Karan Sharma

Accessing AWS EC2 Metadata within a Docker Container

1 minutes (341 words)

If you try to access EC2 Metadata endpoint from a Docker container which is bridged to the default network interface on your host, you would assume things to just work, right? Wrong.

Here’s what happens when you do this command on the host (it works fine):

TOKEN=`curl -X PUT "" -H "X-aws-ec2-metadata-token-ttl-seconds: 21600"` \
&& curl -H "X-aws-ec2-metadata-token: $TOKEN" -v

Here’s what happens when you do it inside a container:

docker run --rm -it alpine:sh
apk add bash curl

TOKEN=`curl -X PUT "" -H "X-aws-ec2-metadata-token-ttl-seconds: 21600"` \
&& curl -H "X-aws-ec2-metadata-token: $TOKEN" -v

It is stuck and will eventually time out.

🔗The Fix

This is because the response comes with a packet of TTL as 1. (TTL at packet level means number of hops). Since this response has to eventually pass to your container, you need to increase it higher. (For eg, 3 is fine).

Refer to docs

By default, the response to PUT requests has a response hop limit (time to live) of 1 at the IP protocol level. You can adjust the hop limit using the modify-instance-metadata-options command if you need to make it larger. For example, you might need a larger hop limit for backward compatibility with container services running on the instance. For more information, see modify-instance-metadata-options in the AWS CLI Command Reference.

There’s a nice read on how traceroute works, which kind of explains the above TTL concept as well: https://alexanderell.is/posts/toy-traceroute/

🔗Modifying in Terraform

Inside the aws_instance resource block, add this block:

  metadata_options {
    http_put_response_hop_limit = 3
    http_endpoint               = "enabled"

Tags: #AWS #Docker #EC2