Jul 16, 2018, 11:33

Useful Kubernetes tools and tips

Unlike docker-compose sometimes kubectl provides you better tooling for docker container access.

Let me share with you my useful findings.

Check a deployment and a pod with a oneliner.

First, label your deployment and pod, say with label service_group=classic

Then you can do this

kubectl get pod,deployment -l=service_group=classic

and get response similar to

NAME                                      READY     STATUS              RESTARTS   AGE
pod/dev-kayako-classic-7b7d7b6777-lm2n8   0/1       ContainerCreating   0          18s

NAME                                       DESIRED   CURRENT   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
deployment.extensions/dev-kayako-classic   1         1         1            0           18s

Port forwarding to a pod or deployment

With port-forward, you can easily connect to pods service and debug it.

kubectl port-forward pod/podname port


kubectl port-forward deployment/mydeployment  port

For example

kubectl port-forward sharepass-78d566f866-4dvv5 3000
Forwarding from -> 3000
Forwarding from [::1]:3000 -> 3000
Handling connection for 3000
Handling connection for 3000

This will forward port 3000 to localhost, so you can open URL http://localhost:3000 and enjoy access to your service.

Put config files in volume with ConfigMap

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: patch
  iconv.txt: |
apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
kind: Deployment
        - name: patches
          mountPath: /opt/patches
        - name: patches
            name: patch

Work with different clusters in different terminal tabs

use KUBECONFIG environment variable to specify a different config cluster file

export KUBECONFIG=/Users/nexus/mycluster/config
kubectl get pods

Update docker image inside a pod

For example you'd like to update image to v1.0.1 for the pod mypod in deployment mydeployment.

kubectl set image deployment mydeployment mypod=myimage:1.0.1

Pod status change watch

Say you have dev-classic-bla-bla pod and you just did an update to this deployment. With this command, you can watch what's happening with your pod.

kubectl get pod --watch | grep classic
dev-classic-6586754cb8-kt5fz   0/1       Terminating        0          4m
dev-classic-6586754cb8-kt5fz   0/1       Terminating   0         4m
dev-classic-6586754cb8-kt5fz   0/1       Terminating   0         4m
dev-classic-85b958f486-p4vt2   0/1       Pending   0         0s
dev-classic-85b958f486-p4vt2   0/1       Pending   0         0s
dev-classic-85b958f486-p4vt2   0/1       ContainerCreating   0         0s
dev-classic-85b958f486-p4vt2   1/1       Running   0         7s

Use the “record” option for easier rollbacks

When applying a yaml use the —record flag:

kubectl apply -f deployment.yaml --record

With this option, everytime there is an update, it gets saved to the history of those deployments and it provides you with the ability to rollback a change.

kubectl rollout history deployments my-deployment


This tool is helpful when you have a lot of k8s clusters for management.

Kube PS1

This tool will help you to install nice prompt with k8s cluster name and current context