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kubectl for Docker Users

You can use the Kubernetes command line tool kubectl to interact with the API Server. Using kubectl is straightforward if you are familiar with the Docker command line tool. However, there are a few differences between the docker commands and the kubectl commands. The following sections show a docker sub-command and describe the equivalent kubectl command.

docker run

To run an nginx Deployment and expose the Deployment, see kubectl run.

docker:

$ docker run -d --restart=always -e DOMAIN=cluster --name nginx-app -p 80:80 nginx
55c103fa129692154a7652490236fee9be47d70a8dd562281ae7d2f9a339a6db

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND                  CREATED             STATUS              PORTS                NAMES
55c103fa1296        nginx               "nginx -g 'daemon of…"   9 seconds ago       Up 9 seconds        0.0.0.0:80->80/tcp   nginx-app

kubectl:

# start the pod running nginx
$ kubectl run --image=nginx nginx-app --port=80 --env="DOMAIN=cluster"
deployment "nginx-app" created
Note: kubectl commands print the type and name of the resource created or mutated, which can then be used in subsequent commands. You can expose a new Service after a Deployment is created.
# expose a port through with a service
$ kubectl expose deployment nginx-app --port=80 --name=nginx-http
service "nginx-http" exposed

By using kubectl, you can create a Deployment to ensure that N pods are running nginx, where N is the number of replicas stated in the spec and defaults to 1. You can also create a service with a selector that matches the pod labels. For more information, see Use a Service to Access an Application in a Cluster.

By default images run in the background, similar to docker run -d .... To run things in the foreground, use:

kubectl run [-i] [--tty] --attach <name> --image=<image>

Unlike docker run ..., if you specify --attach, then you attach stdin, stdout and stderr. You cannot control which streams are attached (docker -a ...). To detach from the container, you can type the escape sequence Ctrl+P followed by Ctrl+Q.

Because the kubectl run command starts a Deployment for the container, the Deployment restarts if you terminate the attached process by using Ctrl+C, unlike docker run -it. To destroy the Deployment and its pods you need to run kubectl delete deployment <name>.

docker ps

To list what is currently running, see kubectl get.

docker:

$ docker ps -a
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND                  CREATED              STATUS                     PORTS                NAMES
14636241935f        ubuntu:16.04        "echo test"              5 seconds ago        Exited (0) 5 seconds ago                        cocky_fermi
55c103fa1296        nginx               "nginx -g 'daemon of…"   About a minute ago   Up About a minute          0.0.0.0:80->80/tcp   nginx-app

kubectl:

$ kubectl get po
NAME                        READY     STATUS      RESTARTS   AGE
nginx-app-8df569cb7-4gd89   1/1       Running     0          3m
ubuntu                      0/1       Completed   0          20s

docker attach

To attach a process that is already running in a container, see kubectl attach.

docker:

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND                  CREATED             STATUS              PORTS                NAMES
55c103fa1296        nginx               "nginx -g 'daemon of…"   5 minutes ago       Up 5 minutes        0.0.0.0:80->80/tcp   nginx-app

$ docker attach 55c103fa1296
...

kubectl:

$ kubectl get pods
NAME              READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
nginx-app-5jyvm   1/1       Running   0          10m

$ kubectl attach -it nginx-app-5jyvm
...

To detach from the container, you can type the escape sequence Ctrl+P followed by Ctrl+Q.

docker exec

To execute a command in a container, see kubectl exec.

docker:

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND                  CREATED             STATUS              PORTS                NAMES
55c103fa1296        nginx               "nginx -g 'daemon of…"   6 minutes ago       Up 6 minutes        0.0.0.0:80->80/tcp   nginx-app

$ docker exec 55c103fa1296 cat /etc/hostname
55c103fa1296

kubectl:

$ kubectl get po
NAME              READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
nginx-app-5jyvm   1/1       Running   0          10m

$ kubectl exec nginx-app-5jyvm -- cat /etc/hostname
nginx-app-5jyvm

To use interactive commands.

docker:

$ docker exec -ti 55c103fa1296 /bin/sh
# exit

kubectl:

$ kubectl exec -ti nginx-app-5jyvm -- /bin/sh      
# exit

For more information, see Get a Shell to a Running Container.

docker logs

To follow stdout/stderr of a process that is running, see kubectl logs.

docker:

$ docker logs -f a9e
192.168.9.1 - - [14/Jul/2015:01:04:02 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.35.0" "-"
192.168.9.1 - - [14/Jul/2015:01:04:03 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.35.0" "-"

kubectl:

