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Kubernetes port forwarding for local development, Contributions welcome!

kubefwd - kubernetes bulk port forwarding

GitHub license Maintainability Go Report Card GitHub release

kubefwd (Kube Forward)

Read Kubernetes Port Forwarding for Local Development for background and a detailed guide to kubefwd.

kubefwd is a command line utility built to port forward some or all pods within a Kubernetes namespace. kubefwd uses the same port exposed by the service and forwards it from a loopback IP address on your local workstation. kubefwd temporally adds domain entries to your /etc/hosts file with the service names it forwards.

When working on our local workstation, my team and I often build applications that access services through their service names and ports within a Kubernetes namespace. kubefwd allows us to develop locally with services available as they would be in the cluster.

kubefwd - Kubernetes port forward

kubefwd - Kubernetes Port Forward Diagram


Tested directly on macOS and Linux based docker containers.

MacOs Install / Update

kubefwd assumes you have kubectl installed and configured with access to a Kubernetes cluster. kubefwd uses the kubectl current context. The kubectl configuration is not used. However, its configuration is needed to access a Kubernetes cluster.

Ensure you have a context by running:

kubectl config current-context

If you are running MacOS and use homebrew you can install kubefwd directly from the txn2 tap:

brew install txn2/tap/kubefwd

To upgrade:

brew upgrade kubefwd

Windows Install / Update

scoop install kubefwd

To upgrade:

scoop update kubefwd


Forward all services from the namespace the-project to a Docker container named the-project:

docker run -it --rm --privileged --name the-project \
    -v "$(echo $HOME)/.kube/":/root/.kube/ \
    txn2/kubefwd services -n the-project

Execute a curl call to an Elasticsearch service in your Kubernetes cluster:

docker exec the-project curl -s elasticsearch:9200

Alternative Installs (tar.gz, RPM, deb, snap)

Check out the releases section on Github for alternative binaries.


Fork kubefwd and build a custom version. We welcome any useful pull requests.


Forward all services for the namespace the-project. Kubefwd finds the first Pod associated with each Kubernetes service found in the Namespace and port forwards it based on the Service spec to a local IP address and port. A domain name is added to your /etc/hosts file pointing to the local IP.

sudo kubefwd svc -n the-project

Forward all svc for the namespace the-project where labeled system: wx:

sudo kubefwd svc -l system=wx -n the-project


$ kubefwd svc --help

2019/03/09 21:13:18  _          _           __             _
2019/03/09 21:13:18 | | ___   _| |__   ___ / _|_      ____| |
2019/03/09 21:13:18 | |/ / | | | '_ \ / _ \ |_\ \ /\ / / _  |
2019/03/09 21:13:18 |   <| |_| | |_) |  __/  _|\ V  V / (_| |
2019/03/09 21:13:18 |_|\_\\__,_|_.__/ \___|_|   \_/\_/ \__,_|
2019/03/09 21:13:18
2019/03/09 21:13:18 Version 1.7.3
2019/03/09 21:13:18
2019/03/09 21:13:18
Forward multiple Kubernetes services from one or more namespaces. Filter services with selector.

  kubefwd services [flags]

  services, svcs, svc

  kubefwd svc -n the-project
  kubefwd svc -n the-project -l env=dev,component=api
  kubefwd svc -n default -l "app in (ws, api)"
  kubefwd svc -n default -n the-project
  kubefwd svc -n the-project -x prod-cluster

  -x, --context strings     specify a context to override the current context
      --exitonfailure       Exit(1) on failure. Useful for forcing a container restart.
  -h, --help                help for services
  -c, --kubeconfig string   absolute path to a kubectl config fil (default "/Users/cjimti/.kube/config")
  -n, --namespace strings   Specify a namespace. Specify multiple namespaces by duplicating this argument.
  -l, --selector string     Selector (label query) to filter on; supports '=', '==', and '!=' (e.g. -l key1=value1,key2=value2).
  -v, --verbose             Verbose output.


Build and Run


go run ./cmd/kubefwd/kubefwd.go

Build Run in Docker

Run in the golang:1.11.5 docker container:

docker run -it --rm --privileged \
    -v "$(pwd)":/kubefwd \
    -v "$(echo $HOME)/.kube/":/root/.kube/ \
    -w /kubefwd golang:1.11.5 bash
sudo go run -mod vendor ./cmd/kubefwd/kubefwd.go svc

Build Release

Build test release:

goreleaser --skip-publish --rm-dist --skip-validate

Build and release:

GITHUB_TOKEN=$GITHUB_TOKEN goreleaser --rm-dist

Testing Snap

multipass launch -n testvm
cd ./dist
multipass copy-files *.snap testvm:
multipass shell testvm
sudo snap install --dangerous kubefwd_64-bit.snap


Apache License 2.0


Opens source utility proudly sponsored by Deasil Works, Inc. & Craig Johnston

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