As a proponent of the command line, I’ll quite happily live in there all the time. When learning new things which have a multitude of command combinations a Gui is, without doubt, a useful tool to have.
As I learn Kubernetes I’ve been trying some tools which might be useful to anyone starting out or looking to visualize their Kubernetes cluster(s)
Octant (Linux, macOS, Windows)
Octant is a project from VMware to visualise your Kubernetes clusters in your web browser
Basic installation is straight forward and outlined on the github page
Download the RPM or Deb and install it using your servers package management software.
The service will start, look for the kubeconfig files and then open a browser on the local machine HTTP://127.0.0.1:7777
This is great if you have a Gui on the server however at this point the server isn’t remotely accessible.
There are instructions to run Octant as a Service
sudo vi /usr/lib/systemd/system/octant.service
The lines to note are
These need to be reflective of your IP address and folder structure.
Setup the service so it starts automatically post reboot
sudo systemctl enable octectsudo systemctl start octectsudo systemctl status octect
If you run a firewall open ports as needed then you should be able to open the WebGUI using
NOTE: There is no RBAC on this, so ANYONE can see this
The setup is quick and easy and having all of this in the browser outside of the Kubernetes cluster is nice. The interface on the very low power box I ran it on was still pretty zippy. I think being able to select ALL namespaces would be a useful feature.
Octant also has a plugin system to expand its usability take a look on github
Lens (Linux, macOS, Windows)
Lens is an application rather than a web app that runs on major platforms.
Like Octant it gives a good overview of the Kubernetes cluster, however, it feels much more polished. It displays in real-time and will run on any desktop as long as kubeconfig is supplied and it’s able to access a K8s master.
Notable things are the ability to start and remove resources, direct links into helm charts that can be installed by the interface and the ability to see the Traefik data as well as the default namespaces.
Two very different ways of doing things, at the moment I find Lens the more polished of the two however with VMware’s backing and new lease of life on Microservices I don’t see it being too long before Octant becomes a feature-rich alternative.