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Testing Kubernetes for Windows Clusters

This repo is a collection of scripts, containers, and documentation needed to run Kubernetes end to end tests on clusters with Windows worker nodes.

  • It is maintained by sig-windows.

  • It leverages the existing upstream e2e tests, which live in Kubernetes.

  • If you're looking for the latest test results, look at TestGrid for the SIG-Windows results. These are the periodic test passes scheduled by Prow (see: config).

  • If you have questions interpreting the results, please join us on Slack in #SIG-Windows.

If you're new to building and testing Kubernetes, it's probably best to read the official End-to-End Testing in Kubernetes page first.

The rest of this page has a summary of those steps tailored for testing clusters that have Windows nodes.

Running Windows E2E tests against your kubernetes/kubernetes PR

To manually trigger Windows E2E tests to run against your PR add the following as comments on your PR:

/test pull-kubernetes-e2e-aks-engine-windows-dockershim
/test pull-kubernetes-e2e-aks-engine-windows-containerd

A full list of Windows PR jobs can be found at

Building the tests

Testing windows is not different from regular testing of k8s clusters. If you have never used a tool such as e2e.test or sonobuoy to run the Conformance (or other ginkgo based) test suites, then you should familiarize your self with that, first.

Some resources introducing the e2e test framework:

Now, assuming you are able to build an e2e.test binary, we'll proceed with how windows the tests work.

See the Questions section at the bottom of this doc for pointers on how to build the e2e tests.

Running the e2e.test binary on a windows enabled cluster

If you already have a cluster, you will likely just need to build e2e.test, and run it with windows options.

Method 1: Using an existing cluster

  • FIRST you need to taint/label all linux and master nodes with this way, any windows specific tests are guaranteed to run on Windows nodes.

All of the tests are built into the e2e.test binary, which you can as a standalone binary to test an existing cluster. If you don't know how to build e2e.test, instructions for this are at the bottom of this doc.

Note that, when running these You need to set the KUBE_TEST_REPO_LIST environment variable when running the windows end to end tests, otherwise, windows images will not be pullable and all your tests will fail! You will need to download the appropriate image-repo-list depending on which Kubernetes version/Windows OS version you are using. See the image repository list table on which image-repo-list to use

  • There are a few important parameters that you need to use, including:

  • --provider=skeleton - this will avoid using a cloud provider to provision new resources such as storage volumes or load balancers

  • --ginkgo.focus="..." - this regex chooses what Ginkgo tests to run.

  • --node-os-distro="windows" - some test cases have different behavior on Linux & Windows. This tells them to test Windows.

  • --ginkgo.skip="..." - this regex chooses what tests to skip

  • If you're not sure what test cases will run, add --gingkgo.dryRun=true and it will give a list of test cases selected without actually running them.

Running the full suite of tests:

You can thus run all of the [SIG-Windows] tests like so:

export KUBECONFIG=path/to/kubeconfig
curl -o repo_list
export KUBE_TEST_REPO_LIST=$(pwd)/repo_list
./e2e.test --provider=skeleton --ginkgo.noColor --ginkgo.focus="\[sig-windows\]" --node-os-distro="windows"

NOTE: e2e.test also needs a few environment variables set to connect to the cluster, and choose the right test container images. Here's an example:

Running the test-grid tests exactly as run in CI

The full list of what is run for TestGrid is in the sig-windows-config.yaml after --test-args. You can copy the parameters there for a full test to pass.

You can run these similarly to the above tests, just modifying the ginkgo.focus flag like so, and adding the --ginkgo-skip flag so as to skip a few tests which are known to fail. This is thus suitable for CI deployments.

This is an example:

--ginkgo.focus=\\[Conformance\\]|\\[NodeConformance\\]|\\[sig-windows\\]|\\[sig-apps\\].CronJob --ginkgo.skip=\\[LinuxOnly\\]|\\[\\].Pods.*\\[Slow\\]\\[NodeConformance\\]|\\[\\].Pods.*\\[Slow\\]\\[NodeConformance\\]"

Method 2: Creating infrastructure and running e2e tests

If you don't yet have a cluster up, you can use kubetest to

  • deploy a cluster
  • test it (using e2e.test)
  • gather logs
  • upload the results to a Google Storage account. It has built-in cloud provider scripts to build Linux+Windows clusters using Azure and GCP.

