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Version: v2.7

Access Clusters

This section is about what tools can be used to access clusters managed by Rancher.

For information on how to give users permission to access a cluster, see the section on adding users to clusters.

For more information on roles-based access control, see this section.

For information on how to set up an authentication system, see this section.

Clusters in Rancher UI

There are several paths to view and manage clusters through the Rancher UI.

Clusters Page

You can access the Clusters page from the menu:

  1. Click .
  2. Select Cluster Management.

You can also access the Clusters page by clicking the Manage button above the clusters table on the Rancher UI Home page.

On the Clusters page, select at the end of each row to view a submenu with the following options:

  • Kubectl Shell
  • Download KubeConfig
  • Copy KubeConfig to Clipboard
  • Edit Config
  • View YAML
  • Download YAML

Cluster Dashboard

On the Clusters page, select the Explore button at the end of each row to view that cluster's Cluster Dashboard. You can also view the dashboard by clicking the name of a cluster in the table, then clicking the Explore buttton on the Cluster page.

The Cluster Dashboard is also accessible from the Rancher UI Home page, by clicking on the name of a cluster.

You can also access the Cluster Dashboard from the in the top navigation bar:

  1. Click .
  2. Select the name of a cluster from the Explore Cluster menu option.

The Cluster Dashboard lists information about a specific cluster, such as number of nodes, memory usage, events, and resources.


You can use the Kubernetes command-line tool, kubectl, to manage your clusters. You have two options for using kubectl:

  • Rancher kubectl shell: Interact with your clusters by launching a kubectl shell available in the Rancher UI. This option requires no configuration actions on your part. For more information, see Accessing Clusters with kubectl Shell.
  • Terminal remote connection: You can also interact with your clusters by installing kubectl on your local desktop and then copying the cluster's kubeconfig file to your local ~/.kube/config directory. For more information, see Accessing Clusters with kubectl and a kubeconfig File.

Rancher CLI

You can control your clusters by downloading Rancher's own command-line interface, Rancher CLI. This CLI tool can interact directly with different clusters and projects or pass them kubectl commands.

Rancher API

Finally, you can interact with your clusters over the Rancher API. Before you use the API, you must obtain an API key. To view the different resource fields and actions for an API object, open the API UI, which can be accessed by clicking on View in API for any Rancher UI object.