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Lab 2 - Test things out

Before starting this lab, create a new folder for your files:

$ mkdir -p lab2 \
   && cd lab2

Use the UI Portal

You can now test out the OpenFaaS UI by going to - if you're deploying to a Linux VM then replace with the IP address from the output you see on the ifconfig command.

Note that we are using instead of localhost, which may hang on some Linux distributions due to conflicts between IPv4/IPv6 networking.

We can deploy some sample functions and then use them to test things out:

$ faas-cli deploy -f

You can try them out in the UI such as the Markdown function which converts Markdown code into HTML.

Type the below into the Request field:

## The **OpenFaaS** _workshop_

Now click Invoke and see the response appear in the bottom half of the screen.


<h2>The <strong>OpenFaaS</strong> <em>workshop</em></h2>

You will see the following fields displayed:

  • Status - whether the function is ready to run. You will not be able to invoke the function from the UI until the status shows Ready.
  • Replicas - the amount of replicas of your function running in the swarm cluster
  • Image - the Docker image name and version as published to the Docker Hub or Docker repository
  • Invocation count - this shows how many times the function has been invoked and is updated every 5 seconds

Click Invoke a number of times and see the Invocation count increase.

Deploy via the Function Store

You can deploy a function from the OpenFaaS store. The store is a free collection of functions curated by the community.

  • Click Deploy New Function
  • Click From Store
  • Click Figlet or enter figlet into the search bar and then click Deploy

The Figlet function will now appear in your left-hand list of functions. Give this a few moments to be downloaded from the Docker Hub and then type in some text and click Invoke like we did for the Markdown function.

You'll see an ASCII logo generated like this:

 _  ___   ___ _  __
/ |/ _ \ / _ (_)/ /
| | | | | | | |/ / 
| | |_| | |_| / /_ 
|_|\___/ \___/_/(_)

Learn about the CLI

You can now test out the CLI, but first a note on alternate gateways URLs:

If your gateway is not deployed at then you will need to specify the alternative location. There are several ways to accomplish this:

  1. Set the environment variable OPENFAAS_URL and the faas-cli will point to that endpoint in your current shell session. For example: export OPENFAAS_URL=
  2. Specify the correct endpoint inline with the -g or --gateway flag: faas deploy --gateway
  3. In your deployment YAML file, change the value specified by the gateway: object under provider:.

List the deployed functions

This will show the functions, how many replicas you have and the invocation count.

$ faas-cli list

You should see the markdown function as markdown and the figlet function listed too along with how many times you've invoked them.

Now try the verbose flag

$ faas-cli list --verbose


$ faas-cli list -v

You can now see the Docker image along with the names of the functions.

Invoke a function

Pick one of the functions you saw appear on faas-cli list such as markdown:

$ faas-cli invoke markdown

You'll now be asked to type in some text. Hit Control + D when you're done.

Alternatively you can use a command such as echo or uname -a as input to the invoke command which works through the use of pipes.

$ echo Hi | faas-cli invoke markdown

$ uname -a | faas-cli invoke markdown

You can even generate a HTML file from this lab's markdown file with the following:

$ git clone \
   && cd workshop

$ cat | faas-cli invoke markdown

Monitoring dashboard

OpenFaaS tracks metrics on your functions automatically using Prometheus. The metrics can be turned into a useful dashboard with free and Open Source tools like Grafana.

Deploy OpenFaaS Grafana with:

$ docker service create -d \
--name=grafana \
--publish=3000:3000 \
--network=func_functions \

After the service has been created open Grafana in your browser, login with username admin password admin and navigate to the pre-made OpenFaaS dashboard at:

Pictured: example of an OpenFaaS dashboard with Grafana

Now move onto Lab 3