Reference Documentation

Documentation for Kubernetes v1.11 is no longer actively maintained. The version you are currently viewing is a static snapshot. For up-to-date documentation, see the latest version.

Edit This Page

kubectl Cheat Sheet

See also: Kubectl Overview and JsonPath Guide.

Kubectl Autocomplete

$ source <(kubectl completion bash) # setup autocomplete in bash, bash-completion package should be installed first.
$ source <(kubectl completion zsh)  # setup autocomplete in zsh

Kubectl Context and Configuration

Set which Kubernetes cluster kubectl communicates with and modifies configuration information. See Authenticating Across Clusters with kubeconfig documentation for detailed config file information.

$ kubectl config view # Show Merged kubeconfig settings.

# use multiple kubeconfig files at the same time and view merged config
$ KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/config:~/.kube/kubconfig2 kubectl config view

# Get the password for the e2e user
$ kubectl config view -o jsonpath='{.users[?( == "e2e")].user.password}'

$ kubectl config current-context              # Display the current-context
$ kubectl config use-context my-cluster-name  # set the default context to my-cluster-name

# add a new cluster to your kubeconf that supports basic auth
$ kubectl config set-credentials kubeuser/ --username=kubeuser --password=kubepassword

# set a context utilizing a specific username and namespace.
$ kubectl config set-context gce --user=cluster-admin --namespace=foo \
  && kubectl config use-context gce

Creating Objects

Kubernetes manifests can be defined in json or yaml. The file extension .yaml, .yml, and .json can be used.

$ kubectl create -f ./my-manifest.yaml           # create resource(s)
$ kubectl create -f ./my1.yaml -f ./my2.yaml     # create from multiple files
$ kubectl create -f ./dir                        # create resource(s) in all manifest files in dir
$ kubectl create -f         # create resource(s) from url
$ kubectl run nginx --image=nginx                # start a single instance of nginx
$ kubectl explain pods,svc                       # get the documentation for pod and svc manifests

# Create multiple YAML objects from stdin
$ cat <<EOF | kubectl create -f -
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: busybox-sleep
  - name: busybox
    image: busybox
    - sleep
    - "1000000"
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: busybox-sleep-less
  - name: busybox
    image: busybox
    - sleep
    - "1000"

# Create a secret with several keys
$ cat <<EOF | kubectl create -f -
apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: mysecret
type: Opaque
  password: $(echo -n "s33msi4" | base64)
  username: $(echo -n "jane" | base64)

Viewing, Finding Resources

# Get commands with basic output
$ kubectl get services                          # List all services in the namespace
$ kubectl get pods --all-namespaces             # List all pods in all namespaces
$ kubectl get pods -o wide                      # List all pods in the namespace, with more details
$ kubectl get deployment my-dep                 # List a particular deployment
$ kubectl get pods --include-uninitialized      # List all pods in the namespace, including uninitialized ones

# Describe commands with verbose output
$ kubectl describe nodes my-node
$ kubectl describe pods my-pod

$ kubectl get services # List Services Sorted by Name

# List pods Sorted by Restart Count
$ kubectl get pods --sort-by='.status.containerStatuses[0].restartCount'

# Get the version label of all pods with label app=cassandra
$ kubectl get pods --selector=app=cassandra rc -o \

# Get all running pods in the namespace
$ kubectl get pods --field-selector=status.phase=Running

# Get ExternalIPs of all nodes
$ kubectl get nodes -o jsonpath='{.items[*].status.addresses[?(@.type=="ExternalIP")].address}'

# List Names of Pods that belong to Particular RC
# "jq" command useful for transformations that are too complex for jsonpath, it can be found at
$ sel=${$(kubectl get rc my-rc --output=json | jq -j '.spec.selector | to_entries | .[] | "\(.key)=\(.value),"')%?}
$ echo $(kubectl get pods --selector=$sel --output=jsonpath={})

