Christof VG

You don't need to come out of your comfort zone, if automation is in it!

Easily create insight in your Kubernetes resources

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When you get more experienced in Kubernetes, you get quite handy in using aliases for kubectl and short names for resource types. But sometimes it can be nice to have a graphical insight in your environment.

So, I heard about a tool that gives you this, Octant.


One of the most important reasons for using a tool, other than the Kubernetes dashboard is security. The Kubernetes dashboard is not insecure, but when not implemented well, it can create a security breach.

Octant is not installed within Kubernetes, but it uses the same way of connecting to Kubernetes as kubectl. This means that you are limited to see only what you are allowed to see, but in a very secure way.

So, before you can use Octant, you need to be logged in to your Kubernetes cluster.


The installation of Octant is very easy. Personally, I use Chocolatey for the installation of Octant, but it is also possible to download an installer from the releases page in github.

For chocolatey:

choco install octant --confirm

Running Octant

In order to run Octant, you need to be logged in to the cluster using kubectl, so you should need a config file under ~/.kube.

Then you’re all set. Type octant in a command or PowerShell terminal and a browser window will pop-up with Octant.

Resource views

When you click on one of the recource types, you hit the overview page of the resources of that type.

You can now click on one of the resources that will show you a summary.

Another nice view is the Resource Viewer, which shows you a more relational view of the resources.

The last view, available for the resources is the YAML view. This gives you the complete configuration of the resource.

The summary page depends on the resource type that is selected. For example, if you take a pod, you have information about the resources, volumes and events:

Resources and volumes


Port forwarding

Another very cool thing about Octant is that you can create a port-forward, directly from the web-ui. When created, a direct link is shown that opens a new tab. It’s not difficult to create a port-forward with kubectl, but this way it’s extremely easy.

Currently, port-forward is limited to pods. When you want to port-forward to a service, then you still need kubectl.

To create a port-forward from the pod summary, click START PORT FORWARD:

To end the port-forward, click STOP PORT FORWARD:


I’m a fan of this open source project. You have a very nice and detailed insight in your environment. You see what you need, nothing more, nothing less. Furthermore, when you are logged in to Kubernetes, which is most likely the case, then it all comes to installing and running one command to get started!

Please, feel free to give your comments or share your experience below.