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Lab 0. Access a Kubernetes cluster

Set up your kubernetes environment

For the hands-on labs in this tutorial repository, you will need a kubernetes cluster. One option for creating a cluster is to make use of the Kubernetes as-a-service from the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service as outlined below.

Use the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service

You will need either a paid IBM Cloud account or an IBM Cloud account which is a Trial account (not a Lite account). If you have one of these accounts, use the Getting Started Guide to create your cluster.

Use a hosted trial environment

There are a few services that are accessible over the Internet for temporary use. As these are free services, they can sometimes experience periods of limited availablity/quality. On the other hand, they can be a quick way to get started!

  • Kubernetes playground on Katacoda This environment starts with a master and worker node pre-configured. You can run the steps from Labs 1 and onward from the master node.

  • Play with Kubernetes After signing in with your github or docker hub id, click on Start, then Add New Instance and follow steps shown in terminal to spin up the cluster and add workers.

Set up on your own workstation

If you would like to configure kubernetes to run on your local workstation for non-production, learning use, there are several options.

Install the IBM Cloud command-line interface

  1. As a prerequisite for the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service plug-in, install the IBM Cloud command-line interface. Once installed, you can access IBM Cloud from your command-line with the prefix bx.
  2. Log in to the IBM Cloud CLI: ibmcloud login.
  3. Enter your IBM Cloud credentials when prompted.

Note: If you have a federated ID, use ibmcloud login --sso to log in to the IBM Cloud CLI. Enter your user name, and use the provided URL in your CLI output to retrieve your one-time passcode. You know you have a federated ID when the login fails without the --sso and succeeds with the --sso option.

Install the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service plug-in

  1. To create Kubernetes clusters and manage worker nodes, install the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service plug-in:
ibmcloud plugin install container-service -r Bluemix

Note: The prefix for running commands by using the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service plug-in is bx cs.

  1. To verify that the plug-in is installed properly, run the following command:
ibmcloud plugin list

The IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service plug-in is displayed in the results as container-service.

Download the Kubernetes CLI

To view a local version of the Kubernetes dashboard and to deploy apps into your clusters, you will need to install the Kubernetes CLI that corresponds with your operating system:

For Windows users: Install the Kubernetes CLI in the same directory as the IBM Cloud CLI. This setup saves you some filepath changes when you run commands later.

For OS X and Linux users:

  1. Move the executable file to the /usr/local/bin directory using the command mv /<path_to_file>/kubectl /usr/local/bin/kubectl .

  2. Make sure that /usr/local/bin is listed in your PATH system variable.

$ echo $PATH
  1. Convert the binary file to an executable: chmod +x /usr/local/bin/kubectl

Configure Kubectl to point to IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service

  1. List the clusters in your account:
ibmcloud ks clusters
  1. Set an environment variable that will be used in subsequent commands in this lab.
export CLUSTER_NAME=<your_cluster_name>
  1. Configure kubectl to point to your cluster
ibmcloud ks cluster config --cluster $CLUSTER_NAME
  1. Validate proper configuration
kubectl get namespace
  1. You should see output similar to the following, if so, then your're ready to continue.
NAME              STATUS   AGE
default           Active   125m
ibm-cert-store    Active   121m
ibm-system        Active   124m
kube-node-lease   Active   125m
kube-public       Active   125m
kube-system       Active   125m

Download the Workshop Source Code

Repo guestbook has the application that we'll be deploying. While we're not going to build it we will use the deployment configuration files from that repo. Guestbook application has two versions v1 and v2 which we will use to demonstrate some rollout functionality later. All the configuration files we use are under the directory guestbook/v1.

Repo kube101 contains the step by step instructions to run the workshop.

git clone
git clone