"After all, the engineers only needed to refuse to fix anything, and modern industry would grind to a halt." -Michael Lewis

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How to Setup and Use Kubernetes in Docker [kind]

Jun 2020

kind is a tool that spins up a kubernetes cluster of arbitrary size on your local machine. It is, in my experience, more lightweight than minikube, and also allows for a multi node setup.


To install kind, I would recommend using homebrew if you're on *nix:

$ brew install kind

and chocolatey if you're on windows:

choco install kind

You will want to already have docker installed as well as kubectl installed

Basic Usage

If you just type

$ kind create cluster

It will:

  • Create a single node kubernetes cluster called "kind" using docker on your local machine
  • Automatically configure your kubectl cli tool to point at this cluster

We can see that with a couple of commands:

$ docker container ls -a
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                  COMMAND                  CREATED             STATUS              PORTS                       NAMES
78e981f32e68        kindest/node:v1.18.2   "/usr/local/bin/entr…"   4 minutes ago       Up 4 minutes>6443/tcp   kind-control-plane

$ kubectl get nodes -A NAME STATUS ROLES AGE VERSION kind-control-plane Ready master 4m7s v1.18.2

$ kubectl get deployments -n kube-system NAME READY UP-TO-DATE AVAILABLE AGE coredns 2/2 2 2 4m35s

Multi Node Cluster Configuration

We can control the type of cluster that gets created with a custom kind config file [let's call this one my-kind-config.yaml]:

kind: Cluster
apiVersion: kind.x-k8s.io/v1alpha4
# 1 control plane node and 3 workers
- role: control-plane
- role: worker
- role: worker
- role: worker

Pretty obviously, this is a config for 1 kubernetes manager [control plane] node and 3 kubernetes worker nodes [often just called "nodes"]. We can create this cluster with:

kind create cluster --config my-kind-config.yaml

After like thirty seconds you'll be able to verify this with:

$ kubectl get nodes -A
kind-control-plane NotReady master 60s v1.18.2
kind-worker Ready <none> 20s v1.18.2
kind-worker2 NotReady <none> 20s v1.18.2
kind-worker3 NotReady <none> 24s v1.18.2

Nick Fisher is a software engineer in the Pacific Northwest. He focuses on building highly scalable and maintainable backend systems.