DevOps Kubernetes

Kubectl Command Cheat Sheet

In this article i will discuss Kubernetes command cheat sheet. Kubectl is a set of commands for controlling Kubernetes clusters. Using Kubectl allows you to create, inspect, update, and delete Kubernetes objects. This cheat sheet will serve as a quick reference to make commands on many common Kubernetes components and resources.

Cluster Management

Display endpoint information about the master and services in the cluster

kubectl cluster-info

Display the Kubernetes version running on the client and server

kubectl version

Get the configuration of the cluster

kubectl config view

List the API resources that are available

kubectl api-resources

List the API versions that are available

kubectl api-versions

List everything

kubectl get all --all-namespaces


Shortcode = ds

List one or more daemonsets

kubectl get daemonset

Edit and update the definition of one or more daemonset

kubectl edit daemonset <daemonset_name>

Delete a daemonset

kubectl delete daemonset <daemonset_name>

Create a new daemonset

kubectl create daemonset <daemonset_name>

Manage the rollout of a daemonset

kubectl rollout daemonset

Display the detailed state of daemonsets within a namespace

kubectl describe ds <daemonset_name> -n <namespace_name>


Shortcode = deploy

List one or more deployments

kubectl get deployment

Display the detailed state of one or more deployments

kubectl describe deployment <deployment_name>

Edit and update the definition of one or more deployment on the server

kubectl edit deployment <deployment_name>

Create one a new deployment

kubectl create deployment <deployment_name>

Delete deployments

kubectl delete deployment <deployment_name>

See the rollout status of a deployment

kubectl rollout status deployment <deployment_name>


Shortcode = ev

List recent events for all resources in the system

kubectl get events

List Warnings only

kubectl get events --field-selector type=Warning

List events but exclude Pod events

kubectl get events --field-selector involvedObject.kind!=Pod

Pull events for a single node with a specific name

kubectl get events --field-selector involvedObject.kind=Node,<node_name>

Filter out normal events from a list of events

kubectl get events --field-selector type!=Normal


Print the logs for a pod

kubectl logs <pod_name>

Print the logs for the last hour for a pod

kubectl logs --since=1h <pod_name>

Get the most recent 20 lines of logs

kubectl logs --tail=20 <pod_name>

Get logs from a service and optionally select which container

kubectl logs -f <service_name> [-c <$container>]

Print the logs for a pod and follow new logs

kubectl logs -f <pod_name>

Print the logs for a container in a pod

kubectl logs -c <container_name> <pod_name>

Output the logs for a pod into a file named ‘pod.log’

kubectl logs <pod_name> pod.log

View the logs for a previously failed pod

kubectl logs --previous <pod_name>

For logs we also recommend using a tool developed by Johan Haleby called Kubetail. This is a bash script that will allow you to get logs from multiple pods simultaneously. You can learn more about it at its Github repository. Here are some sample commands using Kubetail.

Get logs for all pods named with pod_prefix

kubetail <pod_prefix>

Include the most recent 5 minutes of logs

kubetail <pod_prefix> -s 5m

Manifest Files 

Another option for modifying objects is through Manifest Files. We highly recommend using this method. It is done by using yaml files with all the necessary options for objects configured. We have our yaml files stored in a git repository, so we can track changes and streamline changes.

Apply a configuration to an object by filename or stdin. Overrides the existing configuration.

kubectl apply -f manifest_file.yaml

Create objects

kubectl create -f manifest_file.yaml

Create objects in all manifest files in a directory

kubectl create -f ./dir

Create objects from a URL

kubectl create -f ‘url’

Delete an object

kubectl delete -f manifest_file.yaml


Shortcode = ns

Create namespace <name>

kubectl create namespace <namespace_name>

List one or more namespaces

kubectl get namespace <namespace_name>

Display the detailed state of one or more namespace

kubectl describe namespace <namespace_name>

Delete a namespace

kubectl delete namespace <namespace_name>

Edit and update the definition of a namespace

kubectl edit namespace <namespace_name>

Display Resource (CPU/Memory/Storage) usage for a namespace

kubectl top namespace <namespace_name>


Shortcode = no

Update the taints on one or more nodes

kubectl taint node <node_name>

List one or more nodes

kubectl get node

Delete a node or multiple nodes

kubectl delete node <node_name>

Display Resource usage (CPU/Memory/Storage) for nodes

kubectl top node

Resource allocation per node

kubectl describe nodes | grep Allocated -A 5

Pods running on a node

kubectl get pods -o wide | grep <node_name>

Annotate a node

kubectl annotate node <node_name>

Mark a node as unschedulable

kubectl cordon node <node_name>

Mark node as schedulable

kubectl uncordon node <node_name>

Drain a node in preparation for maintenance

kubectl drain node <node_name>

Add or update the labels of one or more nodes

kubectl label node


Shortcode = po

List one or more pods

kubectl get pod

Delete a pod

kubectl delete pod <pod_name>

Display the detailed state of a pods

kubectl describe pod <pod_name>

Create a pod

kubectl create pod <pod_name>

Execute a command against a container in a pod

kubectl exec <pod_name> -c <container_name> <command>

Get interactive shell on a a single-container pod

kubectl exec -it <pod_name> /bin/sh

Display Resource usage (CPU/Memory/Storage) for pods

kubectl top pod

Add or update the annotations of a pod

kubectl annotate pod <pod_name> <annotation>

Add or update the label of a pod

kubectl label pod <pod_name>

Replication Controllers

Shortcode = rc

List the replication controllers

kubectl get rc

List the replication controllers by namespace

kubectl get rc --namespace=”<namespace_name>”


Shortcode = rs

List ReplicaSets

kubectl get replicasets

Display the detailed state of one or more ReplicaSets

kubectl describe replicasets <replicaset_name>

Scale a ReplicaSet

kubectl scale --replicas=[x] 


Create a secret

kubectl create secret

List secrets

kubectl get secrets

List details about secrets

kubectl describe secrets

Delete a secret

kubectl delete secret <secret_name>


Shortcode = svc

List one or more services

kubectl get services

Display the detailed state of a service

kubectl describe services

Expose a replication controller, service, deployment or pod as a new Kubernetes service

kubectl expose deployment [deployment_name]

Edit and update the definition of one or more services

kubectl edit services

Service Accounts

Shortcode = sa

List service accounts

kubectl get serviceaccounts

Display the detailed state of one or more service accounts

kubectl describe serviceaccounts

Replace a service account

kubectl replace serviceaccount

Delete a service account

kubectl delete serviceaccount <service_account_name>


Shortcode = sts

List StatefulSet

kubectl get statefulset

Delete StatefulSet only (not pods)

kubectl delete statefulset/[stateful_set_name] --cascade=false

Common Options

In Kubectl you can specify optional flags with commands. Here are some of the most common and useful ones.

-o Output format. For example if you wanted to list all of the pods in ps output format with more information.

kubectl get pods -o wide 

-n Shorthand for –namespace. For example, if you’d like to list all the Pods in a specific Namespace you would do this command:

kubectl get pods --namespace=[namespace_name]
kubectl get pods -n=[namespace_name]

-f Filename, directory, or URL to files to use to create a resource. For example when creating a pod using data in a file named newpod.json.

kubectl create -f ./newpod.json

-l Selector to filter on, supports ‘=’, ‘==’, and ‘!=’.

Help for kubectl


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