Configure a Pod to Use a PersistentVolume for Storage

This page shows you how to configure a Pod to use a PersistentVolumeClaim for storage. Here is a summary of the process:

  1. You, as cluster administrator, create a PersistentVolume backed by physical storage. You do not associate the volume with any Pod.

  2. You, now taking the role of a developer / cluster user, create a PersistentVolumeClaim that is automatically bound to a suitable PersistentVolume.

  3. You create a Pod that uses the above PersistentVolumeClaim for storage.

Before you begin

  • You need to have a Kubernetes cluster that has only one Node, and the kubectl command-line tool must be configured to communicate with your cluster. If you do not already have a single-node cluster, you can create one by using Minikube.

  • Familiarize yourself with the material in Persistent Volumes.

Create an index.html file on your Node

Open a shell to the single Node in your cluster. How you open a shell depends on how you set up your cluster. For example, if you are using Minikube, you can open a shell to your Node by entering minikube ssh.

In your shell on that Node, create a /mnt/data directory:

# This assumes that your Node uses "sudo" to run commands
# as the superuser
sudo mkdir /mnt/data

In the /mnt/data directory, create an index.html file:

# This again assumes that your Node uses "sudo" to run commands
# as the superuser
sudo sh -c "echo 'Hello from Kubernetes storage' > /mnt/data/index.html"

Test that the index.html file exists:

cat /mnt/data/index.html

The output should be:

Hello from Kubernetes storage

You can now close the shell to your Node.

Create a PersistentVolume

In this exercise, you create a hostPath PersistentVolume. Kubernetes supports hostPath for development and testing on a single-node cluster. A hostPath PersistentVolume uses a file or directory on the Node to emulate network-attached storage.

In a production cluster, you would not use hostPath. Instead a cluster administrator would provision a network resource like a Google Compute Engine persistent disk, an NFS share, or an Amazon Elastic Block Store volume. Cluster administrators can also use StorageClasses to set up dynamic provisioning.

Here is the configuration file for the hostPath PersistentVolume:

apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolume
  name: task-pv-volume
    type: local
  storageClassName: manual
    storage: 10Gi
    - ReadWriteOnce
    path: "/mnt/data"

The configuration file specifies that the volume is at /mnt/data on the cluster's Node. The configuration also specifies a size of 10 gibibytes and an access mode of ReadWriteOnce, which means the volume can be mounted as read-write by a single Node. It defines the StorageClass name manual for the PersistentVolume, which will be used to bind PersistentVolumeClaim requests to this PersistentVolume.

Create the PersistentVolume:

kubectl apply -f

View information about the PersistentVolume:

kubectl get pv task-pv-volume

The output shows that the PersistentVolume has a STATUS of Available. This means it has not yet been bound to a PersistentVolumeClaim.

task-pv-volume   10Gi       RWO           Retain          Available             manual                   4s

Create a PersistentVolumeClaim

The next step is to create a PersistentVolumeClaim. Pods use PersistentVolumeClaims to request physical storage. In this exercise, you create a PersistentVolumeClaim that requests a volume of at least three gibibytes that can provide read-write access for at least one Node.

Here is the configuration file for the PersistentVolumeClaim:

apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
  name: task-pv-claim
  storageClassName: manual
    - ReadWriteOnce
      storage: 3Gi

Create the PersistentVolumeClaim:

kubectl apply -f

After you create the PersistentVolumeClaim, the Kubernetes control plane looks for a PersistentVolume that satisfies the claim's requirements. If the control plane finds a suitable PersistentVolume with the same StorageClass, it binds the claim to the volume.

Look again at the PersistentVolume:

kubectl get pv task-pv-volume

Now the output shows a STATUS of Bound.

task-pv-volume   10Gi       RWO           Retain          Bound     default/task-pv-claim   manual                   2m

Look at the PersistentVolumeClaim:

kubectl get pvc task-pv-claim

The output shows that the PersistentVolumeClaim is bound to your PersistentVolume, task-pv-volume.

task-pv-claim   Bound     task-pv-volume   10Gi       RWO           manual         30s

Create a Pod

The next step is to create a Pod that uses your PersistentVolumeClaim as a volume.

Here is the configuration file for the Pod:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: task-pv-pod
    - name: task-pv-storage
        claimName: task-pv-claim
    - name: task-pv-container
      image: nginx
        - containerPort: 80
          name: "http-server"
        - mountPath: "/usr/share/nginx/html"
          name: task-pv-storage

Notice that the Pod's configuration file specifies a PersistentVolumeClaim, but it does not specify a PersistentVolume. From the Pod's point of view, the claim is a volume.

Create the Pod:

kubectl apply -f

Verify that the container in the Pod is running;

kubectl get pod task-pv-pod

Get a shell to the container running in your Pod:

kubectl exec -it task-pv-pod -- /bin/bash

In your shell, verify that nginx is serving the index.html file from the hostPath volume:

# Be sure to run these 3 commands inside the root shell that comes from
# running "kubectl exec" in the previous step
apt update
apt install curl
curl http://localhost/

The output shows the text that you wrote to the index.html file on the hostPath volume:

Hello from Kubernetes storage

If you see that message, you have successfully configured a Pod to use storage from a PersistentVolumeClaim.

Clean up

Delete the Pod, the PersistentVolumeClaim and the PersistentVolume:

kubectl delete pod task-pv-pod
kubectl delete pvc task-pv-claim
kubectl delete pv task-pv-volume

If you don't already have a shell open to the Node in your cluster, open a new shell the same way that you did earlier.

In the shell on your Node, remove the file and directory that you created:

# This assumes that your Node uses "sudo" to run commands
# as the superuser
sudo rm /mnt/data/index.html
sudo rmdir /mnt/data

You can now close the shell to your Node.

Access control

Storage configured with a group ID (GID) allows writing only by Pods using the same GID. Mismatched or missing GIDs cause permission denied errors. To reduce the need for coordination with users, an administrator can annotate a PersistentVolume with a GID. Then the GID is automatically added to any Pod that uses the PersistentVolume.

Use the annotation as follows:

apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolume
  name: pv1
  annotations: "1234"

When a Pod consumes a PersistentVolume that has a GID annotation, the annotated GID is applied to all containers in the Pod in the same way that GIDs specified in the Pod's security context are. Every GID, whether it originates from a PersistentVolume annotation or the Pod's specification, is applied to the first process run in each container.

What's next


Last modified October 22, 2020 at 3:01 PM PST : Fix links in the tasks section (740eb340d)