Certified Kubernetes Administrator - Introduction to the kubectl command

The objective of this post series helps you for taking the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam using Kubernetes Official Documentation. You don't need to install  Kubernetes  Cluster for the test that we performed on these posts. You can practice a lot with kubectl API using Katacoda.


Overview Of kubectl Command

Kubectl is a command-line interface for running commands against Kubernetes clusters. You can manage your apps and cluster and cluster resources by kubectl command. If you have already installed Kubernetes Cluster and you want to use kubectl command to manage it then check this link to install and configure kubectl command. But at this post, I will basically describe how to use it over Katacoda.

Kubectl commands use Kubeconfigfile to store Kubernetes cluster information. Basically this config file stores every information that you need to connect and run commands against the Kubernetes cluster. I want to add some information about the Kubeconfig file that helps you to understand how it works. 

Kubeconfig YAML file has three objects that Clusters, Contexts, Users.

  • Clusters: This is the object that you will define your cluster information like production, test, disaster, etc. 
  • Users: User information that will be used to manage the resources.
  • Contexts: A context is a group of access parameters. Each context contains a Kubernetes cluster, a user, and a namespace. It's important that namespaces parameters must be defined in contexts.

Basic kubeconfigfile example;

apiVersion: v1
kind: Config

- name: Production
    certificate-authority: /etc/kubernetes/pki/ca.crt

- name: admin@Production
    cluster: Production
    user: admin
    namespace: Billing

- name: admin
    client-certificate: /etc/kubernetes/pki/users/test-user/test-user.crt
    client-key: /etc/kubernetes/pki/users/test-user/test-user.key
current-context: admin@Production


You can get this information from config file located under ".kube" directory and also with kubectl command.


#cat ~/.kube/config


#kubectl config view
apiVersion: v1
- cluster:
    certificate-authority-data: REDACTED
  name: kubernetes
- context:
    cluster: kubernetes
    user: kubernetes-admin
  name: kubernetes-admin@kubernetes
current-context: kubernetes-admin@kubernetes
kind: Config
preferences: {}
- name: kubernetes-admin
    client-certificate-data: REDACTED
    client-key-data: REDACTED


Time to test your skills. Use  Katacoda and find out the answers.

Question 1:  How to get current-context and configuration?

#kubectl config current-context
# kubectl config view
apiVersion: v1
- cluster:
    certificate-authority-data: REDACTED
  name: kubernetes
- context:
    cluster: kubernetes
    user: kubernetes-admin
  name: kubernetes-admin@kubernetes
current-context: kubernetes-admin@kubernetes
kind: Config
preferences: {}
- name: kubernetes-admin
    client-certificate-data: REDACTED
    client-key-data: REDACTED

Question 2:  How to change current-context?

#kubectl config get-contexts
CURRENT   NAME                          CLUSTER      AUTHINFO           NAMESPACE
*         kubernetes-admin@kubernetes   kubernetes   kubernetes-admin

#kubectl  config  use-context kubernetes-admin@kubernetes
Switched to context "kubernetes-admin@kubernetes".

Question 3:  How to get Kubernetes cluster information?

#kubectl  cluster-info
Kubernetes master is running at
KubeDNS is running at

#kubectl  version 
Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"17", GitVersion:"v1.17.0", GitCommit:"70132b0f130acc0bed193d9ba59dd186f0e634cf", GitTreeState:"clean", BuildDate:"2019-12-07T21:20:10Z", GoVersion:"go1.13.4", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"linux/amd64"} Server Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"17", GitVersion:"v1.17.0", GitCommit:"70132b0f130acc0bed193d9ba59dd186f0e634cf", GitTreeState:"clean", BuildDate:"2019-12-07T21:12:17Z", GoVersion:"go1.13.4", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"linux/amd64"} 

-- To further debug and diagnose cluster problems, use 'kubectl cluster-info dump'. 
#kubectl cluster-info dump

Question 4:  How to get running node information?

-- To further information about node and running software versions.
#kubectl get nodes -o yaml
#kubectl  get  node -o wide
minikube   Ready    master   23m   v1.17.0   <none>        Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS   4.15.0-72-generic   docker://18.9.7

Question 5:  How to get running pods?

#kubectl get pods --all-namespaces

I'm a IT Infrastructure and Operations Architect with extensive experience and administration skills and works for Turk Telekom. I provide hardware and software support for the IT Infrastructure and Operations tasks.

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