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Get Started with Kubeapps

This guide will walk you through the process of deploying Kubeapps for your cluster and installing an example application.


Kubeapps assumes a working Kubernetes cluster (v1.8+), Helm (2.9.1+) installed in your cluster and kubectl installed and configured to talk to your Kubernetes cluster. Kubeapps has been tested with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), minikube and Docker for Desktop Kubernetes. Kubeapps works on RBAC-enabled clusters and this configuration is encouraged for a more secure install.

Step 1: Install Kubeapps

Use the Helm chart to install the latest version of Kubeapps:

helm repo add bitnami
helm install --name kubeapps --namespace kubeapps bitnami/kubeapps

IMPORTANT This assumes an insecure Helm installation, which is not recommended in production. See the documentation to learn how to secure Helm and Kubeapps in production.

For detailed information on installing and configuring Kubeapps, checkout the chart README.

The above commands will deploy Kubeapps into the kubeapps namespace in your cluster, it may take a few seconds to execute. Once it has been deployed and the Kubeapps pods are running, continue to step 2.

Step 2: Create a Kubernetes API token

Access to the Dashboard requires a Kubernetes API token to authenticate with the Kubernetes API server.

kubectl create serviceaccount kubeapps-operator
kubectl create clusterrolebinding kubeapps-operator --clusterrole=cluster-admin --serviceaccount=default:kubeapps-operator

To retrieve the token,

On Linux:

kubectl get secret $(kubectl get serviceaccount kubeapps-operator -o jsonpath='{.secrets[].name}') -o jsonpath='{.data.token}' | base64 --decode

On Windows:

Create a file called GetDashToken.cmd with the following lines in it:

REM Get the Service Account
kubectl get serviceaccount kubeapps-operator -o jsonpath={.secrets[].name} > s.txt
SET /p ks=<s.txt
DEL s.txt

REM Get the Base64 encoded token
kubectl get secret %ks% -o jsonpath={.data.token} > b64.txt

REM Decode The Token
DEL token.txt
certutil -decode b64.txt token.txt

Open a command prompt and run the GetDashToken.cmd Your token can be found in the token.txt file.

NOTE: It's not recommended to create cluster-admin users for Kubeapps. Please refer to the Access Control documentation to configure fine-grained access control for users.

Step 3: Start the Kubeapps Dashboard

Once Kubeapps is installed, securely access the Kubeapps Dashboard from your system by running:

export POD_NAME=$(kubectl get pods -n kubeapps -l "app=kubeapps,release=kubeapps" -o jsonpath="{.items[0]}")
echo "Visit in your browser to access the Kubeapps Dashboard"
kubectl port-forward -n kubeapps $POD_NAME 8080:8080

This will start an HTTP proxy for secure access to the Kubeapps Dashboard. Visit in your preferred web browser to open the Dashboard. Here's what you should see:

Dashboard login page

Paste the token generated in the previous step to authenticate and access the Kubeapps dashboard for Kubernetes.

Dashboard main page

Step 4: Deploy WordPress

Once you have the Kubeapps Dashboard up and running, you can start deploying applications into your cluster.

  • Use the "Charts" page in the Dashboard to select an application from the list of charts in the official Kubernetes chart repository. This example assumes you want to deploy WordPress.

    WordPress chart

  • Click the "Deploy using Helm" button.

    WordPress chart

  • You will be prompted for the release name, cluster namespace and values for the application.

    WordPress installation

  • Click the "Submit" button. The application will be deployed. You will be able to track the new Kubernetes deployment directly from the browser.

    WordPress deployment

To obtain the WordPress username and password, refer to the "Notes" section of the deployment page, which contains the commands you will need to run to obtain the credentials for the deployment.

WordPress deployment notes

Next Steps

Learn more about Kubeapps with the links below: