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Running your first containers in Kubernetes

Ok, you've run one of the getting started guides and you have successfully turned up a Kubernetes cluster. Now what? This guide will help you get oriented to Kubernetes and running your first containers on the cluster.

Running a container (simple version)

From this point onwards, it is assumed that kubectl is on your path from one of the getting started guides.

The kubectl create line below will create a deployment named my-nginx to ensure that there are always a nginx pod running.

kubectl create deployment --image nginx my-nginx

You can list the pods to see what is up and running:

kubectl get pods

You can also see the deployment that was created:

kubectl get deployment

You can also scale the deployment to ensure there is two nginx pods running:

kubectl scale deployment --replicas 2 my-nginx

You can now list the pods to see there is two up and running:

kubectl get pods

Exposing your pods to the internet

On some platforms (for example Google Compute Engine) the kubectl command can integrate with your cloud provider to add a public IP address for the pods, to do this run:

kubectl expose deployment my-nginx --port=80 --type=LoadBalancer

This should print the service that has been created, and map an external IP address to the service. Where to find this external IP address will depend on the environment you run in. For instance, for Google Compute Engine the external IP address is listed as part of the newly created service and can be retrieved by running

kubectl get services

In order to access your nginx landing page, you also have to make sure that traffic from external IPs is allowed. Do this by opening a firewall to allow traffic on port 80.


To delete the two replicated containers, delete the deployment:

kubectl delete deployment my-nginx

Next: Configuration files

Most people will eventually want to use declarative configuration files for creating/modifying their applications. A simplified introduction is given in a different document.