# Check which nodes are ready
$ JSONPATH='{range .items[*]}{}:{range @.status.conditions[*]}{@.type}={@.status};{end}{end}' \
 && kubectl get nodes -o jsonpath="$JSONPATH" | grep "Ready=True"

# List all Secrets currently in use by a pod
$ kubectl get pods -o json | jq '.items[].spec.containers[].env[]?' | grep -v null | sort | uniq

# List Events sorted by timestamp
$ kubectl get events --sort-by=.metadata.creationTimestamp

Updating Resources

$ kubectl rolling-update frontend-v1 -f frontend-v2.json           # Rolling update pods of frontend-v1
$ kubectl rolling-update frontend-v1 frontend-v2 --image=image:v2  # Change the name of the resource and update the image
$ kubectl rolling-update frontend --image=image:v2                 # Update the pods image of frontend
$ kubectl rolling-update frontend-v1 frontend-v2 --rollback        # Abort existing rollout in progress
$ cat pod.json | kubectl replace -f -                              # Replace a pod based on the JSON passed into stdin

# Force replace, delete and then re-create the resource. Will cause a service outage.
$ kubectl replace --force -f ./pod.json

# Create a service for a replicated nginx, which serves on port 80 and connects to the containers on port 8000
$ kubectl expose rc nginx --port=80 --target-port=8000

# Update a single-container pod's image version (tag) to v4
$ kubectl get pod mypod -o yaml | sed 's/\(image: myimage\):.*$/\1:v4/' | kubectl replace -f -

$ kubectl label pods my-pod new-label=awesome                      # Add a Label
$ kubectl annotate pods my-pod icon-url=       # Add an annotation
$ kubectl autoscale deployment foo --min=2 --max=10                # Auto scale a deployment "foo"

Patching Resources

$ kubectl patch node k8s-node-1 -p '{"spec":{"unschedulable":true}}' # Partially update a node

# Update a container's image; spec.containers[*].name is required because it's a merge key
$ kubectl patch pod valid-pod -p '{"spec":{"containers":[{"name":"kubernetes-serve-hostname","image":"new image"}]}}'

# Update a container's image using a json patch with positional arrays
$ kubectl patch pod valid-pod --type='json' -p='[{"op": "replace", "path": "/spec/containers/0/image", "value":"new image"}]'

# Disable a deployment livenessProbe using a json patch with positional arrays
$ kubectl patch deployment valid-deployment  --type json   -p='[{"op": "remove", "path": "/spec/template/spec/containers/0/livenessProbe"}]'

# Add a new element to a positional array 
$ kubectl patch sa default --type='json' -p='[{"op": "add", "path": "/secrets/1", "value": {"name": "whatever" } }]'

Editing Resources

The edit any API resource in an editor.

$ kubectl edit svc/docker-registry                      # Edit the service named docker-registry
$ KUBE_EDITOR="nano" kubectl edit svc/docker-registry   # Use an alternative editor

Scaling Resources

$ kubectl scale --replicas=3 rs/foo                                 # Scale a replicaset named 'foo' to 3
$ kubectl scale --replicas=3 -f foo.yaml                            # Scale a resource specified in "foo.yaml" to 3
$ kubectl scale --current-replicas=2 --replicas=3 deployment/mysql  # If the deployment named mysql's current size is 2, scale mysql to 3
$ kubectl scale --replicas=5 rc/foo rc/bar rc/baz                   # Scale multiple replication controllers

Deleting Resources

$ kubectl delete -f ./pod.json                                              # Delete a pod using the type and name specified in pod.json
$ kubectl delete pod,service baz foo                                        # Delete pods and services with same names "baz" and "foo"
$ kubectl delete pods,services -l name=myLabel                              # Delete pods and services with label name=myLabel
$ kubectl delete pods,services -l name=myLabel --include-uninitialized      # Delete pods and services, including uninitialized ones, with label name=myLabel
$ kubectl -n my-ns delete po,svc --all                                      # Delete all pods and services, including uninitialized ones, in namespace my-ns,

