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How To Install Kubernetes Cluster On Ubuntu 16.04

Last updated on Nov 25,2020 93.7K Views
2 / 8 Blog from Kubernetes

The first step towards Kubernetes Certification is installing Kubernetes. This blog is a step by step guide to install Kubernetes on top of Ubuntu VMs (Virtual Machines). Here, one VM will act as the master and the other VM will be the node. You can then replicate the same steps to deploy the Kubernetes cluster onto your prod. 

Note: For this installation, we recommend a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 image since Kubernetes can take up a lot of resources. If your installation fails at any time, then execute all the steps mentioned from the very beginning in a fresh VM, because debugging would take longer.

To install Kubernetes, you have to diligently follow the 3 phases that come as part of the installation process:

  1. Pre-requisites to install Kubernetes
  2. Setting up Kubernetes environment
  3. Installing Kubeadm, Kubelet, Kubectl
  4. Starting the Kubernetes cluster from master
  5. Getting the nodes to join the cluster

Pre-requisites To Install Kubernetes 

Since we are dealing with VMs, we recommend the following settings for the VMs:-


  • 2 GB RAM
  • 2 Cores of CPU


  • 1 GB RAM
  • 1 Core of CPU

By this point of time, I have assumed you have 2 plain Ubuntu VMs imported onto your Oracle Virtual Box. So, I’l just get along with the installation process.

Pre-Installation Steps On Both Master & Slave (To Install Kubernetes)

The following steps have to be executed on both the master and node machines. Let’s call the the master as ‘kmaster‘ and node as ‘knode‘. 

First, login as ‘sudo’ user because the following set of commands need to be executed with ‘sudo’ permissions. Then, update your ‘apt-get’ repository.

$ sudo su
# apt-get update

Note: After logging-in as ‘sudo’ user, note that your shell symbol will change to ‘#’ from ‘$’.

Turn Off Swap Space

Next, we have to turn off the swap space because Kubernetes will start throwing random errors otherwise. After that you need to open the ‘fstab’ file and comment out the line which has mention of swap partition.

# swapoff -a
# nano /etc/fstab

fstab file - install kubernetes - edureka

Then press ‘Ctrl+X’, then press ‘Y’ and then press ‘Enter’ to Save the file.

Update The Hostnames

To change the hostname of both machines, run the below command to open the file and subsequently rename the master machine to ‘kmaster’ and your node machine to ‘knode’.

# nano /etc/hostname

hostname file - install kubernetes - edureka

Then press ‘Ctrl+X’, then press ‘Y’ and then press ‘Enter’ to Save the file.

Update The Hosts File With IPs Of Master & Node

Run the following command on both machines to note the IP addresses of each.

# ifconfig

Make a note of the IP address from the output of the above command. The IP address which has to be copied should be under “enp0s8”, as shown in the screenshot below.

ifconfig command - install kubernetes - edureka

Now go to the ‘hosts’ file on both the master and node and add an entry specifying their respective IP addresses along with their names ‘kmaster’ and ‘knode’. This is used for referencing them in the cluster. It should look like the below screenshot on both the machines.

# nano /etc/hosts

/eyc/hosts file - install kubernetes - edureka

Then press ‘Ctrl+X’, then press ‘Y’ and then press ‘Enter’ to Save the file.

Setting Static IP Addresses

Next, we will make the IP addresses used above, static for the VMs. We can do that by modifying the network interfaces file. Run the following command to open the file:

# nano /etc/network/interfaces

Now enter the following lines in the file.

auto enp0s8
iface enp0s8 inet static
address <IP-Address-Of-VM>

It will look something like the below screenshot.

network interfaces file - install kubernetes - edureka

Then press ‘Ctrl+X’, then press ‘Y’ and then press ‘Enter’ to Save the file.

After this, restart your machine(s).

Install OpenSSH-Server

Now we have to install openshh-server. Run the following command:

# sudo apt-get install openssh-server  

Install Docker

Now we have to install Docker because Docker images will be used for managing the containers in the cluster. Run the following commands:

# sudo su
# apt-get update 
# apt-get install -y docker.io

Next we have to install these 3 essential components for setting up Kubernetes environment: kubeadm, kubectl, and kubelet.

Run the following commands before installing the Kubernetes environment.

