[Appendix] Installing a GKE cluster


This appendix contains a concise how-to for installing a Google GKE Kubernetes cluster and running a demo application on it.

It assumes you have a GCP account and project. When encountered, replace ${PROJECT_ID} with your own project’s ID. In this document the project ID is ‘juju-239814’.

These instructions are based largely on upstream GKE documentation.

This appendix was written using Google Cloud SDK v.244.0.0 and Docker CE v.18.09.6, all running on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (Bionic). Although both the SDK and Docker can be installed via snaps, it was found that doing so led to problems later on.

Install the Google CLI tools

Install the Google CLI tools. This will provide the gcloud binary.

export CLOUD_SDK_REPO="cloud-sdk-$(lsb_release -c -s)"
echo "deb http://packages.cloud.google.com/apt $CLOUD_SDK_REPO main" \
    | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-cloud-sdk.list
curl https://packages.cloud.google.com/apt/doc/apt-key.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt update && sudo apt install google-cloud-sdk

Set values for GCP project and region (use your own values):

gcloud config set project ${PROJECT_ID}
gcloud config set compute/zone us-east4

Install Docker

Set up groups:

sudo addgroup --system docker
sudo adduser $(whoami) docker
newgrp docker

Install Docker (community edition):

sudo apt install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl gnupg-agent software-properties-common git
curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu/gpg | sudo apt-key add -
sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu $(lsb_release -c -s) stable"
sudo apt update
sudo apt install docker-ce docker-ce-cli containerd.io

Verify the install:

docker run hello-world

Build an application

Build a sample application container image called ‘hello-app’:

git clone https://github.com/GoogleCloudPlatform/kubernetes-engine-samples
cd kubernetes-engine-samples/hello-app
docker build -t gcr.io/${PROJECT_ID}/hello-app:v1 .

List the application image:

docker images


REPOSITORY                       TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
gcr.io/juju-239814/hello-app     v1                  1b98f4b8499f        2 seconds ago       11.4MB

Set up authentication and APIs

Allow the docker command to use glcoud for authentication, then log in:

gcloud auth configure-docker --quiet
gcloud auth login --brief

Ensure that the Container Registry API and the Kubernetes Engine API are enabled:

gcloud services enable containerregistry.googleapis.com --project ${PROJECT_ID}
gcloud services enable container.googleapis.com --project ${PROJECT_ID}

Use gcloud services list to see currently enabled services. Add option --available to see a list of all available services.

Upload the container image and create the cluster

Upload the container image:

docker push gcr.io/${PROJECT_ID}/hello-app:v1

Create a two-node Kubernetes cluster called ‘hello-cluster’:

gcloud container clusters create hello-cluster --num-nodes=2

Deploy your application

Install the kubectl utility:

sudo snap install kubectl --classic

Define a deployment called ‘hello-web’ in ~/hello-web.yaml:

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: hello-web
    app: hello-web
  replicas: 1
      app: hello
        app: hello
      - name: hello-app
        image: gcr.io/juju-239814/hello-app:v1

Create the deployment:

kubectl apply -f ~/hello-web.yaml

Expose the application externally. Have it listen on port 8080 and redirect to it from port 80:

kubectl expose deployment hello-web --type=LoadBalancer --port 80 --target-port 8080

Discover the assigned external IP address of the application (it may take a minute):

kubectl get service hello-web


NAME         TYPE           CLUSTER-IP     EXTERNAL-IP      PORT(S)        AGE
hello-web    LoadBalancer   80:31446/TCP   56s

The exposed IP address of the application is ‘’.

Pointing a browser to (port 80) should give you output similar to:

Hello, world!
Version: 1.0.0
Hostname: hello-web-7969d89bd5-hjdbz

Where the hostname is the name of the pod:

kubectl get pods


NAME                         READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
hello-web-7969d89bd5-hjdbz   1/1     Running   0          2m

Viewing information

Miscellaneous methods for viewing information:

docker images
gcloud container clusters list
kubectl cluster-info
kubectl get deployments --all-namespaces
kubectl get services
kubectl get pods
kubectl get nodes
gcloud compute instances list

Cleaning up

The below commands are given in order of increasing destruction.

Undo the expose sub-command:

kubectl delete service hello-web

Remove the deployment (and pod(s)):

kubectl delete deployment hello-web

Remove the cluster:

gcloud container clusters delete hello-cluster

Remove Docker:

sudo apt purge docker-ce docker-ce-cli containerd.io
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/docker

New 2.6 feature: Kubernetes cloud enhancements
[Tutorial] Multi-cloud controller with GKE and auto-configured storage
Juju documentation
Using Kubernetes with Juju