KubeSelect: KUBECONFIG switching made easy

I love working with Kubernetes but there has been one aspect of the way it treats configurations that bugged me: It’s really hard to work with various kubectl configuration files (and the multiple contexts you can define in them). A co-worker recently mentioned that he has a shell script that allows him to quickly pick a configuration file from a specific folder and set the KUBECONFIG environment variable for the current shell based on that.

Sadly, that didn’t work for me because Iā€™m using contexts quite heavily. I usually structure my kubeconfigs like this:

  • 1 kubeconfig file per cluster
  • 1 context for each namespace/user-pair that I use more than once

So I needed something that would not only help me picking a KUBECONFIG environment value but also set the --context flag in kubectl. I have a certification exam next week and so I’m basically spending most of my time learning for that but in order not to go completely insane, I thought it would be nice to tackle this little issue of mine. The result of a bit of coding yesterday is kubeselect.

kubeselect select scans your $HOME/.kube folder for files ending with .yml, .yaml, or .conf and looks for contexts defined in them. It will provide you with a listing using go-fuzzyfinder. When you now pick an option, it will return environment variable commands for your shell:

$ kubeselect select
export KUBECONFIG=$HOME/.kube/some-config.yaml
export KUBECTX=context-name

# To also set those inside your current terminal,
# run eval on it
$ eval $(kubeselect select)

Since I’m lazy, I’ve defined an alias for that:

$ alias ks='eval $(kubeselect select)'

The second part of kubeselect is a simple wrapper around kubectl that uses the KUBECTX environment variable to set the --context flag:

$ kubeselect run -- get nodes

# is the same as...
$ kubectl --context some-context get nodes

Again, aliases FTW:

$ alias k='kubeselect run -- '

How to install

At this point there isn’t a binary-release available but you can either take a binary produced by one of the build jobs or install from the master branch using go-get:

GO111MODULE=off \
go get gitlab.com/zerok/kubeselect/cmd/kubeselect

What’s missing?

What’s missing right now is a simple status-command that shows what configuration a call to kubeselect run would be using. This command could then, for instance, also be integrated into shell-prompts etc.

I hope I’ll be able to get to this in the next couple of days šŸ™‚

Do you want to give me feedback about this article? Please send it to comments@zerokspot.com.