What is kubelet and what it does: Basics on Kubernetes.

In our previous articles in series basics on Kubernetes we have talked about etcd and Kube proxy and what are their exact functions in Kubernetes. If you have not read them you can find these articles below.

In this article we are going to talk about a very important component kubelet and what are its tasks and where does it fit in the Kubernetes environment.

What is kubelet?

Kubelet is an agent or program which runs on each node. This is responsible for all the communications between the Kubernetes control plane [group of programs which control kubernetes] and the nodes where the actual workload runs. Below are the exact tasks of the kubelet.

What is kubelet and what it does: Basics on Kubernetes.
What is kubelet and what it does: Basics on Kubernetes.

Joining the cluster.

With help of kubelet a node can join the cluster and tell the cluster that it is available to run the workload.

Running and health check of the containers

Kubelet talks to the control plane to get the pods that need to run on the container and runs the pod. It also does a health check on containers and tells the status back to API server.

Reporting status of Node

Kubelet is also responsible for reporting the status of the node back to the Kubernetes to make an informed decision.

Kubelet works on pod spec which is supplied to it from api server. In pod spec, it is defined that what pod needs to be launched and what all containers need to be launched. Apart from it there is other information like health check etc. Below is a small example for pod spec.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: nginx
  labels:
    env: test
spec:
  containers:
  - name: nginx
    image: nginx
    imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
  nodeSelector:
    disktype: ssd

If you see here the details of what image to run, when to pull the image, etc is present in this pod spec. To know all the pod spec fields you can read this. https://kubernetes.io/docs/reference/generated/kubernetes-api/v1.19/#podspec-v1-core

Kubelet is like a captain of nodes and everything that needs to be executed on a node has to be done through kubelet.

This was a very basic introduction to kubelet. If you like the article please share and subscribe.


Gaurav Yadav

Gaurav is cloud infrastructure engineer and a full stack web developer and blogger. Sportsperson by heart and loves football. Scale is something he loves to work for and always keen to learn new tech. Experienced with CI/CD, distributed cloud infrastructure, build systems and lot of SRE Stuff.

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