How To Call Kubernetes API using Go - Types and Common Machinery

The official Kubernetes Go client comes loaded with high-level abstractions - Clientset, Informers, Cache, Scheme, Discovery, oh my! When I tried to use it without learning the moving parts first, I ran into an overwhelming amount of new concepts. It was an unpleasant experience, but more importantly, it worsened my ability to make informed decisions in the code.

So, I decided to unravel client-go for myself by taking a thorough look at its components.

But where to start? Before dissecting client-go itself, it's probably a good idea to understand its two main dependencies - k8s.io/api and k8s.io/apimachinery modules. It'll simplify the main task, but that's not the only benefit. These two modules were factored out for a reason - they can be used not only by clients but also on the server-side or by any other piece of software dealing with Kubernetes objects.

How to learn Kubernetes API Go client.

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How To Call Kubernetes API using Simple HTTP Client

There are plenty of reasons to call the Kubernetes API using a CLI (like curl) or GUI (like postman) HTTP client. For instance, you may need finer-grained control over Kubernetes Objects than kubectl provides or just want to explore the API before trying to access it from code.

This article is not a mere list of handy commands but a thoughtful walk-through revealing some interesting problems you may stumble upon while calling the Kubernetes API from the command line. It covers the following topics:

  • How to get the Kubernetes API server address
  • How to authenticate the API server to clients
  • How to authenticate clients to the API server using certificates
  • How to authenticate clients to the API server using tokens
  • Bonus: How to call the Kubernetes API from inside a Pod
  • How to perform the basic CRUD operations on Kubernetes Objects with curl
  • How to access the Kubernetes API directly using the kubectl's raw mode
  • Bonus: How to see what API requests a kubectl command like apply sends.

Happy reading!

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Kubernetes API Basics - Resources, Kinds, and Objects

This is the first post in the series of articles on how to work with the Kubernetes API from code. The Kubernetes API is a bit more advanced than just a bunch of HTTP endpoints thrown together. Therefore, it's vital to understand the Kubernetes API structure and be fluent in the terminology before trying to access it from code. Otherwise, the attempt will be quite painful - the official Go client comes with so many bells and whistles that trying to wrap your head around the client and the API concepts simultaneously might overwhelm you quickly.

The Kubernetes API is massive - it has hundreds of endpoints. Luckily, it's pretty consistent, so one needs to understand just a limited number of ideas and then extrapolate this knowledge to the rest of the API. In this post, I'll try to touch upon the concepts I found the most fundamental. I'll favor simplicity and digestability to academic correctness and completeness of the material. And as usual, I just share my understanding of things and my way of thinking about the topic - so, it's not an API manual but a record of personal learning experience.

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Exploring Kubernetes Operator Pattern

I've been using Kubernetes for almost a year now and, to be honest, I like the experience so far. Most of my use cases were rather trivial and thanks to its declarative approach, Kubernetes makes deploying and scaling stateless services pretty simple. I usually just describe my application in a YAML file as a set of interconnected services, feed it to Kubernetes, and let the built-in control loops bring the state of the cluster closer to the desired state by creating or destroying some resources for me automagically.

However, many times I've heard that the real power of Kubernetes comes with its extensibility. Kubernetes designed for automation. It brings a lot of useful automation out of the box. But it also provides extension points that can be used to customize Kubernetes capabilities. The cleverness of the Kubernetes design is that it encourages you to keep the extensions feel native! So when I stumbled upon the first few Kubernetes Operators on my Ops way, I could not even recognize that I'm dealing with custom logic...

In this article, I'll try to take a closer look at the Operators pattern, see which Kubernetes parts are involved in operators implementation, and what makes operators feel like first-class Kubernetes citizens. Of course, with as many pictures as possible.

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