I recently ran an internal hands-on workshop where I demonstrated to our field, marketing, support and engineering on just how easy it is to deploy and manage Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) Clusters running on VMware Cloud on AWS. While developing the lab which has been several weeks in the making, I did not want to assume everyone was familiar with Kubernetes (K8s) and as part of the workshop, I thought it would be useful to include some additional utilities that would provide a better lab experience for those that are just getting started in their K8s journey.
I included tools like bat, kube-ps1 and Octant as an example and the weekend before the workshop, I came to learn about a really neat terminal-based UI tool called kubelive and I knew I had to include that in the workshop. Interestingly, after the workshop, several folks shared with me that they had not heard of this tool either and others on Twitter had the same feedback. Given the level of interests with K8s in the VMware community, especially with the launch of vSphere with Kubernetes (Project Pacific), I thought it might be useful to share some of the terminal-based and graphical UI tools that I had been evaluating and learning about.
As of writing this blog post, my current two favorites is Octant for a graphical-based UI (browser) and K9s for a terminal-based UI.
Octant is a browser-based UI aimed at application developers giving them visibility into how their application is running. I also think this tool can really benefit anyone using K8s, especially if you forget the various options to kubectl to inspect your K8s Cluster and/or workloads. Octant is also a VMware Open Source project and it is supported on Windows, Mac and Linux (including ARM) and runs locally on a system that has access to a K8S Cluster. After installing Octant, just type octant and it will start listening on localhost:7777 and you just launch your web browser to access the UI.
One thing I really like about Octant is how easy it is to switch context between different K8s Cluster with a simple drop down along with namespace filtering which is quite helpful in narrowing down a specific deployments, usually for informational or troubleshooting purposes.
Most of my workflows generally involves a specific K8s pod and the Resource View tab is super handy to give me a quick overview of the different resources that is associated whether that is a deployment, secret, service, etc.
The YAML tab beats using cat and bat, especially for really large and complex deployments and you can search right in the browser.