Interacting with running Pods

$ kubectl logs my-pod                                 # dump pod logs (stdout)
$ kubectl logs my-pod -c my-container                 # dump pod container logs (stdout, multi-container case)
$ kubectl logs -f my-pod                              # stream pod logs (stdout)
$ kubectl logs -f my-pod -c my-container              # stream pod container logs (stdout, multi-container case)
$ kubectl run -i --tty busybox --image=busybox -- sh  # Run pod as interactive shell
$ kubectl attach my-pod -i                            # Attach to Running Container
$ kubectl port-forward my-pod 5000:6000               # Listen on port 5000 on the local machine and forward to port 6000 on my-pod
$ kubectl exec my-pod -- ls /                         # Run command in existing pod (1 container case)
$ kubectl exec my-pod -c my-container -- ls /         # Run command in existing pod (multi-container case)
$ kubectl top pod POD_NAME --containers               # Show metrics for a given pod and its containers

Interacting with Nodes and Cluster

$ kubectl cordon my-node                                                # Mark my-node as unschedulable
$ kubectl drain my-node                                                 # Drain my-node in preparation for maintenance
$ kubectl uncordon my-node                                              # Mark my-node as schedulable
$ kubectl top node my-node                                              # Show metrics for a given node
$ kubectl cluster-info                                                  # Display addresses of the master and services
$ kubectl cluster-info dump                                             # Dump current cluster state to stdout
$ kubectl cluster-info dump --output-directory=/path/to/cluster-state   # Dump current cluster state to /path/to/cluster-state

# If a taint with that key and effect already exists, its value is replaced as specified.
$ kubectl taint nodes foo dedicated=special-user:NoSchedule

Resource types

The following table includes a list of all the supported resource types and their abbreviated aliases:

Resource type Abbreviated alias
certificatesigningrequests csr
componentstatuses cs
configmaps cm
customresourcedefinition crd, crds
daemonsets ds
deployments deploy
endpoints ep
events ev
horizontalpodautoscalers hpa
ingresses ing
limitranges limits
namespaces ns
networkpolicies netpol
nodes no
persistentvolumeclaims pvc
persistentvolumes pv
poddisruptionbudgets pdb
pods po
podsecuritypolicies psp
replicasets rs
replicationcontrollers rc
resourcequotas quota
serviceaccount sa
services svc
statefulsets sts
storageclasses sc

Formatting output

To output details to your terminal window in a specific format, you can add either the -o or -output flags to a supported kubectl command.

Output format Description
-o=custom-columns=<spec> Print a table using a comma separated list of custom columns
-o=custom-columns-file=<filename> Print a table using the custom columns template in the <filename> file
-o=json Output a JSON formatted API object
-o=jsonpath=<template> Print the fields defined in a jsonpath expression
-o=jsonpath-file=<filename> Print the fields defined by the jsonpath expression in the <filename> file
-o=name Print only the resource name and nothing else
-o=wide Output in the plain-text format with any additional information, and for pods, the node name is included
-o=yaml Output a YAML formatted API object

Kubectl output verbosity and debugging

Kubectl verbosity is controlled with the -v or --v flags followed by an integer representing the log level. General Kubernetes logging conventions and the associated log levels are described here.

Verbosity Description
--v=0 Generally useful for this to ALWAYS be visible to an operator.
--v=1 A reasonable default log level if you don’t want verbosity.
--v=2 Useful steady state information about the service and important log messages that may correlate to significant changes in the system. This is the recommended default log level for most systems.
--v=3 Extended information about changes.
--v=4 Debug level verbosity.
--v=6 Display requested resources.
--v=7 Display HTTP request headers.
--v=8 Display HTTP request contents.
--v=9 Display HTTP request contents without truncation of contents.


Create an Issue Edit this Page