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Prometheus Monitoring Mixin for Kubernetes


NOTE: This project is pre-release stage. Flags, configuration, behaviour and design may change significantly in following releases.

A set of Grafana dashboards and Prometheus alerts for Kubernetes.


Release branch Kubernetes Compatibility Prometheus Compatibility Kube-state-metrics Compatibility
release-0.1 v1.13 and before
release-0.2 v1.14.1 and before v2.11.0+
release-0.3 v1.17 and before v2.11.0+
release-0.4 v1.18 v2.11.0+
release-0.5 v1.19 v2.11.0+
release-0.6 v1.19+ v2.11.0+
release-0.7 v1.19+ v2.11.0+ v1.x
release-0.8 v1.20+ v2.11.0+ v2.0+
release-0.9 v1.20+ v2.11.0+ v2.0+
release-0.10 v1.20+ v2.11.0+ v2.0+
release-0.11 v1.23+ v2.11.0+ v2.0+
master v1.23+ v2.11.0+ v2.0+

In Kubernetes 1.14 there was a major metrics overhaul implemented. Therefore v0.1.x of this repository is the last release to support Kubernetes 1.13 and previous version on a best effort basis.

Some alerts now use Prometheus filters made available in Prometheus 2.11.0, which makes this version of Prometheus a dependency.

Warning: This compatibility matrix was initially created based on experience, we do not guarantee the compatibility, it may be updated based on new learnings.

Warning: By default the expressions will generate grafana 7.2+ compatible rules using the $__rate_interval variable for rate functions. If you need backward compatible rules please set grafana72: false in your _config

How to use

This mixin is designed to be vendored into the repo with your infrastructure config. To do this, use jsonnet-bundler:

You then have three options for deploying your dashboards

  1. Generate the config files and deploy them yourself
  2. Use ksonnet to deploy this mixin along with Prometheus and Grafana
  3. Use prometheus-operator to deploy this mixin (TODO)

Generate config files

You can manually generate the alerts, dashboards and rules files, but first you must install some tools:

$ go install
$ brew install jsonnet

Then, grab the mixin and its dependencies:

$ git clone
$ cd kubernetes-mixin
$ jb install

Finally, build the mixin:

$ make prometheus_alerts.yaml
$ make prometheus_rules.yaml
$ make dashboards_out

The prometheus_alerts.yaml and prometheus_rules.yaml file then need to passed to your Prometheus server, and the files in dashboards_out need to be imported into you Grafana server. The exact details will depending on how you deploy your monitoring stack to Kubernetes.

Dashboards for Windows Nodes

There are separate dashboards for windows resources.

  1. Compute Resources / Cluster(Windows)
  2. Compute Resources / Namespace(Windows)
  3. Compute Resources / Pod(Windows)
  4. USE Method / Cluster(Windows)
  5. USE Method / Node(Windows)

These dashboards are based on metrics populated by windows-exporter from each Windows node.

Running the tests

make test

Using with prometheus-ksonnet

Alternatively you can also use the mixin with prometheus-ksonnet, a ksonnet module to deploy a fully-fledged Prometheus-based monitoring system for Kubernetes:

Make sure you have the ksonnet v0.8.0:

$ brew install
$ brew pin ks
$ ks version
ksonnet version: v0.8.0
jsonnet version: v0.9.5
client-go version: v1.6.8-beta.0+$Format:%h$

In your config repo, if you don't have a ksonnet application, make a new one (will copy credentials from current context):

$ ks init <application name>
$ cd <application name>
$ ks env add default

Grab the kubernetes-jsonnet module using and its dependencies, which include the kubernetes-mixin:

$ go get
$ jb init
$ jb install

Assuming you want to run in the default namespace ('environment' in ksonnet parlance), add the follow to the file environments/default/main.jsonnet:

local prometheus = import "prometheus-ksonnet/prometheus-ksonnet.libsonnet";

prometheus {
  _config+:: {
    namespace: "default",

Apply your config:

$ ks apply default

Using prometheus-operator


Multi-cluster support

Kubernetes-mixin can support dashboards across multiple clusters. You need either a multi-cluster Thanos installation with external_labels configured or a Cortex system where a cluster label exists. To enable this feature you need to configure the following:

    // Opt-in to multiCluster dashboards by overriding this and the clusterLabel.
    showMultiCluster: true,
    clusterLabel: '<your cluster label>',

Customising the mixin

Kubernetes-mixin allows you to override the selectors used for various jobs, to match those used in your Prometheus set. You can also customize the dashboard names and add grafana tags.

In a new directory, add a file mixin.libsonnet:

local kubernetes = import "kubernetes-mixin/mixin.libsonnet";

kubernetes {
  _config+:: {
    kubeStateMetricsSelector: 'job="kube-state-metrics"',
    cadvisorSelector: 'job="kubernetes-cadvisor"',
    nodeExporterSelector: 'job="kubernetes-node-exporter"',
    kubeletSelector: 'job="kubernetes-kubelet"',
    grafanaK8s+:: {
      dashboardNamePrefix: 'Mixin / ',
      dashboardTags: ['kubernetes', 'infrastucture'],

Then, install the kubernetes-mixin:

$ jb init
$ jb install

Generate the alerts, rules and dashboards:

$ jsonnet -J vendor -S -e 'std.manifestYamlDoc((import "mixin.libsonnet").prometheusAlerts)' > alerts.yml
$ jsonnet -J vendor -S -e 'std.manifestYamlDoc((import "mixin.libsonnet").prometheusRules)' >files/rules.yml
$ jsonnet -J vendor -m files/dashboards -e '(import "mixin.libsonnet").grafanaDashboards'

Customising alert annotations

The steps described below extend on the existing mixin library without modifying the original git repository. This is to make consuming updates to your extended alert definitions easier. These definitions can reside outside of this repository and added to your own custom location, where you can define your alert dependencies in your jsonnetfile.json and add customisations to the existing definitions.

In your working directory, create a new file kubernetes_mixin_override.libsonnet with the following:

local utils = import 'lib/utils.libsonnet';
(import 'mixin.libsonnet') +
      // The specialAlerts can be in any other config file
      local slack = 'observability';
      local specialAlerts = {
        KubePodCrashLooping: { slack_channel: slack },
        KubePodNotReady: { slack_channel: slack },

      local addExtraAnnotations(rule) = rule {
        [if 'alert' in rule then 'annotations']+: {
          dashboard: '',
          [if rule.alert in specialAlerts then 'slack_channel']: specialAlerts[rule.alert].slack_channel,

Create new file: lib/kubernetes_customised_alerts.jsonnet with the following:

std.manifestYamlDoc((import '../kubernetes_mixin_override.libsonnet').prometheusAlerts)

Running jsonnet -S lib/kubernetes_customised_alerts.jsonnet will build the alerts with your customisations.

Same result can be achieved by modyfying the existing config.libsonnet with the content of kubernetes_mixin_override.libsonnet.


Alert Severities

While the community has not yet fully agreed on alert severities and their to be used, this repository assumes the following paradigms when setting the severities:

  • Critical: An issue, that needs to page a person to take instant action
  • Warning: An issue, that needs to be worked on but in the regular work queue or for during office hours rather than paging the oncall
  • Info: Is meant to support a trouble shooting process by informing about a non-normal situation for one or more systems but not worth a page or ticket on its own.

Architecture and Technical Decisions


You can use the external tool call prom-metrics-check to validate the created dashboards. This tool allows you to check if the metrics installed and used in Grafana dashboards exist in the Prometheus instance. Please have a look at


A set of Grafana dashboards and Prometheus alerts for Kubernetes.







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