuntu 20.04 image, both KubeadmControlPlane and KubeadmConfigTemplate must be modified as in the example below:

      # .......
      - echo "before kubeadm call" > /var/log/prekubeadm.log
      - apt update
      - apt install -y nfs-common open-iscsi
      - systemctl enable --now iscsid

Install the Nutanix CSI Driver with Helm

A recent Helm version is needed (tested with Helm v3.10.1).

The example below must be applied on a ready workload cluster. The workload cluster's kubeconfig can be retrieved and used to connect with the following command:


Once connected to the cluster, follow the CSI documentation.

First, install the nutanix-csi-snapshot chart followed by the nutanix-csi-storage chart.

See an example below:

#Add the official Nutanix Helm repo and get the latest update
helm repo add nutanix
helm repo update

# Install the nutanix-csi-snapshot chart
helm install nutanix-csi-snapshot nutanix/nutanix-csi-snapshot -n ntnx-system --create-namespace

# Install the nutanix-csi-storage chart
helm install nutanix-storage nutanix/nutanix-csi-storage -n ntnx-system --set createSecret=false


For correct Nutanix CSI driver deployment, a fully functional CNI deployment must be present.

Install the Nutanix CSI Driver with ClusterResourceSet

The ClusterResourceSet feature was introduced to automatically apply a set of resources (such as CNI/CSI) defined by administrators to matching created/existing workload clusters.

Enabling the ClusterResourceSet feature

At the time of writing, ClusterResourceSet is an experimental feature that must be enabled during the initialization of a management cluster with the EXP_CLUSTER_RESOURCE_SET feature gate.

To do this, add EXP_CLUSTER_RESOURCE_SET: "true" in the clusterctl configuration file or just export EXP_CLUSTER_RESOURCE_SET=true before initializing the management cluster with clusterctl init.

If the management cluster is already initialized, the ClusterResourceSet can be enabled by changing the configuration of the capi-controller-manager deployment in the capi-system namespace.

kubectl edit deployment -n capi-system capi-controller-manager

Locate the section below:

  - args:
    - --leader-elect
    - --metrics-bind-addr=localhost:8080
    - --feature-gates=MachinePool=false,ClusterResourceSet=true,ClusterTopology=false

Then replace ClusterResourceSet=false with ClusterResourceSet=true.


Editing the deployment resource will cause Kubernetes to automatically start new versions of the containers with the feature enabled.

Prepare the Nutanix CSI ClusterResourceSet

Create the ConfigMap for the CSI Plugin

First, create a ConfigMap that contains a YAML manifest with all resources to install the Nutanix CSI driver.

Since the Nutanix CSI Driver is provided as a Helm chart, use helm to extract it before creating the ConfigMap. See an example below:

helm repo add nutanix
helm repo update

kubectl create ns ntnx-system --dry-run=client -o yaml > nutanix-csi-namespace.yaml
helm template nutanix-csi-snapshot nutanix/nutanix-csi-snapshot -n ntnx-system > nutanix-csi-snapshot.yaml
helm template nutanix-csi-snapshot nutanix/nutanix-csi-storage -n ntnx-system > nutanix-csi-storage.yaml

kubectl create configmap nutanix-csi-crs --from-file=nutanix-csi-namespace.yaml --from-file=nutanix-csi-snapshot.yaml --from-file=nutanix-csi-storage.yaml

Create the ClusterResourceSet

Next, create the ClusterResourceSet resource that will map the ConfigMap defined above to clusters using a clusterSelector.

The ClusterResourceSet needs to be created inside the management cluster. See an example below:

kind: ClusterResourceSet
  name: nutanix-csi-crs
      csi: nutanix 
  - kind: ConfigMap
    name: nutanix-csi-crs

The clusterSelector field controls how Cluster API will match this ClusterResourceSet on one or more workload clusters. In the example scenario, the matchLabels approach is being used where the ClusterResourceSet will be applied to all workload clusters having the csi: nutanix label present. If the label isn't present, the ClusterResourceSet won't apply to that workload cluster.

The resources field references the ConfigMap created above, which contains the manifests for installing the Nutanix CSI driver.

Assign the ClusterResourceSet to a workload cluster

Assign this ClusterResourceSet to the workload cluster by adding the correct label to the Cluster resource.

This can be done before workload cluster creation by editing the output of the clusterctl generate cluster command or by modifying an already deployed workload cluster.

In both cases, Cluster resources should look like this:

kind: Cluster
  name: workload-cluster-name
  namespace: workload-cluster-namespace
    csi: nutanix
# ...


For correct Nutanix CSI driver deployment, a fully functional CNI deployment must be present.

Install the Nutanix CSI Driver with a CAPX flavor

The CAPX provider can utilize a flavor to automatically deploy the Nutanix CSI using a ClusterResourceSet.


The following requirements must be met:


Specify the csi flavor during workload cluster creation. See an example below:

clusterctl generate cluster my-cluster -f csi

Additional environment variables are required:

  • WEBHOOK_CA: Base64 encoded CA certificate used to sign the webhook certificate
  • WEBHOOK_CERT: Base64 certificate for the webhook validation component
  • WEBHOOK_KEY: Base64 key for the webhook validation component

The three components referenced above can be automatically created and referenced using this script:

source scripts/

The certificate must reference the following names:

  • csi-snapshot-webhook
  • csi-snapshot-webhook.ntnx-sytem
  • csi-snapshot-webhook.ntnx-sytem.svc


For correct Nutanix CSI driver deployment, a fully functional CNI deployment must be present.

Nutanix CSI Driver Configuration

After the driver is installed, it must be configured for use by minimally defining a Secret and StorageClass.

This can be done manually in the workload clusters or by using a ClusterResourceSet in the management cluster as explained above.

See the Official CSI Driver documentation on the Nutanix Portal for more configuration information.