How to get started, and achieve tasks, using Kubernetes

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Installing a Kubernetes Master Node via Docker

We’ll begin by setting up the master node. For the purposes of illustration, we’ll assume that the IP of this machine is ${MASTER_IP}. We’ll need to run several versioned Kubernetes components, so we’ll assume that the version we want to run is ${K8S_VERSION}, which should hold a released version of Kubernetes >= “1.2.1”

Environment variables used:

export MASTER_IP=<the_master_ip_here>
export K8S_VERSION=<your_k8s_version (e.g. 1.2.1)>
export ETCD_VERSION=<your_etcd_version (e.g. 2.2.1)>
export FLANNEL_VERSION=<your_flannel_version (e.g. 0.5.5)>
export FLANNEL_IFACE=<flannel_interface (defaults to eth0)>
export FLANNEL_IPMASQ=<flannel_ipmasq_flag (defaults to true)>

There are two main phases to installing the master:

Setting up flanneld and etcd

Note: This guide expects Docker 1.7.1 or higher.

Setup Docker Bootstrap

We’re going to use flannel to set up networking between Docker daemons. Flannel itself (and etcd on which it relies) will run inside of Docker containers themselves. To achieve this, we need a separate “bootstrap” instance of the Docker daemon. This daemon will be started with --iptables=false so that it can only run containers with --net=host. That’s sufficient to bootstrap our system.


sudo sh -c 'docker -d -H unix:///var/run/docker-bootstrap.sock -p /var/run/ --iptables=false --ip-masq=false --bridge=none --graph=/var/lib/docker-bootstrap 2> /var/log/docker-bootstrap.log 1> /dev/null &'

If you have Docker 1.8.0 or higher run this instead

sudo sh -c 'docker daemon -H unix:///var/run/docker-bootstrap.sock -p /var/run/ --iptables=false --ip-masq=false --bridge=none --graph=/var/lib/docker-bootstrap 2> /var/log/docker-bootstrap.log 1> /dev/null &'

Important Note: If you are running this on a long running system, rather than experimenting, you should run the bootstrap Docker instance under something like SysV init, upstart or systemd so that it is restarted across reboots and failures.

Startup etcd for flannel and the API server to use


sudo docker -H unix:///var/run/docker-bootstrap.sock run -d \
    --net=host \${ETCD_VERSION} \
    /usr/local/bin/etcd \
        --listen-client-urls=,http://${MASTER_IP}:4001 \
        --advertise-client-urls=http://${MASTER_IP}:4001 \

Next, you need to set a CIDR range for flannel. This CIDR should be chosen to be non-overlapping with any existing network you are using:

sudo docker -H unix:///var/run/docker-bootstrap.sock run \
    --net=host \${ETCD_VERSION} \
    etcdctl set / '{ "Network": "" }'

Set up Flannel on the master node

Flannel is a network abstraction layer build by CoreOS, we will use it to provide simplified networking between our Pods of containers.

Flannel re-configures the bridge that Docker uses for networking. As a result we need to stop Docker, reconfigure its networking, and then restart Docker.

Bring down Docker

To re-configure Docker to use flannel, we need to take docker down, run flannel and then restart Docker.

Turning down Docker is system dependent, it may be:

sudo /etc/init.d/docker stop


sudo systemctl stop docker


sudo service docker stop

or it may be something else.

Run flannel

Now run flanneld itself:

sudo docker -H unix:///var/run/docker-bootstrap.sock run -d \
    --net=host \
    --privileged \
    -v /dev/net:/dev/net \${FLANNEL_VERSION} \
    /opt/bin/flanneld \
        --ip-masq=${FLANNEL_IPMASQ} \

The previous command should have printed a really long hash, the container id, copy this hash.

Now get the subnet settings from flannel:

sudo docker -H unix:///var/run/docker-bootstrap.sock exec <really-long-hash-from-above-here> cat /run/flannel/subnet.env

Edit the docker configuration

You now need to edit the docker configuration to activate new flags. Again, this is system specific.

This may be in /etc/default/docker or /etc/systemd/service/docker.service or it may be elsewhere.

Regardless, you need to add the following to the docker command line:


Remove the existing Docker bridge

Docker creates a bridge named docker0 by default. You need to remove this:

sudo /sbin/ifconfig docker0 down
sudo brctl delbr docker0

You may need to install the bridge-utils package for the brctl binary.

Restart Docker

Again this is system dependent, it may be:

sudo /etc/init.d/docker start

it may be:

systemctl start docker

Starting the Kubernetes Master

Ok, now that your networking is set up, you can startup Kubernetes, this is the same as the single-node case, we will use the “main” instance of the Docker daemon for the Kubernetes components.

sudo docker run \
    --volume=/:/rootfs:ro \
    --volume=/sys:/sys:ro \
    --volume=/var/lib/docker/:/var/lib/docker:rw \
    --volume=/var/lib/kubelet/:/var/lib/kubelet:rw \
    --volume=/var/run:/var/run:rw \
    --net=host \
    --privileged=true \
    --pid=host \
    -d \${K8S_VERSION} \
    /hyperkube kubelet \
        --allow-privileged=true \
        --api-servers=http://localhost:8080 \
        --v=2 \
        --address= \
        --enable-server \
        --hostname-override= \
        --config=/etc/kubernetes/manifests-multi \
        --containerized \
        --cluster-dns= \

Note that --cluster-dns and --cluster-domain is used to deploy dns, feel free to discard them if dns is not needed.

Test it out

At this point, you should have a functioning 1-node cluster. Let’s test it out!

Download the kubectl binary for ${K8S_VERSION} (v1.2) and make it available by editing your PATH environment variable. (OS X/amd64) (OS X/386) (linux/amd64) (linux/386) (linux/arm)

For example, OS X:

$ wget${K8S_VERSION}/bin/darwin/amd64/kubectl
$ chmod 755 kubectl
$ PATH=$PATH:`pwd`


$ wget${K8S_VERSION}/bin/linux/amd64/kubectl
$ chmod 755 kubectl
$ PATH=$PATH:`pwd`

Now you can list the nodes:

kubectl get nodes

This should print something like:

NAME        LABELS                             STATUS   Ready

If the status of the node is NotReady or Unknown please check that all of the containers you created are successfully running. If all else fails, ask questions on Slack.

Next steps

Move on to adding one or more workers or deploy a dns