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KubeLinter is a static analysis tool that checks Kubernetes YAML files and Helm charts to ensure the applications represented in them adhere to best practices.


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Static analysis for Kubernetes

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What is KubeLinter?

KubeLinter analyzes Kubernetes YAML files and Helm charts, and checks them against a variety of best practices, with a focus on production readiness and security.

KubeLinter runs sensible default checks, designed to give you useful information about your Kubernetes YAML files and Helm charts. This is to help teams check early and often for security misconfigurations and DevOps best practices. Some common examples of these include running containers as a non-root user, enforcing least privilege, and storing sensitive information only in secrets.

KubeLinter is configurable, so you can enable and disable checks, as well as create your own custom checks, depending on the policies you want to follow within your organization.

When a lint check fails, KubeLinter reports recommendations for how to resolve any potential issues and returns a non-zero exit code.


Visit for detailed documentation on installing, using and configuring KubeLinter.

Installing KubeLinter

Using Go

To install using Go, run the following command:

go install

Otherwise, download the latest binary from Releases and add it to your PATH.

Using Homebrew for macOS or LinuxBrew for Linux

To install using Homebrew or LinuxBrew, run the following command:

brew install kube-linter

Building from source


  • Make sure that you have installed Go prior to building from source.

Building KubeLinter

Installing KubeLinter from source is as simple as following these steps:

  1. First, clone the KubeLinter repository.

    git clone
  2. Then, compile the source code. This will create the kube-linter binary files for each platform and places them in the .gobin folder.

    make build
  3. Finally, you are ready to start using KubeLinter. Verify your version to ensure you've successfully installed KubeLinter.

    .gobin/kube-linter version

Testing KubeLinter

There are several layers of testing. Each layer is expected to pass.

  1. go unit tests:

    make test
  2. end-to-end integration tests:

    make e2e-test
  3. and finally, end-to-end integration tests using bats-core:

    make e2e-bats

Verifying KubeLinter images

KubeLinter images are signed by cosign. We recommend verifying the image before using it.

Once you've installed cosign, you can use the KubeLinter public key to verify the KubeLinter image with:

-----END PUBLIC KEY-----

cosign verify --key kubelinter-cosign $IMAGE_NAME

KubeLinter also provides cosign keyless signatures.

You can verify the KubeLinter image with:

# NOTE: Keyless signatures are NOT PRODUCTION ready.


Using KubeLinter

Local YAML Linting

Running KubeLinter to Lint your YAML files only requires two steps in its most basic form.

  1. Locate the YAML file you'd like to test for security and production readiness best practices:

  2. Run the following command:

    kube-linter lint /path/to/your/yaml.yaml


Consider the following sample pod specification file pod.yaml. This file has two production readiness issues and one security issue:

Security Issue:

  1. The container in this pod is not running as a read only file system, which could allow it to write to the root filesystem.

Production readiness:

  1. The container's memory limits are not set, which could allow it to consume excessive memory

    apiVersion: v1
    kind: Pod
      name: security-context-demo
        runAsUser: 1000
        runAsGroup: 3000
        fsGroup: 2000
      - name: sec-ctx-vol
        emptyDir: {}
      - name: sec-ctx-demo
        image: busybox
            memory: "64Mi"
            cpu: "250m"
        command: [ "sh", "-c", "sleep 1h" ]
        - name: sec-ctx-vol
          mountPath: /data/demo
          allowPrivilegeEscalation: false
  2. Copy the YAML above to pod.yaml and lint this file by running the following command:

    kube-linter lint pod.yaml
  3. KubeLinter runs its default checks and reports recommendations. Below is the output from our previous command.

    pod.yaml: (object: <no namespace>/security-context-demo /v1, Kind=Pod) The container "sec-ctx-demo" is using an invalid container image, "busybox". Please use images that are not blocked by the `BlockList` criteria : [".*:(latest)$" "^[^:]*$" "(.*/[^:]+)$"] (check: latest-tag, remediation: Use a container image with a specific tag other than latest.)
    pod.yaml: (object: <no namespace>/security-context-demo /v1, Kind=Pod) container "sec-ctx-demo" does not have a read-only root file system (check: no-read-only-root-fs, remediation: Set readOnlyRootFilesystem to true in the container securityContext.)
    pod.yaml: (object: <no namespace>/security-context-demo /v1, Kind=Pod) container "sec-ctx-demo" has memory limit 0 (check: unset-memory-requirements, remediation: Set memory limits for your container based on its requirements. Refer to for details.)
    Error: found 3 lint errors

To learn more about using and configuring KubeLinter, visit the documentation page.


The following are tutorials on KubeLinter written by users. If you have one that you would like to add to this list, please send a PR!


If you would like to engage with the KubeLinter community, including maintainers and other users, you can join the Slack workspace here.

To contribute, check out our contributing guide.

As a reminder, all participation in the KubeLinter community is governed by our code of conduct.

WARNING: Alpha release

KubeLinter is at an early stage of development. There may be breaking changes in the future to the command usage, flags, and configuration file formats. However, we encourage you to use KubeLinter to test your environment YAML files, see what breaks, and contribute.


KubeLinter is licensed under the Apache License 2.0.


KubeLinter is made with ❤️ by StackRox.

If you're interested in KubeLinter, or in any of the other cool things we do, please know that we're hiring! Check out our open positions. We'd love to hear from you!