$ kubectl logs -f nginx-app-zibvs
10.240.63.110 - - [14/Jul/2015:01:09:01 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.26.0" "-"
10.240.63.110 - - [14/Jul/2015:01:09:02 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.26.0" "-"

There is a slight difference between pods and containers; by default pods do not terminate if their processes exit. Instead the pods restart the process. This is similar to the docker run option --restart=always with one major difference. In docker, the output for each invocation of the process is concatenated, but for Kubernetes, each invocation is separate. To see the output from a previous run in Kubernetes, do this:

$ kubectl logs --previous nginx-app-zibvs
10.240.63.110 - - [14/Jul/2015:01:09:01 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.26.0" "-"
10.240.63.110 - - [14/Jul/2015:01:09:02 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.26.0" "-"

For more information, see Logging Architecture.

docker stop and docker rm

To stop and delete a running process, see kubectl delete.

docker:

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND                CREATED             STATUS              PORTS                         NAMES
a9ec34d98787        nginx               "nginx -g 'daemon of"  22 hours ago        Up 22 hours         0.0.0.0:80->80/tcp, 443/tcp   nginx-app

$ docker stop a9ec34d98787
a9ec34d98787

$ docker rm a9ec34d98787
a9ec34d98787

kubectl:

$ kubectl get deployment nginx-app
NAME        DESIRED   CURRENT   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
nginx-app   1         1         1            1           2m

$ kubectl get po -l run=nginx-app
NAME                         READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
nginx-app-2883164633-aklf7   1/1       Running   0          2m

$ kubectl delete deployment nginx-app
deployment "nginx-app" deleted

$ kubectl get po -l run=nginx-app
# Return nothing
Note: When you use kubectl, you don’t delete the pod directly.You have to first delete the Deployment that owns the pod. If you delete the pod directly, the Deployment recreates the pod.

docker login

There is no direct analog of docker login in kubectl. If you are interested in using Kubernetes with a private registry, see Using a Private Registry.

docker version

To get the version of client and server, see kubectl version.

docker:

$ docker version
Client version: 1.7.0
Client API version: 1.19
Go version (client): go1.4.2
Git commit (client): 0baf609
OS/Arch (client): linux/amd64
Server version: 1.7.0
Server API version: 1.19
Go version (server): go1.4.2
Git commit (server): 0baf609
OS/Arch (server): linux/amd64

kubectl:

$ kubectl version
Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"6", GitVersion:"v1.6.9+a3d1dfa6f4335", GitCommit:"9b77fed11a9843ce3780f70dd251e92901c43072", GitTreeState:"dirty", BuildDate:"2017-08-29T20:32:58Z", OpenPaasKubernetesVersion:"v1.03.02", GoVersion:"go1.7.5", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"linux/amd64"}
Server Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"6", GitVersion:"v1.6.9+a3d1dfa6f4335", GitCommit:"9b77fed11a9843ce3780f70dd251e92901c43072", GitTreeState:"dirty", BuildDate:"2017-08-29T20:32:58Z", OpenPaasKubernetesVersion:"v1.03.02", GoVersion:"go1.7.5", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"linux/amd64"}

docker info

To get miscellaneous information about the environment and configuration, see kubectl cluster-info.

docker:

$ docker info
Containers: 40
Images: 168
Storage Driver: aufs
 Root Dir: /usr/local/google/docker/aufs
 Backing Filesystem: extfs
 Dirs: 248
 Dirperm1 Supported: false
Execution Driver: native-0.2
Logging Driver: json-file
Kernel Version: 3.13.0-53-generic
Operating System: Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS
CPUs: 12
Total Memory: 31.32 GiB
Name: k8s-is-fun.mtv.corp.google.com
ID: ADUV:GCYR:B3VJ:HMPO:LNPQ:KD5S:YKFQ:76VN:IANZ:7TFV:ZBF4:BYJO
WARNING: No swap limit support

kubectl:

$ kubectl cluster-info
Kubernetes master is running at https://108.59.85.141
KubeDNS is running at https://108.59.85.141/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/kube-dns/proxy
kubernetes-dashboard is running at https://108.59.85.141/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/kubernetes-dashboard/proxy
Grafana is running at https://108.59.85.141/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/monitoring-grafana/proxy
Heapster is running at https://108.59.85.141/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/monitoring-heapster/proxy
InfluxDB is running at https://108.59.85.141/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/monitoring-influxdb/proxy

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