Kubernetes Course Labs

Running Containers in Pods

The Pod is the basic unit of compute in Kubernetes. Pods run containers - it's their job to ensure the container keeps running.

Pod specs are very simple. The minimal YAML needs some metadata, and the name of the container image to run.

API specs

This is as simple as it gets for a Pod:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: whoami
    - name: app
      image: sixeyed/whoami:21.04

Every Kubernetes resource requires these four fields:

The format of the spec field is different for every object type. For Pods, this is the minimum you need:

Indentation is important in YAML - object fields are nested with spaces.

Run a simple Pod

Kubectl is the tool for managing objects. You create any object from YAML using the apply command.

Deploy the app from your local copy of the course repo:

kubectl apply -f labs/pods/specs/whoami-pod.yaml

Or the path to the YAML file can be a web address:

kubectl apply -f https://kubernetes.courselabs.co/labs/pods/specs/whoami-pod.yaml

The output shows you that nothing has changed. Kubernetes works on desired state deployment

Now you can use the familiar commands to print information:

kubectl get pods

kubectl get po -o wide

The second command uses the short name po and adds extra columns, including the Pod IP address

What extra information do you see in the second output, and how would you print all the Pod information in a readble format?

Working with Pods

In a production cluster the Pod could be running on any node. You manage it using Kubectl so you don't need access to the server directly.

📋 Print the container logs.

kubectl logs whoami

Connect to the container inside the Pod:

# this will fail:
kubectl exec -it whoami -- sh

This container image doesn't have a shell installed!

Let's try another app:

📋 Deploy the new app from labs/pods/specs/sleep-pod.yaml and check it is running.

kubectl apply -f labs/pods/specs/sleep-pod.yaml

kubectl get pods

This Pod container does have a shell, and it has some useful tools installed.

kubectl exec -it sleep -- sh

Now you're connected inside the container; you can explore the container environment:



And the Kubernetes network:

nslookup kubernetes

# this will fail:
ping kubernetes

The Kubernetes API server is available for Pod containers to use, but internal addresses don't support ping

Connecting from one Pod to another

Exit the shell session on the sleep Pod:


📋 Print the IP address of the original whoami Pod.

kubectl get pods -o wide whoami

That's the internal IP address of the Pod - any other Pod in the cluster can connect on that address

Make a request to the HTTP server in the whoami Pod from the sleep Pod:

kubectl exec sleep -- curl -s <whoami-pod-ip>

The output is the response from the whoami server - it includes the hostname and IP addresses


Pods are an abstraction over containers. They monitor the container and if it exits the Pod restarts, creating a new container to keep your app running. This is the first layer of high-availability Kubernetes provides.

You can see this in action with a badly-configured app, where the container keeps exiting. Write a Pod spec to run a container from the Docker Hub image courselabs/bad-sleep. Deploy your spec and watch the Pod - what happens after about 30 seconds? And after a couple of minutes?

Kubernetes will keep trying to make the Pod work, so you'll want to remove it when you're done.

Stuck? Try hints or check the solution.


We'll clean up before we move on, deleting all the Pods we created:

kubectl delete pod sleep whoami sleep-lab