Step-by-Step Guide on Deploying an Application on Kubernetes Cluster

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In this tutorial, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on deploying an application on Kubernetes cluster. Kubernetes is the de facto container orchestration tool that helps to deploy and manage applications in an efficient and scalable way. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the steps of deploying an application on Kubernetes cluster from beginning to end including creating a container image to configuring a Kubernetes service. Let’s get started!

Deploying an Application on Kubernetes Cluster

Getting Started with Kubernetes

Before you can proceed, you can check out our other tutorials on getting started with Kubernetes;

Introduction to Kubernetes: What is it and why do you need it?

Kubernetes Architecture: A High-level Overview of Kubernetes Cluster Components

What are the core concepts in Kubernetes?

Setup Kubernetes Cluster

Ensure you have a running Kubernetes cluster. You can check this guide below on how to deploy a Kubernetes cluster using kubeadm command.

Setup Kubernetes Cluster on Ubuntu 22.04/20.04

Create a Docker Container Image

Kubernetes is a container orchestration tool. Therefore before you can deploy your application in Kubernetes, you need to have packaged it in a container image.

You can create your own custom image or simply just use already existing images on Docker hub to deploy your application.

In this guide, we will demonstrate how to deploy an application on Kubernetes cluster using a Nagios core container image that we created before while demonstrating how to deploy Nagios core as Docker container.

The image was created and pushed to local image registry configured with self-signed SSL/TLS certificates.

For example, let’s get a list of images on the local registry created using the command below (executed on K8s master node);

sudo apt install jq -y
curl -sk | jq

sample output;

  "repositories": [

Check image tags;

curl -sk | jq
  "name": "nagios-core",
  "tags": [

Our image is named as nagios-core:4.4.9.

Create Kubernetes Deployment and Service Manifests

A manifest is a Kubernetes application resource file either in YAML or JSON file which contains the configurations for creating, managing, and running an application in a Kubernetes cluster. Some of the resource defitions include deployments, services, ConfigMaps, Secrets, etc.

  • Deployment manifest defines the desired state of an application, the number of replicas and any other settings required to deploy an app in Kubernetes.
  • Service manifest defines how an application is exposed and how other services or external clients can access it.
  • Secrets: can be used to store credentials.

Configure Kubernetes Cluster to Trust Local Docker Registry with Self Signed SSL Certs

Are you using your local Docker registry to store your own Docker images?

It is a yes for me. In fact, with self signed SSL/TLS certs since it is a demo environment.

Thus, if this is the case for you as well, then you need to begin by ensuring that your Kubernetes cluster can be able to pull your application Docker images from your local registry. Since Kubernetes can only connect to a secured registry, I will have to configure Kubernetes itself to to trust my local registry with self-signed SSL certificates.

If you are using Docker registries secured with publicly trusted CAs, this step is not necessary for you!

To configure Kubernetes cluster to trust local Docker registry configured with self signed SSL/TLS certs, then;

  • On Master node, download SSL/TLS certificates from the local registry (and let’s store them in our demo directory);
mkdir ~/k8s-app-demo
openssl s_client -showcerts -connect \ </dev/null 2>/dev/null \
| openssl x509 -outform PEM > ~/k8s-app-demo/registry-ca-cert.crt
  • Create Kubernetes Secret to use it to store the SSL/TLS certificate. You can create this secret store from a local certificate file just downloaded above;
cd ~/k8s-app-demo
kubectl create secret generic registry-ca-certs --from-file=registry-ca-cert.crt
cd ../

You can list secrets using;

kubectl get secrets

Sample output;

NAME                TYPE     DATA   AGE
registry-ca-certs   Opaque   1      13s

We will configure our K8s app deployment to use this certificate secret to establish a trust with the local Docker registry while pulling the image required to deploy our application.

  • Install the Local Registry CA Certificate on all Kubernetes cluster nodes

On each and every node in the cluster, including the master node, download and install the local Docker image registry CA. This ensures a trust is established between the nodes and the local registry.

You need to store this certificate on the CA certificates directory, which is /usr/local/share/ca-certificates for Ubuntu systems and /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/anchors on CentOS and similar derivatives.

Thus, on Debian/Ubuntu

openssl s_client -showcerts -connect \ </dev/null 2>/dev/null \
| openssl x509 -outform PEM | sudo tee /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/registry-ca-cert.crt

Update the CA certificates store;

sudo update-ca-certificates


openssl s_client -showcerts -connect \ </dev/null 2>/dev/null \
| openssl x509 -outform PEM | sudo tee /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/anchors/registry-ca-cert.crt

Update the CA certificates store;

sudo update-ca-trust
  • Restart the Container runtime, which in this setup is containerd.
sudo systemctl restart containerd

Kubernetes should now be able to pull images from the local registry with no issues!