# apt-get update && apt-get install -y apt-transport-https curl
# curl -s https://packages.cloud.google.com/apt/doc/apt-key.gpg | apt-key add -
# cat <<EOF >/etc/apt/sources.list.d/kubernetes.list
deb http://apt.kubernetes.io/ kubernetes-xenial main
# apt-get update

Install kubeadm, Kubelet And Kubectl 

Now its time to install the 3 essential components. Kubelet is the lowest level component in Kubernetes. It’s responsible for what’s running on an individual machine. Kuebadm is used for administrating the Kubernetes cluster. Kubectl is used for controlling the configurations on various nodes inside the cluster.

# apt-get install -y kubelet kubeadm kubectl 

Updating Kubernetes Configuration

Next, we will change the configuration file of Kubernetes. Run the following command:

# nano /etc/systemd/system/kubelet.service.d/10-kubeadm.conf

This will open a text editor, enter the following line after the last “Environment Variable”:


environment variables - install kubernetes - edureka

Now press Ctrl+X, then press Y, and then press Enter to Save.

Voila! You have successfully installed Kubernetes on both the machines now!

As of now, only the Kubernetes environment has been setup. But now, it is time to install Kubernetes completely, by moving onto the next 2 phases, where we will individually set the configurations in both machines.

Steps Only For Kubernetes Master VM (kmaster)

Note: These steps will only be executed on the master node (kmaster VM).

Step 1: We will now start our Kubernetes cluster from the master’s machine. Run the following command:

# kubeadm init --apiserver-advertise-address=<ip-address-of-kmaster-vm> --pod-network-cidr=
  1. You will get the below output. The commands marked as (1), execute them as a non-root user. This will enable you to use kubectl from the CLI
  2. The command marked as (2) should also be saved for future. This will be used to join nodes to your cluster

kube init command - install kubernetes - edureka

Step 2: As mentioned before, run the commands from the above output as a non-root user

$ mkdir -p $HOME/.kube
$ sudo cp -i /etc/kubernetes/admin.conf $HOME/.kube/config
$ sudo chown $(id -u):$(id -g) $HOME/.kube/config

It should look like this:

commands after kubeinit - install kubernetes - edureka

To verify, if kubectl is working or not, run the following command:

$ kubectl get pods -o wide --all-namespaces

kubectl get pods - install kubernetes - edureka

Step 3: You will notice from the previous command, that all the pods are running except one: ‘kube-dns’. For resolving this we will install a pod network. To install the CALICO pod network, run the following command:

$ kubectl apply -f https://docs.projectcalico.org/v3.0/getting-started/kubernetes/installation/hosted/kubeadm/1.7/calico.yaml 

After some time, you will notice that all pods shift to the running state

kubectl get pods - install kubernetes - edureka

Step 4: Next, we will install the dashboard. To install the Dashboard, run the following command:

$ kubectl create -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes/dashboard/master/src/deploy/recommended/kubernetes-dashboard.yaml

It will look something like this:

create kube dashboard command - install kubernetes - edureka

Step 5: Your dashboard is now ready with it’s the pod in the running state.

kube dashboard ready - install kubernetes - edureka

Step 6: By default dashboard will not be visible on the Master VM. Run the following command in the command line:

$ kubectl proxy

Then you will get something like this:

kubectl proxy - install kubernetes - edureka

To view the dashboard in the browser, navigate to the following address in the browser of your Master VM: http://localhost:8001/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/https:kubernetes-dashboard:/proxy/

You will then be prompted with this page, to enter the credentials:

kube dashboard token prompt - install kubernetes - edureka

Step 7: In this step, we will create the service account for the dashboard and get it’s credentials.
Note: Run all these commands in a new terminal, or your kubectl proxy command will stop. 

Run the following commands:

1. This command will create a service account for dashboard in the default namespace

$ kubectl create serviceaccount dashboard -n default

2. This command will add the cluster binding rules to your dashboard account

$ kubectl create clusterrolebinding dashboard-admin -n default 

3. This command will give you the token required for your dashboard login

$ kubectl get secret $(kubectl get serviceaccount dashboard -o jsonpath="{.secrets[0].name}") -o jsonpath="{.data.token}" | base64 --decode

You should get the token like this:

kube dashboard token - install kubernetes - edureka

4. Copy this token and paste it in Dashboard Login Page, by selecting token option

kube dashboard token entry - install kubernetes - edureka

5. You have successfully logged into your dashboard!

kubernetes dashboard view - install kubernetes - edureka

Steps For Only Kubernetes Node VM (knode)

It is time to get your node, to join the cluster! This is probably the only step that you will be doing on the node, after installing kubernetes on it.

Run the join command that you saved, when you ran ‘kubeadm init’ command on the master.

