docker:dind but aims to make a full Kubernetes cluster available to test against in your CI pipeline. It is fast to startup and totally ephemeral, so you get a clean start for each CI run.
We run workloads in Kubernetes, and run our CI on Kubernetes too, but in our CI pipeline we wanted a way to have a quick and reliable way of having the current code under test, built, deployed and tested but then have the environment be torn down after testing. We initially considered deploying to a proper cluster but the overhead of pushing images to a registry just for a CI test, and the setup / teardown of resources was too much, we wanted something totally ephemeral so building on top of docker's dind made sense.
Isn't this solved already?
Not from what we can see, there are examples of other solutions to this problem, it seems mostly from the Kubernetes devs themselves, as a way to automate development of integrations or Kubernetes itself. We wanted something that was both ephemeral and really fast, none of the available options gave us all of that.
How does it work?
tl;dr; Building on docker-in-docker it uses
kubeadm to bootstrap and pre-configure a cluster at build time that works at runtime.
The simplest way to get a Kubernetes cluster running in CI is to use
minikube and start with
--vm-driver none, this uses
kubeadm to bootstrap a set of local processes to start Kubernetes. This doesn't work out of the box in
kubeadm assumes it is running in a SystemD environment, which alpine is not. It also downloads binaries and bootstraps the cluster everytime it is run which depending on your network and resources takes around 4 minutes.
To make this process fast,
kind aims to move all the cluster bootstrapping to the container build phase, so when you run
kind it is already bootstrapped and is effectively just starting the
kubelet process with a preconfigured
apiserver etc. To achieve this we need to initially configure
kubeadm with a static IP that will be routable both during the build phase, and the run phase, we have arbitrarily chosen
126.96.36.199 for that address.
During the build phase
188.8.131.52 to the default network interface for the container
eth0 and forces
kubeadm and friends to use this address when bootstrapping the cluster. During the container run phase (when you are running
kind in your environment) this static IP address is again attached to the default network interface
eth0 for the container so when
kubelet is run the IP that it has been configured against is still routable.
Doing this network trickery means we can move all the hard work into the build phase, and
kind can startup fast. In our CI environment using
kind a single node cluster comes up and is ready to use in 30 seconds, down from 4 minutes in the simple minikube implementation (3+ minutes is a lot in a CI pipeline!).
A further optimisation is to have the build phase
docker pull any dependent images your Kubernetes resources will require, so when your CI process is deploying your Kubernetes resources it doesn't have to pull in any images over the network. To do this you will need to build your own version of
kind and just overwrite the
/images.sh file with the images your want to pull in.
How to use?
kind is a docker image that only runs as
--privileged, that is designed to be run as a CI service, where by it is accessible over a known interface, normally
localhost. Much like
docker:dind on which it is based.
Running it as a service means the container running your tests needs to know when
kind is ready, and how to get the
kubectl config to make cli calls. This is achieved via the config endpoint. By default this is exposed over port
10080 and is just a simple http server hosting files.
There are few important events that
- When the docker host is ready,
http://localhost:10080/docker-readywill return 200
- When the Kubernetes is ready,
http://localhost:10080/kubernetes-readywill return 200
- When kubectl config is ready,
http://localhost:10080/configwill return 200
As you want your docker images you want to test to be built into
kind docker host, the general process is to wait for
.../docker-ready before doing
docker build.., then wait for
.../kubernetes-ready before deploy, then test.
Can I use it on my Cloud CI/CD provider?
Not sure as we are running this in an on-premise Gitlab install, but interested to hear feedback from people where it does or doesn't work. As above it is designed to be like
docker:dind but with Kubernetes, so in theory anywhere
docker:dind runs this should run, and like
docker:dind it requires the container be launched as
--privileged which generally cloud providers don't like.
- Gitlab On-premise (CE or EE*)
- Gitlab.com with BYO Docker or Kubenetes runners
- Codeship Pro
Unlikely to work:
- Bitbucket Pipelines, has a magic
docker: trueflag so will likely not work
- Travis CI, has a magic
sudo: requiredcheck so might not work
An example Gitlab CI YAML would be :
integration-test: services: - bsycorp/kind:latest-1.9 image: alpine stage: build script: - wait-for-kind.sh - test.sh
To use generated kube config:
wget http://localhost:10080/config cp config ~/.kube/config kubectl get nodes
To create/add custom local kube config with creds:
wget http://localhost:10080/ca.crt wget http://localhost:10080/client.crt wget http://localhost:10080/client.key kubectl config set-cluster kind-cluster --server=https://localhost:8443 \ --certificate-authority=ca.crt kubectl config set-credentials kind-admin \ --certificate-authority=ca.pem \ --client-key=client.key \ --client-certificate=client.crt kubectl config set-context kind --cluster=kind-cluster --user=kind-admin kubectl config use-context kind kubectl get nodes
How to build for myself?
Pre-built images are available on dockerhub (https://hub.docker.com/r/bsycorp/kind/), but if you want to bake in your own images to make it as fast as possible, you will want to built it yourself.
./build.sh <image name> to build the image. Add your custom images to
/images.sh to have them be available at runtime. These environment variables are available to configure the build:
- DOCKER_IMAGE: defaults to
- MINIKUBE_VERSION: defaults to
- KUBERNETES_VERSION: defaults to
- STATIC_IP: defaults to
We use git submodules to pull in this project and then add images and CI configuration around it, but there are other ways to do it.
There are two hooks available during the
after-cluster.sh. As their names suggest they are run directly before and after the kube cluster is created.
Examples of this scripts exist in the repo already, but they can be overwritten / extended to add extra functionality.
How to pull images from a private registry?
Depending how you authenticate to your registry this can be a bit tricky. As the
./build.sh script actually starts a docker container and configures it, because of this the container running your build hook scripts won't have access to all the environment variables / binaries it normally would. To work around this we just write out the build hook script in our outer CI process dynamically during the build.
kind CI build script might look like:
echo "$(aws ecr get-login --no-include-email --region some-region)" >> ./kind/before-cluster.sh docker pull 12345.ecr.amazonaws.com/smth:latest or echo "docker login -u username -p $REGISTRY_TOKEN_FROM_CI registry.smth.com" >> ./kind/before-cluster.sh docker pull registry.smth.com/app:latest
before-cluster.sh hook will fire during the build and have all the details it needs to login and pull the private images.