This is useful, for example, for contributing CI results upstream.

Build kubetest

Refer to the kubetest documentation for full details.

git clone
cd test-infra
GO111MODULE=on go install ./kubetest




Create a toml file with Azure Authorization information:

  ClientID = "<Service Principal Client ID>"
  ClientSecret = "<Service Principal Client Secret>"
  SubscriptionID = "<Azure Subscription ID>"
  TenantID = "<Azure Tenant ID>"
  StorageAccountName = "<Azue Storage Account Name>"
  StorageAccountKey = "<Azure Storage Account Key>"

Set the following environment variables:

# used for ssh to machines
export K8S_SSH_PUBLIC_KEY_PATH="/home/user/.ssh/"

# used during log collection
export K8S_SSH_PRIVATE_KEY_PATH="/home/user/.ssh/id_rsa"

# file path to the toml with the auth values
export AZURE_CREDENTIALS="/home/user/azure/azure.toml"

# location logs will be dumped
export ARTIFACTS="/home/user/out/kubetest"

# docker registry used
export REGISTRY=""

# azure storage container name
export AZ_STORAGE_CONTAINER_NAME="azstoragecontainername"

# files required for Windows test pass
export WIN_BUILD=""

kubetest must be run from the kubernetes/kubernetes project. The full set of tests will take several hours.

cd $GOPATH/src/
    --test \
    --up \
    --dump=$ARTIFACTS \
    --deployment=aksengine \
    --provider=skeleton \
    --aksengine-admin-username=azureuser \
    --aksengine-admin-password=AdminPassw0rd \
    --aksengine-creds=$AZURE_CREDENTIALS \
    --aksengine-download-url= \
    --aksengine-public-key=$K8S_SSH_PUBLIC_KEY_PATH \
    --aksengine-private-key=$K8S_SSH_PRIVATE_KEY_PATH \
    --aksengine-orchestratorRelease=1.18 \
    --aksengine-template-url= \
    --aksengine-agentpoolcount=2 \
    --test_args="--ginkgo.flakeAttempts=2 --node-os-distro=windows --ginkgo.focus=\[Conformance\]|\[NodeConformance\]|\[sig-windows\]|\[sig-apps\].CronJob|\[sig-api-machinery\].ResourceQuota|\[sig-scheduling\].SchedulerPreemption|\[sig-autoscaling\].\[Feature:HPA\]  --ginkgo.skip=\[LinuxOnly\]|\[Serial\]|GMSA|Guestbook.application.should.create.and.stop.a.working.application" \

A few other parameters you should be aware of:

# will tear down the cluster (when doing development it is sometime better to leave the cluster up for analysis)

# will build kubernetes locally instead of using --aksengine-orchestratorRelease=1.18

# deploy Kubernetes images built from ${GOPATH}/src/ for the control plane and Linux nodes

# enable and build Windows Kubernetes ZIP (contains kube-proxy, kubelet, kubectl, etc) and deploy it to Windows nodes

Running unit tests

Unit tests for files that have a // +build windows at the first line should be running on windows environment. Running in Linux with command

GOOS=windows GOARCH=amd64 go test

will usually have a exec format error.

Steps for running unit tests on windows environment

Install golang on Windows machine

Pick the Go version that is compatible with the Kubernetes version you intend to build. Download the MSI file to the Windows machine for development.

Invoke-Webrequest<version>.windows-amd64.msi -Outfile go<version>.windows-amd64.msi

Start the MSI installer, e.g. Start-Process .\go< and finish the installation.

