kubetnl (kube tunnel) is a command line utility to tunnel TCP connections from within a Kubernetes to a cluster-external endpoint, e.g. to your local machine. You can think of it as doing the opposite of
How does it work
When a new tunnel with
kubetnl tunnel myservice 8080:8080 9090:9090 18.104.22.168:80:8888 is created, kubetnl will create a Service and a Pod with name "myservice" in your cluster. The pod will expose port 8080, 9090, 8888 and another random port for the tunnel. The service will target port 8080, 9090 and 8888 of the pod.
Once the pod is running, a connection to the pods exposed port for tunneling is established via pod portforwarding. Using the established connection to the pod, kubetnl opens a tunnel on the pod causing it to forward any incoming connections on port 8080, 9090 and 8888 to the kubetnl binary. From the kubetnl binary, the connections are then forwarded to their specified target endpoints.
If you have Go installed, you can simply run
go install github.com/fischor/kubetnl@latest
to install the latest version of kubetnl. You can replace latest with the version tag you want to install, e.g.
Install by picking a relase
Go the the release section and pick the binary for your operation system and architecture and add it to your PATH.
For kubetnl to work, you need to have privilidges the create services and pods and to do portforwarding on pods. Your cluster must also be able to pull the docker.io/fischor/kubetnl-server image.
$ kubetnl --help kubetnl tunnels TCP connections from within a Kubernetes cluster to an external endpoint. Find more information and check out the souce code at: https://github.com/fischor/kubetnl Basic commands tunnel Setup a new tunnel cleanup Delete all resources created by kubetnl Other Commands: completion generate the autocompletion script for the specified shell version Print the kubetnl version Usage: kubetnl [flags] [options] Use "kubetnl <command> --help" for more information about a given command. Use "kubetnl options" for a list of global command-line options (applies to all commands).
kubetnl tunnel --help
$ kubetnl tunnel --help Setup a new tunnel. A tunnel forwards connections directed to a Kubernetes Service port within a cluster to an endpoint outside of the cluster, e.g. to your local machine. Under the hood "kubetnl tunnel" creates a new service and pod that expose the specified ports. Any incoming connections to an exposed port of the newly created service/pod will be tunneled to the endpoint specified for that port. "kubetnl tunnel" runs in the foreground. To stop press CTRL+C once. This will gracefully shutdown all active connections and cleanup the created resources in the cluster before exiting. Examples: # Tunnel to local port 8080 from myservice.<namespace>.svc.cluster.local:80. kubetnl tunnel myservice 8080:80 # Tunnel to 10.10.10.10:3333 from myservice.<namespace>.svc.cluster.local:80. kubetnl tunnel myservice 10.10.10.10:3333:80 # Tunnel to local port 8080 from myservice.<namespace>.svc.cluster.local:80 and to local port 9090 from myservice.<namespace>.svc.cluster.local:90. kubetnl tunnel myservice 8080:80 9090:90 # Tunnel to local port 80 from myservice.<namespace>.svc.cluster.local:80 using version 0.1.0 of the kubetnl server image. kubetnl tunnel --image docker.io/fischor/kubetnl-server:0.1.0 myservice 80:80 Options: --image='docker.io/fischor/kubetnl-server:0.1.0': The container image thats get deployed to serve a SSH server Usage: kubetnl tunnel SERVICE_NAME TARGET_ADDR:SERVICE_PORT [...[TARGET_ADDR:SERVICE_PORT]] [flags] [options] Use "kubetnl options" for a list of global command-line options (applies to all commands).
Since you are probably here in search for tools that allow you to forward traffic from within your cluster to the outside: here is a list of alternative tools that achieve similiar things as kubetnl and that might are what you are looking for:
Telepresence will forward traffic from within your cluster to your local machine and also forward traffic from your local machine to the cluster. Also any environment variables and volume mounts (not sure about that though) will be available on your local machine once "connected". If you are looking to setup a local development environment for microservice development, Telepresense is probably the right choice.
You still might choose
With Telepresence, you need a to setup a Deployment manually before anything can be forwarded. Telepresence will then inject sidecar containers into the pods of that Deployment that are responsible for forwarding connections.
kubetnl on the other hand creates a new service and pod for you, so there is no need to setup anything before the tunnel can be opened.
Telepresence will have to create a new namespace with a Traffic manager deployment (but setting it up and tearing it down is super easy) before anything can be forwarded. With
kubectl there is no extra setup needed.
Telepresence forwards traffic from within the cluster only to your local machine, not to external endpoints (like
VSCode Bridge to Kubernetes
VSCode Bridge to Kubernetes is quiet a similiar tool to Telepresense. It also allows you to forward traffic from your cluster to your local machine as well as the other way around making it a good environment for microservice development. For Brige to Kubernetes you need to have an existing pod (and service) set up. That pod gets replaced with a pod thats responsible for forwarding the traffic back and forth between the cluster and your local machine.
However, this only works as a VS Code extension and external endpoints are not supported.