Create Kubernetes Application Deployment Manifest on Master Node

Next, create deployment manifest for your application. This is our sample deployment for deploying Nagios core application on Kubernetes.

vim ~/k8s-app-demo/nagios-deployment.yaml

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: nagios-core-deployment
  replicas: 3
      app: nagios-core
        app: nagios-core
        - name: registry-ca-certs
        - name: nagios-core
          imagePullPolicy: Always
            - containerPort: 80
              value: "nagiosadmin"
              value: "password"

Update the file accordingly, save and exit.

So, what are some of the fields mean? Read more on Kubernetes API Reference.

When you feel like all is good to go, proceed to apply the application deployment manifest.

kubectl apply -f ~/k8s-app-demo/nagios-deployment.yaml

You can display information about the Deployment using the commands:

List deployments;

kubectl get deployments
NAME                     READY   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
nagios-core-deployment   3/3     3            3           15s

Or specific deployment;

kubectl get deployments <name>
kubectl describe deployments nagios-core-deployment

Name:                   nagios-core-deployment
Namespace:              default
CreationTimestamp:      Sun, 21 May 2023 10:30:21 +0000
Annotations:   1
Selector:               app=nagios-core
Replicas:               3 desired | 3 updated | 3 total | 0 available | 3 unavailable
StrategyType:           RollingUpdate
MinReadySeconds:        0
RollingUpdateStrategy:  25% max unavailable, 25% max surge
Pod Template:
  Labels:  app=nagios-core
    Port:       80/TCP
    Host Port:  0/TCP
      NAGIOSADMIN_USER_OVERRIDE:      nagiosadmin
  Type           Status  Reason
  ----           ------  ------
  Available      False   MinimumReplicasUnavailable
  Progressing    True    ReplicaSetUpdated
NewReplicaSet:   nagios-core-deployment-694b75b55b (3/3 replicas created)
  Type    Reason             Age   From                   Message
  ----    ------             ----  ----                   -------
  Normal  ScalingReplicaSet  20s   deployment-controller  Scaled up replica set nagios-core-deployment-694b75b55b to 3

List the Pods;

kubectl get pods

NAME                                      READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
nagios-core-deployment-77c4b8ddd5-jqtb9   1/1     Running   0          110s
nagios-core-deployment-77c4b8ddd5-xklk4   1/1     Running   0          110s
nagios-core-deployment-77c4b8ddd5-xsbhg   1/1     Running   0          110s

You can get more information about each pod using the kubectl describe pod command;

kubectl describe pod nagios-core-deployment-694b75b55b-845mh

This gives you quite information about the Pods and containers in it;

Name:             nagios-core-deployment-694b75b55b-845mh
Namespace:        default
Priority:         0
Service Account:  default
Node:             node02/
Start Time:       Sun, 21 May 2023 10:30:22 +0000
Labels:           app=nagios-core
Annotations: e5b22e41af92435bd1fb95aae196a4374502052479705954c07e5a54b02c6ec3
Status:           Running
Controlled By:  ReplicaSet/nagios-core-deployment-694b75b55b
    Container ID:   containerd://d31c41d4df5f8c84b8d5a77c4b92b40918d42b0ea48fc538ac581c6069c92396
    Image ID:
    Port:           80/TCP
    Host Port:      0/TCP
    State:          Running
      Started:      Sun, 21 May 2023 10:30:53 +0000
    Ready:          True
    Restart Count:  0
      NAGIOSADMIN_USER_OVERRIDE:      nagiosadmin
      /var/run/secrets/ from kube-api-access-hbw4f (ro)
  Type              Status
  Initialized       True 
  Ready             True 
  ContainersReady   True 
  PodScheduled      True 
    Type:                    Projected (a volume that contains injected data from multiple sources)
    TokenExpirationSeconds:  3607
    ConfigMapName:           kube-root-ca.crt
    DownwardAPI:             true
QoS Class:                   BestEffort
Tolerations:        op=Exists for 300s
                    op=Exists for 300s
  Type    Reason     Age   From               Message
  ----    ------     ----  ----               -------
  Normal  Scheduled  73s   default-scheduler  Successfully assigned default/nagios-core-deployment-694b75b55b-845mh to node02
  Normal  Pulling    72s   kubelet            Pulling image ""
  Normal  Pulled     42s   kubelet            Successfully pulled image "" in 29.83093282s (29.830957408s including waiting)
  Normal  Created    42s   kubelet            Created container nagios-core
  Normal  Started    42s   kubelet            Started container nagios-core

Create Kubernetes Application Service Manifest on Master Node

As already mentioned, service manifest defines how an application is exposed and how other services or external clients can access it.

There are different ways in which an application can be exposed. Some of these include;

  • ClusterIP – This is the default type of service and exposes the application on an internal IP address in the cluster. This type of service is only reachable from within the cluster.
  • NodePort – This type of service exposes the application on the same port of each selected Node in the cluster using NAT. This makes the service accessible from outside the cluster using <NodeIP>:<NodePort>. The default NodePort range is 30000-32767.
  • LoadBalancer – This type of service creates an external load balancer in the current cloud (if supported) and assigns a fixed, external IP to the service. This makes the service accessible from outside the cluster using the external IP address. The external IP address is assigned by the cloud provider and is not managed by Kubernetes.

Here is our sample application service manifest;

vim ~/k8s-app-demo/nagios-service.yaml

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: nagios-core-service
  type: NodePort
    app: nagios-core
    - name: http
      port: 80
      targetPort: 80
      nodePort: 30000  # Choose an available port number

This means Service named “nagios-core-service” selects Pods with the label “app: nagios-core” and exposes it on port 80 (port: 80). This service will be access via any cluster node IP on port 30000/tcp.

Update the file, save and exit and apply it as follows;

kubectl apply -f ~/k8s-app-demo/nagios-service.yaml

List services;

kubectl get services

Or simply;

kubectl get svc

NAME                  TYPE        CLUSTER-IP       EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)        AGE
kubernetes            ClusterIP        <none>        443/TCP        15h
nagios-core-service   NodePort   <none>        80:30000/TCP   6s

Get more details about the service;

kubectl describe service nagios-core-service

Name:                     nagios-core-service
Namespace:                default
Selector:                 app=nagios-core
Type:                     NodePort
IP Family Policy:         SingleStack
IP Families:              IPv4
Port:                     http  80/TCP
TargetPort:               80/TCP
NodePort:                 http  30000/TCP
Endpoints:      ,,
Session Affinity:         None
External Traffic Policy:  Cluster

You should now be able to access the service via any cluster node;

kubectl get nodes -o wide

master   Ready    control-plane   15h   v1.27.2           Ubuntu 22.04 LTS   5.15.0-27-generic   containerd://1.6.21
node01   Ready              15h   v1.27.2           Ubuntu 22.04 LTS   5.15.0-27-generic   containerd://1.6.21
node02   Ready              15h   v1.27.2           Ubuntu 22.04 LTS   5.15.0-27-generic   containerd://1.6.21
node03   Ready              15h   v1.27.2           Ubuntu 22.04 LTS   5.15.0-27-generic   containerd://1.6.21

Checking Kubernetes Pods/Containers Logs

If you want to check your Kubernetes Pods/container logs;

  • Run the command below to get the Pods names;
kubectl get pods
  • Check the logs of the pod using kubectl logs <pod-name>.
kubectl logs nagios-core-deployment-694b75b55b-845mh
  • Check logs for specific container in a Pod

First get a list of containers in a pod using the command;

kubectl get pods <pod-name> -o jsonpath='{range .spec.containers[*]}{.name}{"\n"}{end}'.
kubectl get pods nagios-core-deployment-694b75b55b-845mh -o jsonpath='{range .spec.containers[*]}{.name}{"\n"}{end}'.

Thus, to check logs for specific container in a Pod, use the command kubectl logs <pod-name> -c <container-name>.

kubectl logs nagios-core-deployment-694b75b55b-845mh -c nagios-core

Read more on;

kubectl logs --help

Login to Specific Kubernetes Pod or Container in a Pod

Just like how you do docker exec -it <container> [sh|bash] in Docker, you can also login as;

kubectl exec -it <pod-name> -- bash

To login to specific Kubernetes Pod container;

kubectl exec -it <pod-name> -c <container-name> -- bash

Accessing Kubernetes Application

Now that our application is running on the Kubernetes cluster, you should now be able to access outside the cluster via any cluster node on port 30000. e.g http://<node01>:3000

Step-by-Step Guide on Deploying an Application on Kubernetes Cluster

And our Nagios Core app is now running on Kubernetes cluster.

Step-by-Step Guide on Deploying an Application on Kubernetes Cluster

And that is pretty much it on deploying an Application on Kubernetes Cluster.


You have so far learnt how to;

  • Create a Kubernetes application declarative deployment manifest
  • Configure Kubernetes cluster to trust local Docker registry configured with self signed SSL certs.
  • Expose Kubernetes Cluster for external access via service manifest.
  • Check Kubernetes Pods/Container logs


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Linux Certified Engineer, with a passion for open-source technology and a strong understanding of Linux systems. With experience in system administration, troubleshooting, and automation, I am skilled in maintaining and optimizing Linux infrastructure.

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