Wednesday Tidbit: Enable Basic Auth in NSX-ALB (Avi) to enable Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

For a while now I’ve been a big fan of VMware’s Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated, formally Pivotal’s Kubernetes Service. However whilst great in the beginning, newer technologies such as Cluster API have overtaken things like Bosh.

Whilst it could be frustratingly difficult to setup, VMware made serioues efforts to simplify this with solutions such as the Management Console. However after recently struggling with this and trying to create NSX-T Principal Identity certificates during setup, I decided it was time to walk away and go “all in” with TKG.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

After the initial fiddly bits (in my case, getting Docker to work nicely on Ubuntu), firing up the management cluster using the UI was trivially easy.

I first opted for using kube-vip as my control plane endpoint provider. After a sucessful installation, I decided I wanted to use NSX Advanced Load Balancer (formaly known as Avi Vantage) for my load-balancer.

I re-ran the installation, entered in the NSX ALB credentials, verified it saw my cloud and networks, and continued on.

However, it didn’t matter how many times I tried to perform the installation, it would always fail without even creating the control plane VMs. The logs were lacking in clarity as to the cause.


After pouring over the initial documentation at, it appears VMware have missed a critical step.

To enable the TKG installer to install and configure an endpoint provider in NSX ALB, Basic Authentcation needs to be enabled.

To do this, in ALB click on the Administration tab, then expand Settings, and click Access Settings. Click the pencil icon on the right and then check the box for Allow Basic Authentication:

Makes all the difference

Frustrating I only found this out while reading Cormac Hogan‘s blog, so kudos to him.