Deploying OpenWhisk on kind


You can run Kubernetes on top of Docker on Linux, MacOS, and Windows using the kind project. Based on using Docker-in-Docker (DIND) virtualization and kubeadm, kind can be used to create a virtual multi-node Kubernetes cluster that is suitable for deploying OpenWhisk for development and testing. For detailed instructions on kind, we refer you to that project's github repository. Here we will only cover the basic operations needed to create and operate a default cluster with two virtual worker nodes.

Initial setup

Download the latest stable release of kind for your platform from Our TravisCI testing currently uses kind v0.11.1 on an ubuntu 18.04 host.

Creating the Kubernetes Cluster

On Linux, make sure your userid is in the docker group on the host machine. This will enable you to run kind without requiring sudo to gain root privileges.

We've provided a script that you can use to bring up a kind cluster in a reasonable configuration for OpenWhisk. The script assumes that port 31001 is available on your machine and can be used by openwhisk. To use a different port, edit deploy/kind/kind-cluster.yaml.


Configuring OpenWhisk

Assuming you used the default port 31001 when starting kind, a [mycluster.yaml](../deploy/kind/mycluster.yaml] for a standard deployment of OpenWhisk would be:

    type: NodePort
    apiHostName: localhost
    apiHostPort: 31001
    useInternally: false

  httpsNodePort: 31001

# disable affinity
  enabled: false
  enabled: false
  options: "-Dwhisk.kubernetes.user-pod-node-affinity.enabled=false"
  # must use KCF as kind uses containerd as its container runtime
    impl: "kubernetes"

Note that you must use the KubernetesContainerFactory when running OpenWhisk on kind because it is configured to use containerd as the underlying container engine.

External to the Kubernetes cluster, for example when using the wsk cli, we will use the port forwarding configured by the extraPortMappings in kind-cluster.yaml to allow the OpenWhisk apihost property to be set to localhost:31001

Hints and Tips

If you are working on the core OpenWhisk system and want to use a locally built controller or invoker image to test your changes, you need to push the image to the docker image repository inside the kind cluster.

For example, suppose I had a local change to the controller I wanted to test. To do this, I would build the image normally (gradlew distDocker in openwhisk). Then, execute the kind command

kind load docker-image whisk/controller

Then add a stanza to your mycluster.yaml to override the default behavior of pulling a stable openwhisk/controller image from Docker Hub.

  imageName: "whisk/controller"
  imageTag: "latest"

Then deploy OpenWhisk normally using helm install. The deployed system will use the locally built whisk/controller image.


Using kind is only appropriate for development and testing purposes. It is not recommended for production deployments of OpenWhisk.

TLS termination will be handled by OpenWhisk's nginx service and will use self-signed certificates. You will need to invoke wsk with the -i command line argument to bypass certificate checking.

Unlike using Kubernetes with Docker for Mac 18.06 and later, only the virtual master/worker nodes are visible to Docker on the host system. The individual pods running the OpenWhisk system are only visible using kubectl and not directly via host Docker commands.