CIDR allocation failed for Kubernetes

What to do when the Pod does not start due to CIDR allocation failure.


We are using kube-aws to build Kubernetes cluster. One day, I saw that the Pod was in a lot of errors and would not start. This has only occurred on certain nodes.

NAMESPACE     NAME                         READY   STATUS              RESTARTS   AGE
kube-system   canal-node-g2vfn             2/3     CrashLoopBackOff    20         79m
kube-system   kube-proxy-8n2lj             1/1     Running             0          79m
monitor       datadog-lr74g                0/3     Init:0/2            0          79m
production    foo-9d6944774-9jlls          0/2     ContainerCreating   0          55s

Check flannel logs

flannel had an error message like the following:

I0502 02:42:02.830771       1 main.go:514] Determining IP address of default interface
I0502 02:42:02.830960       1 main.go:527] Using interface with name eth0 and address
I0502 02:42:02.830972       1 main.go:544] Defaulting external address to interface address (
I0502 02:42:02.849385       1 kube.go:126] Waiting 10m0s for node controller to sync
I0502 02:42:02.849412       1 kube.go:309] Starting kube subnet manager
I0502 02:42:03.849506       1 kube.go:133] Node controller sync successful
I0502 02:42:03.849550       1 main.go:244] Created subnet manager: Kubernetes Subnet Manager - foo-node
I0502 02:42:03.849557       1 main.go:247] Installing signal handlers
I0502 02:42:03.849682       1 main.go:386] Found network config - Backend type: vxlan
I0502 02:42:03.849719       1 vxlan.go:120] VXLAN config: VNI=1 Port=0 GBP=false DirectRouting=false
E0502 02:42:03.849902       1 main.go:289] Error registering network: failed to acquire lease: node "foo-node" pod cidr not assigned
I0502 02:42:03.849937       1 main.go:366] Stopping shutdownHandler...

Check controller-manager logs

controller-manager had an error message like the following:

CIDR allocation failed; there are no remaining CIDRs left to allocate in the accepted range

E0502 03:11:40.819569       1 controller_utils.go:282] Error while processing Node Add/Delete: failed to allocate cidr: CIDR allocation failed; there are no remaining CIDRs left to allocate in the accepted range
I0502 03:11:40.820095       1 event.go:221] Event(v1.ObjectReference{Kind:"Node", Namespace:"", Name:"foo-node", UID:"2e10b7b3-8c14-11ea-a498-066c4ca4071a", APIVersion:"", ResourceVersion:"", FieldPath:""}): type: 'Normal' reason: 'CIDRNotAvailable' Node foo-node status is now: CIDRNotAvailable

Kubernetes assigns a range of IP addresses (CIDR blocks) to each node so that a unique IP address is specified for each Pod. By default, Kubernetes assigns /24 CIDR blocks (256 addresses) to each node. This error message is displayed if the Node could not be assigned a CIDR blocks.

This explanation is detailed in GKE documentation by GCP.

📝Optimizing IP address allocation  |  Kubernetes Engine Documentation

Check cluster CIDR blocks

Checking CIDR block for a cluster, run the following command on master node:

ps aux | grep cluster-cidr

Run it, you will get the following results:

root      3159  0.0  0.5 818604 89064 ?        Ssl  May02   1:53 /hyperkube controller-manager --cloud-provider=aws --cluster-name=foo-cluster --kubeconfig=/etc/kubernetes/kubeconfig/kube-controller-manager.yaml --authentication-kubeconfig=/etc/kubernetes/kubeconfig/kube-controller-manager.yaml --authorization-kubeconfig=/etc/kubernetes/kubeconfig/kube-controller-manager.yaml --leader-elect=true --root-ca-file=/etc/kubernetes/ssl/ca.pem --service-account-private-key-file=/etc/kubernetes/ssl/service-account-key.pem --use-service-account-credentials --cluster-signing-cert-file=/etc/kubernetes/ssl/worker-ca.pem --cluster-signing-key-file=/etc/kubernetes/ssl/worker-ca-key.pem --allocate-node-cidrs=true --cluster-cidr= --configure-cloud-routes=false --service-cluster-ip-range=
core      6843  0.0  0.0   2820   844 pts/0    S+   14:07   0:00 grep --colour=auto cluster-cidr

Checking the value of the --cluster-cidr option:


Kubernetes grants each node a /24 CIDR blocks by default for use by the nodes Pods. Because this cluster assigns Pod IP addresses from a /16 CIDR blocks (cluster-cidr), there can be up to 256 nodes (24-16 = 8, 2^8 = 256).

The reason why the Pods didn’t start this time was that the HPA scaled so many Pods that there were more than 265 nodes.

Change CIDR blocks assigned to node

To solve this problem I made change to the CIDR blocks assigned to the nodes. Changing the CIDR blocks from /24 to /25 reduces the number of Pods per nodes, but allowed will be 512 nodes(25-16 = 9、2^9 = 512).

To change the CIDR blocks, run controller-manager with the following options:


Also, we limited the number of Pods that can be launched with the kubelet option to 64. For the basis of this number 64, see the GKE document.


When running a large Kubernetes cluster, you need to take care of the CIDR ranges.


Software Engineer

I’m a software engineer interested in Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies.