Fast way to switch between clusters and namespaces in kubectl!
Clone or download
Latest commit 7bc9a12 Aug 6, 2018

This repository provides both kubectx and kubens tools.

kubectx helps you switch between clusters back and forth: kubectx demo GIF

kubens helps you switch between Kubernetes namespaces smoothly: kubens demo GIF


kubectx is an utility to manage and switch between kubectl(1) contexts.

  kubectx                   : list the contexts
  kubectx <NAME>            : switch to context <NAME>
  kubectx -                 : switch to the previous context
  kubectx <NEW_NAME>=<NAME> : rename context <NAME> to <NEW_NAME>
  kubectx <NEW_NAME>=.      : rename current-context to <NEW_NAME>
  kubectx -d <NAME>         : delete context <NAME> ('.' for current-context)
                              (this command won't delete the user/cluster entry
                              that is used by the context)


$ kubectx minikube
Switched to context "minikube".

$ kubectx -
Switched to context "oregon".

$ kubectx -
Switched to context "minikube".

$ kubectx dublin=gke_ahmetb_europe-west1-b_dublin
Context "dublin" set.
Aliased "gke_ahmetb_europe-west1-b_dublin" as "dublin".

kubectx supports Tab completion on bash/zsh/fish shells to help with long context names. You don't have to remember full context names anymore.


kubens is an utility to switch between Kubernetes namespaces.

  kubens                    : list the namespaces
  kubens <NAME>             : change the active namespace
  kubens -                  : switch to the previous namespace


$ kubens kube-system
Context "test" set.
Active namespace is "kube-system".

$ kubens -
Context "test" set.
Active namespace is "default".

kubens also supports Tab completion on bash/zsh/fish shells.



🎊 Use the Homebrew package manager:

brew install kubectx

This command will set up bash/zsh/fish completion scripts automatically.

  • Running brew install with --with-short-names will install tools with names kctx and kns to prevent prefix collision with kubectl name.

  • If you like to add context/namespace info to your shell prompt ($PS1), I recommend trying out kube-ps1.


Since kubectx/kubens are written in Bash, you should be able to instal them to any POSIX environment that has Bash installed.

  • Download the kubectx, and kubens scripts.
  • Either:
    • save them all to somewhere in your PATH,
    • or save them to a directory, then create symlinks to kubectx/kubens from somewhere in your PATH, like /usr/local/bin
  • Make kubectx and kubens executable (chmod +x ...)
  • Figure out how to install bash/zsh/fish completion scripts.

Example installation steps:

sudo git clone /opt/kubectx
sudo ln -s /opt/kubectx/kubectx /usr/local/bin/kubectx
sudo ln -s /opt/kubectx/kubens /usr/local/bin/kubens

Arch Linux

An unofficial AUR package kubectx is available. Install instructions can be found on the Arch wiki.


Available as a Debian package for Debian Buster (testing), Sid (unstable) (note: if you are unfamiliar with Debian release process and how to enable testing/unstable repos, check the Debian Wiki):

sudo apt install kubectx

Customizing current context colors

If you like to customize the colors indicating the current namespace or context, set the environment variables KUBECTX_CURRENT_FGCOLOR and KUBECTX_CURRENT_BGCOLOR (refer color codes here):

export KUBECTX_CURRENT_FGCOLOR=$(tput setaf 6) # blue text
export KUBECTX_CURRENT_BGCOLOR=$(tput setaf 7) # white background

Colors in the output can be disabled by setting the NO_COLOR environment variable.


What are others saying about kubectx?
“Thank you for kubectx & kubens - I use them all the time & have them in my k8s toolset to maintain happiness :) ”@pbouwer
“I can't imagine working without kubectx and especially kubens anymore. It's pure gold.”@timoreimann
“I'm liking kubectx from @ahmetb, makes it super-easy to switch #Kubernetes contexts [...]”@lizrice
“Also using it on a daily basis. This and my zsh config that shows me the current k8s context 😉@puja108
“Lately I've found myself using the kubens command more than kubectx. Both very useful though :-)”@stuartleeks
“yeah kubens rocks!”@embano1
“Special thanks to Ahmet Alp Balkan for creating kubectx, kubens, and kubectl aliases, as these tools made my life better.”@strebeld

If you liked kubectx, you may like my kubectl-aliases project, too.

Disclaimer: This is not an official Google product.

Stargazers over time

Stargazers over time