In today’s rapidly evolving tech landscape, containerization has become a fundamental aspect of modern software development and deployment. At the heart of this revolution lies Kubernetes, an open-source platform designed to automate deploying, scaling, and operating application containers. If you’re new to Kubernetes and looking to get started, this guide will help you understand the basics and set you on the path to becoming proficient with this powerful tool.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes, often abbreviated as K8s, is a container orchestration platform originally developed by Google and now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). It helps manage containerized applications across a cluster of nodes, providing mechanisms for deployment, scaling, and operations.

Key Concepts

  1. Cluster: A set of nodes (machines) that run containerized applications managed by Kubernetes.
  2. Node: A single machine in a Kubernetes cluster, which can be either a physical or virtual machine.
  3. Pod: The smallest and simplest Kubernetes object. A pod represents a single instance of a running process in your cluster.
  4. Service: An abstraction that defines a logical set of pods and a policy by which to access them.
  5. Namespace: A way to divide cluster resources between multiple users (via resource quotas).

Why Use Kubernetes?

Kubernetes offers several benefits, including:

  • Automated rollouts and rollbacks: Automatically roll out changes to your application and roll back to the previous state if something goes wrong.
  • Scaling: Scale applications up and down based on demand.
  • Self-healing: Restarts containers that fail, replaces and reschedules containers when nodes die, kills containers that don’t respond to user-defined health checks, and doesn’t advertise them to clients until they are ready to serve.
  • Service discovery and load balancing: Automatically assigns IP addresses to containers and a single DNS name for a set of containers, and can load-balance across them.

Getting Started with Kubernetes


Before diving into Kubernetes, make sure you have a basic understanding of containers and Docker. Additionally, you should have:

  • A local development environment (e.g., your laptop) with at least 4GB of RAM.
  • Docker installed.
  • kubectl, the Kubernetes command-line tool, installed.

Setting Up Kubernetes

There are several ways to set up a Kubernetes environment. For beginners, Minikube is a great choice because it runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster on your local machine.

Installing Minikube

  1. Install Minikube: Follow the instructions on the official Minikube installation guide.

  2. Start Minikube: Open your terminal and run:

    minikube start

    This command sets up a local Kubernetes cluster.

  3. Verify Installation: Check the status of your cluster:

    kubectl cluster-info

Deploying Your First Application

Now that your Kubernetes environment is set up, you can deploy your first application.

  1. Create a Deployment: Use the kubectl command to create a new deployment. For example, to deploy an NGINX server:

    kubectl create deployment nginx --image=nginx
  2. Expose the Deployment: To make your NGINX server accessible, expose it as a Kubernetes service:

    kubectl expose deployment nginx --type=NodePort --port=80
  3. Get the Service URL: Retrieve the URL to access your NGINX server:

    minikube service nginx --url

    Open the provided URL in your web browser to see the NGINX welcome page.

Managing Your Cluster

To manage your Kubernetes cluster effectively, you’ll frequently use commands like:

  • kubectl get: Lists resources. For example, kubectl get pods shows all pods.
  • kubectl describe: Provides detailed information about a resource. For example, kubectl describe pod <pod_name>.
  • kubectl logs: Retrieves logs for a specific pod. For example, kubectl logs <pod_name>.
  • kubectl delete: Deletes resources. For example, kubectl delete pod <pod_name>.

Scaling Your Application

Scaling your application up or down is straightforward with Kubernetes. For example, to scale the NGINX deployment to three replicas:

kubectl scale deployment nginx --replicas=3

Verify the scaling operation with:

kubectl get pods

Learning Resources

To deepen your understanding of Kubernetes, consider exploring the following resources:


Getting started with Kubernetes might seem daunting at first, but with the right resources and a step-by-step approach, you can master this powerful platform. Start by setting up a local cluster with Minikube, deploy your first application, and gradually explore more advanced features and functionalities. As you become more comfortable, you’ll be able to leverage Kubernetes to manage and scale your containerized applications efficiently.