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kn is the Knative command line interface (CLI).

Getting Started

Installing kn

You can grab the latest nightly binary executable for:

Put it on your system path, and make sure it's executable.

Alternatively, check out the client repository, and type:

go install ./cmd/kn

Connecting to your cluster

You'll need a kubectl-style config file to connect to your cluster.

  • Starting minikube writes this file (or gives you an appropriate context in an existing config file)
  • Instructions for Google GKE
  • Instructions for Amazon EKS
  • Instructions for IBM IKS
  • Instructions for Red Hat OpenShift.
  • Or contact your cluster administrator.

kn will pick up your kubectl config file in the default location of $HOME/.kube/config. You can specify an alternate kubeconfig connection file with --kubeconfig, or the env var $KUBECONFIG, for any command.

Kn Config

There are a set of configuration parameters you can setup to better customize kn. In particular, you can specify where your kn plugins are located and how they are found. The kn configuration file is meant to capture these configuration options. Let's explore this file's location, and the options you are able to change with it.


The default location kn looks for config is under the home directory of the user at $HOME/.kn/config.yaml. It is not created for you as part of the kn installation. You can create this file elsewhere and use the --config flag to specify its path.


There are two options you can specify in the kn config file and they are related to how kn locates plugins.

  1. pluginsDir which is the same as the persistent flag --plugins-dir and specifies the kn plugins directory. It defaults to: ~/.kn/plugins. By using the persistent flag (when you issue a command) or by specifying the value in the kn config, a user can select which directory to find kn plugins. It can be any directory that is visible to the user.

  2. lookupPluginsInPath which is the same as the persistent flag --lookup-plugins-in-path and specficies if kn should look for plugins anywhere in the specified PATH environment variable. This is a boolean configuration option and the default value is false.

For example, the following kn config will look for kn plugins in the user's PATH and also execute plugin in ~/.kn/plugins.

cat ~/.kn/config.yaml
lookupPluginsInPath: true
pluginsdir: ~/.kn/plugins



Kn supports plugins, which allow you to extend the functionality of your kn installation with custom commands as well as shared commands that are not part of the core distribution of kn. See the plugins documentation for more information.

More information on kn:

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