Note: Run this command with “sudo”.

sudo kubeadm join --apiserver-advertise-address=<ip-address-of-the master> --pod-network-cidr=

kubernetes node joined cluster - install kubernetes - edureka

Bingo! Your Kubernetes Cluster is ready if you get something similar to the above screenshot. 

So that brings an end to this blog on how to install kubernetes on Ubuntu 16.04. Do look out for other blogs in this series which will explain the various other aspects of Kubernetes. 

  • Cirigiri Madhu says:

    I got below error while installing the kubernetes dashboard.

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ kubectl create -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes/dashboard/master/src/deploy/recommended/kubernetes-dashboard.yaml
    error: unable to read URL “https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kuberied toznetes/dashboard/master/src/deploy/rengcommended/kubernetes-dashboard.yaml”, server reported 404 Not Found, status code=404

    Even i tried to access direct yaml file i am getting page not reachable.


  • Bence Balogh says:

    Hi all,

    After kubeadm init I got pods in pending state. I run “kubectl apply -f ...calico.yaml” and then its pod is also stuck in pending.
    I checked my nodes, and they are in NotReady state, the describe says something like:
    Ready False ... ... KubeletNotReady runtime network not ready: NetworkReady=false reason:NetworkPluginNotReady message:docker: network plugin is not ready: cni config uninitialized

    Although I run “kubectl apply ..calico“, see above.

    Note: i’m using 2 network interfaces on my nodes, one for the whole local network (10.X.X.X ips), and one for my kubernetes cluster (192.168.1.X ips, via vlan.)

    Could you help or give some tips please?

    PS.: I tried run as single node cluster “kubectl taint nodes --all node-role.kubernetes.io/master-“, but it neither works

  • Balaji R says:

    kube-system kubernetes-dashboard-57df4db6b-2mbr5 0/1 ImagePullBackOff 0 127m kmaster

    I am getting this above error cause of which I am unable to access the dashboard and also rest of the modules are in “Running” state. What can be issue and the resolution methods ?


  • Juhi Bhadviya says:

    I was able to setup the master perfrctly, but when running the join command on node, I get error:

    [preflight] Running pre-flight checks
    [discovery] Trying to connect to API Server “”
    [discovery] Created cluster-info discovery client, requesting info from “”
    [discovery] Failed to request cluster info, will try again: [Get dial tcp i/o timeout]
    [discovery] Failed to request cluster info, will try again: [Get dial tcp i/o timeout]

  • Dhiraj Goundgave says:

    I want to create a two node cluster. One will be a worker node and other will be both i.e. master and worker (if possible, just master otherwise). I’ve two AWS EC2 ubuntu instances.

    You said one needs to import those 2 plain ubuntu VMs to Oracle Virtualbox. How do we do that? I mean, how to import those into virtualbox. Sorry, I do know much of these, novice here.

    Any help is appreciated.

  • Aman Khare says:

    After running kadm init command
    when i do kubectl get pods -o wide –all-namespace
    I am getting 2 pods coming in pending state

    root@kmaster:/home/amank-master# kubectl get pods -o wide –all-namespaces
    kube-system coredns-86c58d9df4-ctxtz 0/1 Pending 0 2m43s
    kube-system coredns-86c58d9df4-m88fx 0/1 Pending 0 2m43s

    kube-system etcd-kmaster 1/1 Running 0 2m10s kmaster

    kube-system kube-apiserver-kmaster 1/1 Running 0 2m7s kmaster

    kube-system kube-controller-manager-kmaster 1/1 Running 0 2m2s kmaster

    kube-system kube-proxy-vmqz4 1/1 Running 0 2m43s kmaster

    kube-system kube-scheduler-kmaster 1/1 Running 0 118s kmaster

    Later on trying to run kubectl apply -f https://docs.projectcalico.org/v3.0/getting-started/kubernetes/installation/hosted/kubeadm/1.7/calico.yaml both coredns as well as calico pods are coming as pending

    root@kmaster:/home/amank-master# kubectl get pods -n kube-system
    calico-kube-controllers-694687c474-jmzhw 0/1 Pending 0 3m19s
    coredns-86c58d9df4-hjkwz 0/1 Pending 0 4m48s
    coredns-86c58d9df4-rkhw6 0/1 Pending 0 4m48s
    etcd-kmaster 1/1 Running 0 3m54s
    kube-apiserver-kmaster 1/1 Running 0 4m13s
    kube-controller-manager-kmaster 1/1 Running 0 3m57s
    kube-proxy-fr42c 1/1 Running 0 4m49s
    kube-scheduler-kmaster 1/1 Running 0 4m14s

    can anyone suggest something for this?

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