Use kubeadm to Install a Basic Cluster in Kubernetes v1.19 for CKA Exam, Part 1: Control Plane Node

The new CKA 2020 for Kubernetes v1.19 blueprint has an objective to, “Use Kubeadm to install a basic cluster.” While I haven’t taken the CKA v1.19 exam yet, based on the exam environment from Linux Foundation (image below), it doesn’t appear that creating a brand new cluster will be necessary in the exam. Instead, cluster ik8s is missing a node and I assume the task will involve gathering the information to add the node to the cluster.

CKA Exam Environment from Linux Foundation’s Important Instructions: CKA and CKAD

Installing Kubernetes v1.19 with Kubeadm

I’m not sure how detailed the cluster creation process will be on the CKA exam will be but I will be starting from the point that Docker is installed and kubeadm and kubectl need to be downloaded and installed. We’ll do that with the following steps:

Install Dependencies

sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y apt-transport-https curl

Get Google’s GPG Key for Kubernetes Repository

curl -s  | sudo apt-key add -

Add Kubernetes Source to apt

cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/kubernetes.list
deb kubernetes-xenial main

Update apt and install kubelet, kubeadm, and kubectl

sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y kubelet kubeadm kubectl
(optional) sudo apt-mark hold kubelet kubeadm kubectl

Initialize Kubernetes Cluster on Control Plane Node

Then we’ll simply run sudo kubeadm init. This simple command is very powerful and loaded! In short, it downloads, installs, and configures kube-scheduler, kube-proxy, kube-controller-manager, kube-apiserver, etcd, and coredns, generates certificates and keys. Full details on kubeadm init process can be found in the Kubernetes documentation.

Upon completion, you’ll see:

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 as root:

kubeadm join --token 29wfr4.u88qkj7at954cnij \
    --discovery-token-ca-cert-hash sha256:2aefd220fd9e1a1ad7e15cc68c1f0d3331a07858cf676c8e4f15611b87801b26

The output illustrates 3 important steps that are necessary post-configuration:

Add kubeconfig

These steps assume the user has never administered a Kubernetes cluster before and thus needs a $HOME/.kube directory for kubeconfig. It also copies /etc/kubernetes/admin.conf that was created as a template for the kubeconfig to that local directory and changes the ownership to match the local user. Without this step, it won’t be possible to communicate with kube-apiserver. I wrote a little more about kubeconfig in a previous post.

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

Set Up Pod Networking

There’s a myriad of container network interfaces (CNIs) that can be configured in a Kubernetes cluster. For the exam, you should know at least one if the question asks you to configure a CNI in the cluster. Most recommend weave for the CKA since you can find (and bookmark!) the URL for the weave YAML in Kubernetes documentation. Let’s use that:

kubectl apply -f "$(kubectl version | base64 | tr -d '\n')"


serviceaccount/weave-net created created created created created
daemonset.apps/weave-net created

Inspecting the pods in kube-system, we can see that weave-net pods are running:

That’s all there is to installing a Kubernetes cluster with kubeadm! In part 2, we’ll add a node to the cluster.

Questions or comments? Please comment below or find me on Twitter: @bdwill

2 thoughts on “Use kubeadm to Install a Basic Cluster in Kubernetes v1.19 for CKA Exam, Part 1: Control Plane Node

  1. Pingback: CKA 2020 Curriculum for Kubernetes v1.19 | Brandon Willmott

  2. Pingback: Use kubeadm to Install a Basic Cluster in Kubernetes v1.19 for CKA Exam, Part 2: Adding a Node to An Existing Kubernetes Cluster | Brandon Willmott

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