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A Test Kitchen driver for testing on top of a Kubernetes cluster.


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A Test Kitchen driver for testing on top of a Kubernetes cluster. It is currently aimed at Chef cookbook testing, though see the FAQ for more information on other testing targets.

Quick Start

First install the driver:

chef gem install kitchen-kubernetes

Then configure your .kitchen.yml to use the driver:

  name: kubernetes

No other options should be required for the default case but see below for more information on available configuration options.


You can customize things by setting additional options in the driver section, for example:

  name: kubernetes
  kubectl_command: ~/bin/kubectl
  chef_version: 13.5.21
  • cache_path - Host path for the Chef installation cache. See below. (default: /data/chef/%{chef_version})
  • cache_volume - Kubernetes volume description for the Chef install volume. (default: auto-generated)
  • chef_image - Docker data image to get the Chef installation from. (default: chef/chef)
  • chef_version - Version of the Chef data image to use. (default: latest)
  • context - Kubectl configuration context to use. (default: current-context)
  • image - Docker image for the main container in the pod, where Chef is run. (default: based on the platform name and version)
  • init_system - Init system to activate in the default container. See #systemd. (default: nil)
  • kubectl_command - Path to the kubectl command to use. (default: kubectl)
  • pod_name - Name of the generated pod. (default: auto-generate)
  • pod_template - Path to the Erb template to create the pod. See below. (default: internal)
  • rsync_command - Path to the rsync command to use. (default: rsync)
  • rsync_image - Docker image to use for the rsync container in the pod. (default: kitchenkubernetes/rsync)

Chef Install

In a similar fashion to kitchen-dokken, this driver uses the chef/chef Docker Hub images instead of the normal Chef installers. Unfortunately Kubernetes doesn't support using Docker images as volumes directly, so there has to be some copying from the data container in to a volume shared between the data container and main container.

So as to reduce the disk I/O from launching our test pods (a Chef install is about 50MB so this is ~100MB of file I/O each time) we use a hostPath volume to give the cache some persistence between test runs. You can control the location of this hostPath volume using the cache_path configuration option:

  name: kubernetes
  cache_path: /home/k8s/chef_cache/%{chef_version}

You can also unset cache_path to totally disable the cache and use an emptyDir volume instead:

  name: kubernetes
  cache_path: null

If you have another shared storage option available, you can also set cache_volume to a Kuberenetes Volume object (minus the name field) and that will be used instead:

  name: kubernetes
      claimName: myclaim


The default pod created for testing involves three containers and two volumes.

The chef volume is discussed above and contains the /opt/chef folder of the Chef installation. The kitchen volume is an emptyDir used for sending files in to the test container.

The chef container is an initContainer (meaning it runs before the other two) which handles copying the Chef install from the data container to the chef volume (with some caching by default so most of the time it does nothing, as mentioned above). The rsync container runs a small image containing nothing but Rsync, used as part of the file upload system. The default container is where Chef is run, as well as the eventual tests.

If overriding the pod_template configuration option, make sure your pod template also includes containers named default and rsync.


Careful observers will note that their kitchen list output shows that not just the driver is set to Kubernetes, but the transport is too:

$ kitchen list
Instance                    Driver      Provisioner  Verifier  Transport   Last Action    Last Error
default-centos-7            Kubernetes  ChefSolo     Busser    Kubernetes  <Not Created>  <None>

This transport plugin is configured automatically by the driver for your convenience and uses kubectl exec for running commands on the test container. For sending files, rsync is used. The rsync data is also sent over kubectl exec to avoid needing to configure any additional network login services. This uses the rsync container in the pod and the kitchen volume. This does require rsync is also installed on your workstation (or where ever kitchen is running from).


If you want to enable systemd inside the container, set init_system: systemd. For example:

  name: kubernetes

- name: centos-7
    init_system: systemd
- name: ubuntu-16.04
    init_system: systemd

As a word of warning, the default debian Docker images do not include systemd, so you will need to make your own that have it installed if you want to test on systemd and Debian.


Can I use this for testing things other than Chef?

Not currently, but it could definitely be added. If you're interested in a particular provisioner, open an issue so I know there is user demand.

Can I test Kubernetes objects like deployments and services?

Not yet, though it is planned. If you have a specific use case in mind, please open an issue and let me know.

Will this work with GKE/AKE/etc?

I think so but haven't tested it myself.

Will this work with minkube?

Yes, just make sure you have the minikube config context activated.


Development sponsored by SAP.


Copyright 2017, Noah Kantrowitz

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.


A Test Kitchen driver for testing on top of a Kubernetes cluster.







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