How to Fix "Unable to Connect to the Server: x509: Certificate Signed by Unknown Authority" in Kubernetes

When working with Kubernetes, you might encounter the error "Unable to connect to the server: x509: certificate signed by unknown authority." This error occurs when your Kubernetes client (kubectl) cannot verify the identity of the server due to missing or untrusted certificates. This guide will walk you through the steps to resolve this error and regain connectivity to your Kubernetes cluster.

Step 1: Check Your Kubeconfig File

The Kubeconfig file, usually located at ~/.kube/config, contains the cluster’s authentication information. Ensure that the certificate-authority data or path is correctly specified:

        apiVersion: v1
        - cluster:
            certificate-authority: /path/to/ca.crt
            server: https://<kubernetes-master-ip>
          name: my-cluster
        - context:
            cluster: my-cluster
            user: my-user
          name: my-context
        current-context: my-context
        kind: Config
        preferences: {}
        - name: my-user
            client-certificate: /path/to/client.crt
            client-key: /path/to/client.key

Step 2: Update Certificates

Ensure that the certificate-authority file specified exists and is up to date. You can fetch the CA certificate from the Kubernetes master:

scp root@<kubernetes-master-ip>:/etc/kubernetes/pki/ca.crt /path/to/ca.crt

Ensure that the local copy of ca.crt is the correct one. Update the certificate-authority field in your Kubeconfig file with the correct path if necessary.

As a temporary measure for testing purposes, you can bypass the certificate check by adding the --insecure-skip-tls-verify flag to your kubectl commands:

kubectl get pods --insecure-skip-tls-verify=true

Note: This method should never be used in production as it compromises the security of the connection.

Step 4: Verify Your Environment Variables

Check if the KUBECONFIG environment variable is set and correctly pointing to your config file:


If not, set it using:

export KUBECONFIG=/path/to/.kube/config

Step 5: Update kubectl

Ensure you are using the latest version of kubectl as older versions might have bugs:

        # For Linux
        curl -LO "$(curl -s"
        chmod +x ./kubectl
        sudo mv ./kubectl /usr/local/bin/kubectl

Repeat the above steps per your operating system specifications.

Step 6: Verify Server URL and Port

Double-check the server URL and port details in your ~/.kube/config file. Ensure they are correct and reachable:

ping <kubernetes-master-ip>

Step 7: Restart Kubernetes Components

If the issue persists, consider restarting the Kubernetes API server and other critical components:

sudo systemctl restart kube-apiserver

Always ensure you have appropriate permissions and are aware of the cluster's state before performing operations that affect its components.


The "Unable to connect to the server: x509: certificate signed by unknown authority" error can appear due to misconfigurations in the Kubeconfig file, expired or missing certificates, or network issues. Following the steps outlined above will help you to diagnose and resolve the error, restoring your Kubernetes client’s connectivity to the cluster. Ensuring secure and correct configurations is crucial for maintaining a stable and secure Kubernetes environment.