How to Install Kubernetes and Enable Dashboard


In this post, I will introduce how to create a single control-node Kubernetes cluster with version v1.15.x and enable an accessible dashboard. With this post, you can easily deploy a cluster from scratch for testing.


Before we start, note that there are problems like single node failure and security, which makes the deployment not production-ready.

1. Prerequest

1). Operation Systems

The most common ones are


There will be many compatibility issues in some packages if you are using the old version of systems. I took a lot of effort and tried to solve the compatibility issues manually in Ubuntu 14.04 but failed. Please consider upgrading the system first if possible.

2). Required Ports

Control-plane node(s)
ProtocolDirectionPort RangePurposeUsed By
TCPInbound6443*Kubernetes API serverAll
TCPInbound2379-2380etcd server client APIkube-apiserver, etcd
TCPInbound10250Kubelet APISelf, Control plane
Worker node(s)
ProtocolDirectionPort RangePurposeUsed By
TCPInbound10250Kubelet APISelf, Control plane
TCPInbound30000-32767NodePort Services**All

It is very import to open these ports especially when you are using provided virtual machines like EC2, where typically the required ports are closed.

3). Runtime

Install docker.

# Uninstall old versions
sudo apt-get remove docker docker-engine docker-ce

sudo apt-get install \
    apt-transport-https \
    ca-certificates \
    curl \
    gnupg-agent \
curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-key fingerprint 0EBFCD88

# pub   rsa4096 2017-02-22 [SCEA]
#      9DC8 5822 9FC7 DD38 854A  E2D8 8D81 803C 0EBF CD88
# uid           [ unknown] Docker Release (CE deb)  <>
# sub   rsa4096 2017-02-22 [S]

sudo add-apt-repository \
   "deb [arch=amd64] \
   $(lsb_release -cs) \
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli
docker --version

# Set up the Docker daemon
cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/docker/daemon.json
  "exec-opts": ["native.cgroupdriver=systemd"],
  "log-driver": "json-file",
  "log-opts": {
    "max-size": "100m"
  "storage-driver": "overlay2"

sudo mkdir -p /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d

# Restart Docker
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart docker
sudo systemctl enable docker

2. Install kubeadm, kubelet, and kubectl

You will install these packages on all of your machines:

  • kubeadm: the command to bootstrap the cluster.
  • kubelet: the component that runs on all of the machines in your cluster and does things like starting pods and containers.
  • kubectl: the command line util to talk to your cluster.
apt-get update && apt-get install -y apt-transport-https curl
curl -s | apt-key add -
cat <<EOF >/etc/apt/sources.list.d/kubernetes.list
deb kubernetes-xenial main
apt-get update
apt-get install -y kubelet kubeadm kubectl
apt-mark hold kubelet kubeadm kubectl

3. Init Cluster and Add Network Add-on

Before you apply any other configurations, you should apply the network add-ons. Here we use Calico, which provides networking and network security solutions for containers in Kubernetes. Remember that your cluster will not work without network add-ons.

# swap off
root@ubuntu:/home/ubuntu# sudo swapoff -a

root@ubuntu:/home/ubuntu# sudo kubeadm init --pod-network-cidr=
root@ubuntu:/home/ubuntu# kubectl apply -f

You will see the following outputs.

Your Kubernetes control-plane has initialized successfully!

To start using your cluster, you need to run the following as a regular user:

  mkdir -p $HOME/.kube
  sudo cp -i /etc/kubernetes/admin.conf $HOME/.kube/config
  sudo chown $(id -u):$(id -g) $HOME/.kube/config

You should now deploy a pod network to the cluster.
Run "kubectl apply -f [podnetwork].yaml" with one of the options listed at:

Then you can join any number of worker nodes by running the following on each node as root:
kubeadm join x.x.x.x:6443 --token xxx \
    --discovery-token-ca-cert-hash sha256:xxx

Now you can log in to other machines and join in the clusters. To verify your cluster, on any node, run

sudo kubectl get nodes

If the node is not ready, check the problem, use

sudo kubectl describe node irp125a-v36g01

Note that the token will expire in 24 hours. You can create a new one on the master node by

kubeadm token create --print-join-command

You may also want to taint the master node so that you can deploy pods on the master node.

root@ubuntu:/home/ubuntu#~$ sudo kubectl taint nodes --all
node/xxx untainted
error: taint "" not found

4. Start Dashboard

We use the fastest set-up.

kubectl apply -f

However, for now, the dashboard is only available by the localhost. Apply the following snippets if you want to remote access.

# dashboard-adminuser.yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: ServiceAccount
  name: admin-user
  namespace: kube-system
kind: ClusterRoleBinding
  name: admin-user
  kind: ClusterRole
  name: cluster-admin
- kind: ServiceAccount
  name: admin-user
  namespace: kube-system
root@ubuntu: sudo kubectl apply -f dashboard-adminuser.yaml

Then you can get token by using

root@ubuntu: sudo kubectl -n kube-system describe secret $(kubectl -n kube-system get secret | grep admin-user | awk '{print $1}')

Note that you may get many tokens, any of them is good to use.
After that, we should expose the dashboard. NodePort is a good choice.

root@ubuntu: sudo kubectl -n kube-system edit service kubernetes-dashboard

You will get the following output.

# Please edit the object below. Lines beginning with a '#' will be ignored,
# and an empty file will abort the edit. If an error occurs while saving this file will be
# reopened with the relevant failures.
apiVersion: v1
  name: kubernetes-dashboard
  namespace: kube-system
  resourceVersion: "343478"
  selfLink: /api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/kubernetes-dashboard-head
  uid: 8e48f478-993d-11e7-87e0-901b0e532516
  externalTrafficPolicy: Cluster
  - port: 443
    protocol: TCP
    targetPort: 8443
    nodePort: 30001 # specify your desired port
    k8s-app: kubernetes-dashboard
  sessionAffinity: None
  type: NodePort # change this line
  loadBalancer: {}

Verify the dashboard by

root@ubuntu:~$ sudo kubectl -n kube-system get service kubernetes-dashboard
NAME                   TYPE       CLUSTER-IP     EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)         AGE
kubernetes-dashboard   NodePort   x.x.x.x   <none>        443:30001/TCP   7m58s

443:30001/TCP means it is exposed to external networks.
Open your browser and type https://x.x.x.x:30001, where x.x.x.x is the public IP of any node.

Remember it is https and use the token you get from dashboard-adminuser.


K8s Official Guide
Dashboard Official Guide

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