Add go path to the PATH environment variable:


Set the GOPATH environment variable:


Install git using chocolatey

Follow the instruction here to install chocolatey on Windows node. Then run

choco install git.install
$env:PATH=$env:PATH+";C:\Program Files\Git\bin"

to install git.

Run the tests

Set up the Kubernetes repository on the node by following the instructions in Github workflow.

go get  # Install the required packages
go test  # Run the tests

Google Compute Platform

TODO: This section is still under construction

Test Images

See images/ for details regarding selecting the correct test images based on the Kubernetes/Windows versions.


Is there an equivalent to a Conformance test suite for windows ?

There is not yet a formal equivalent. The purpose of this repo is to store existing tests which sig-windows currently runs, and to provide CI signal for windows to upstream Kubernetes. If you run the e2e.test suite with the sig-windows ginkgo filter and the --ginkgo.dryRun option, you'll see the list of tests which are currently in upstream. these are listed below. In order to implement Conformance tests for windows - we would need to, on a large scale, implement windows specific logic for certain things. There has been made some progress on this (for example, with the agnhost container), but by in large the ability to run most tests on windows/linux interchangeably doesn't yet exist.

Can I run sonobuoy as a way to test windows Conformance ?

Sonobuoy is currently not aware of windows/linux taints, and thus might not currently run the end to end test suites on a mixed windows/linux cluster, and also does not yet have an option for enabling specific node-os behaviour (via the node-os-distro flag).

How many tests run ?

As of Kubernetes 1.19, there are currently ~15 tests in upstream Kubernetes (1.19) which specifically target the windows feature.

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] SecurityContext should not be able to create pods with unknown usernames"

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] SecurityContext should override SecurityContext username if set"

• [sig-windows] Windows volume mounts check volume mount permissions container should have readOnly permissions on emptyDir"

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] Density [Serial] [Slow] create a batch of pods latency/resource should be within limit when create 10 pods with 0s interval"

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] SecurityContext should be able create pods and run containers with a given username"

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] Cpu Resources [Serial] Container limits should not be exceeded after waiting 2 minutes"

• [sig-windows] Services should be able to create a functioning NodePort service for Windows",

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] SecurityContext should ignore Linux Specific SecurityContext if

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] GMSA Full [Serial] [Slow] GMSA support works end to end"

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] GMSA Kubelet [Slow] kubelet GMSA support when creating a pod with correct GMSA credential

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] Kubelet-Stats [Serial] Kubelet stats collection for Windows nodes when running 10 pods should return within 10 seconds"

• [sig-windows] Hybrid cluster network for all supported CNIs should have stable networking for Linux and Windows pods"

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] Memory Limits [Serial] [Slow] Allocatable node memory should be equal to a calculated allocatable memory value"

• [sig-windows] [Feature:Windows] Memory Limits [Serial] [Slow] attempt to deploy past allocatable memory limits should fail deployments of pods once there isn't enough memory"

• [sig-windows] Windows volume mounts check volume mount permissions container should have readOnly permissions

How do i build the e2e.test binary?

Build the Kubernetes generic e2e.test binary

This is just a short summary

Make sure you have a working Kubernetes development environment on a Mac or Linux machine. If you're using Windows, you can use WSL, but it will be slower than a Linux VM. The tests can be run from the same VM, as long as you have a working KUBECONFIG.

go get -d
cd $GOPATH/src/
./build/ make WHAT=test/e2e/e2e.test

Once complete, the binary will be available at: ~/go/src/

Cross-building for Mac or Windows

To build a binary to run on Mac or Windows, you can add KUBE_BUILD_PLATFORMS.

For Windows

./build/ make KUBE_BUILD_PLATFORMS=windows/amd64 WHAT=test/e2e/e2e.test

For Mac

./build/ make KUBE_BUILD_PLATFORMS=darwin/amd64 WHAT=test/e2e/e2e.test

Your binaries will be available at ~/go/src/ where linux/amd64/ is replaced by KUBE_BUILD_PLATFORMS if you are building on Mac or Windows.


Containers, scripts and documentation for running Kubernetes tests with Windows nodes





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