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1. Overview

When working with Kubernetes, we lack a tool that helps in local development — a tool that can run local Kubernetes clusters using Docker containers as nodes.

In this tutorial, we'll explore Kubernetes with kind. Primarily a testing tool for Kubernetes, kind is also handy for local development and CI.

2. Setup

As a prerequisite, we should make sure Docker is installed in our system. An easy way to install Docker is using the Docker Desktop appropriate for our operating system (and processor, in the case of macOS).

2.1. Install Kubernetes Command-Line

First, let's install the Kubernetes command-line, kubectl.On macOS, we can install it using Homebrew:

$ brew install kubectl

We can verify the successful installation by using the command:

$ kubectl version --client

Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"21", GitVersion:"v1.21.3", 
GitCommit:"ca643a4d1f7bfe34773c74f79527be4afd95bf39", GitTreeState:"clean", 
BuildDate:"2021-07-15T21:04:39Z", GoVersion:"go1.16.6", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"darwin/amd64"}

Similarly, we can use curl to download on Windows:

curl -LO https://dl.k8s.io/v1.21.0/bin/windows/amd64/kubectl.exe.sha256

Then, we should add the kubectl command's binary location to our PATH variable.

2.2. Install kind

Next, we'll install kind using Homebrew on macOS:

$ brew install kind

To verify the successful installation, we can try the command:

$ kind version
kind v0.11.1 go1.15.6 darwin/amd64

However, if the kind version command doesn't work, please add its location to the PATH variable.

Similarly, for the Windows operating system, we can download kind using curl:

curl -Lo kind-windows-amd64.exe https://kind.sigs.k8s.io/dl/v0.11.1/kind-windows-amd64
Move-Item .\kind-windows-amd64.exe c:\kind\kind.exe

3. Kubernetes Cluster

Now, we're all set to use kind to prepare the local development environment for Kubernetes.

3.1. Create Cluster

First, let's create a local Kubernetes cluster with the default configuration:

$ kind create cluster

By default, a cluster named kind will be created. However, we can provide a name to the cluster using the –name parameter:

$ kind create cluster --name baeldung-kind
Creating cluster "baeldung-kind" ...
 ✓ Ensuring node image (kindest/node:v1.21.1) 🖼 
 ✓ Preparing nodes 📦  
 ✓ Writing configuration 📜 
 ✓ Starting control-plane 🕹️ 
 ✓ Installing CNI 🔌 
 ✓ Installing StorageClass 💾 
Set kubectl context to "kind-baeldung-kind"
You can now use your cluster with:
kubectl cluster-info --context kind-baeldung-kind
Thanks for using kind! 😊

Also, we can use a YAML config file to configure the cluster. For instance, let's write a simplistic configuration in the baeldungConfig.yaml file:

kind: Cluster
apiVersion: kind.x-k8s.io/v1
name: baeldung-kind

Then, let's create the cluster using the configuration file:

$ kind create cluster --config baeldungConfig.yaml

Additionally, we can also provide a specific version of the Kubernetes image while creating a cluster:

$ kind create cluster --image kindest/node:v1.20.7

3.2. Get Cluster

Let's check the created cluster by using the get command:

$ kind get clusters
baeldung-kind

Also, we can confirm the corresponding docker container:

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID  IMAGE                 COMMAND                 CREATED    STATUS        PORTS                      NAMES
612a98989e99  kindest/node:v1.21.1  "/usr/local/bin/entr…"  1 min ago  Up 2 minutes  127.0.0.1:59489->6443/tcp  baeldung-kind-control-plane

Or, we can confirm the nodes via kubectl:

$ kubectl get nodes
NAME                          STATUS   ROLES                  AGE   VERSION
baeldung-kind-control-plane   Ready    control-plane,master   41s   v1.21.1

3.3. Cluster Details

Once a cluster is ready, we can check the details using the cluster-info command on kubectl:

$ kubectl cluster-info --context kind-baeldung-kind
Kubernetes master is running at https://127.0.0.1:59489
CoreDNS is running at https://127.0.0.1:59489/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/kube-dns:dns/proxy

Also, we can use the dump parameter along with the cluster-info command to extract the detailed information about a cluster:

$ kubectl cluster-info dump --context kind-baeldung-kind

3.4. Delete Cluster

Similar to the get command, we can use the delete command to remove a specific cluster:

$ kind delete cluster --name baeldung-kind

4. Ingress Controller

4.1. Configure

We'll require an ingress controller to establish a connection between our local environment and the Kubernetes cluster.

Therefore, we can use kind‘s config options like extraPortMappings and node-labels:

kind: Cluster
apiVersion: kind.x-k8s.io/v1alpha4
name: baeldung-kind
nodes:
- role: control-plane
  kubeadmConfigPatches:
  - |
    kind: InitConfiguration
    nodeRegistration:
      kubeletExtraArgs:
        node-labels: "ingress-ready=true"    
  extraPortMappings:
  - containerPort: 80
    hostPort: 80
    protocol: TCP
  - containerPort: 443
    hostPort: 443
    protocol: TCP

Here, we've updated our baeldungConfig.yaml file to set the configurations for the ingress controller, mapping the container port to the host port. Also, we enabled the node for the ingress by defining ingress-ready=true.

Then, we must recreate our cluster with the modified configuration:

kind create cluster --config baeldungConfig.yaml

4.2. Deploy

Then, we'll deploy the Kubernetes supported ingress NGINX controller to work as a reverse proxy and load balancer:

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes/ingress-nginx/main/deploy/static/provider/kind/deploy.yaml

Additionally, we can also use AWS and GCE load balancer controllers.

5. Deploying a Service Locally

Finally, we're all set to deploy our service. For this tutorial, we can use a simple http-echo web server available as a docker image.

5.1. Configure

So, let's create a configuration file that defines the service and use ingress to host it locally:

kind: Pod
apiVersion: v1
metadata:
  name: baeldung-app
  labels:
    app: baeldung-app
spec:
  containers:
  - name: baeldung-app
    image: hashicorp/http-echo:0.2.3
    args:
    - "-text=Hello World! This is a Baeldung Kubernetes with kind App"
---
kind: Service
apiVersion: v1
metadata:
  name: baeldung-service
spec:
  selector:
    app: baeldung-app
  ports:
  # Default port used by the image
  - port: 5678
---
apiVersion: networking.k8s.io/v1
kind: Ingress
metadata:
  name: baeldung-ingress
spec:
  rules:
  - http:
      paths:
      - pathType: Prefix
        path: "/baeldung"
        backend:
          service:
            name: baeldung-service
            port:
              number: 5678
---

Here, we've created a pod named baeldung-app with the text argument and a service called baeldung-service.

Then, we set up ingress networking to the baeldung-service on the 5678 port and through the /baeldung URI.

5.2. Deploy

Now that we're ready with all the configuration and our cluster integrates with the ingress NGINX controller, let's deploy our service:

$ kubectl apply -f baeldung-service.yaml

We can check the status of the services on kubectl:

$ kubectl get services
NAME               TYPE        CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)    AGE
baeldung-service   ClusterIP   10.96.172.116   <none>        5678/TCP   5m38s
kubernetes         ClusterIP   10.96.0.1       <none>        443/TCP    7m5s

That's it! Our service is deployed and should be available at localhost/baeldung:

$ curl localhost/baeldung
Hello World! This is a Baeldung Kubernetes with kind App

Note: if we encounter any error related to the validate.nginx.ingress.kubernetes.io webhook, we should delete the ValidationWebhookConfiguration:

$ kubectl delete -A ValidatingWebhookConfiguration ingress-nginx-admission
validatingwebhookconfiguration.admissionregistration.k8s.io "ingress-nginx-admission" deleted

Then, deploy the service again.

6. Conclusion

In this article, we explored Kubernetes with kind.

First, we did a setup that includes installing Kubernetes command-line kubectl and kind. Then, we went through a few features of kind to create/update a Kubernetes local cluster.

Last, we integrated the ingress controller and deployed a privately accessible service on the Kubernetes cluster.

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