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Kubernetes API

The Kubernetes API is the entrypoint to managing your Kubernetes resources. Your Compliant Kubernetes administrator will provide you with a kubeconfig file upon onboarding, which is required to access the API.

The following sections describe how to access the cluster in order to manage your Kubernetes resources.

Authentication and Access Control in Compliant Kubernetes

In order to facilitate access control and audit logging, Compliant Kubernetes imposes a certain way to access the Kubernetes API. The kubeconfig file provides individual access to the Kubernetes API through dex. Normally, you should authenticate using your organizations identity provider connected to dex, but it is also possible for your administrator to configure static usernames and passwords.

The authorization is done by the Kubernetes API based on Kubernetes role-based access controls. Your cluster administrator will grant you permissions as part of onboarding. You have administrator access to the user workload Kubernetes Namespaces by default. In order to follow the principle of least privilege, you as an user should only have sufficient access to manage resources required by your application. User access to the Kubernetes API may need to be restricted from case to case to follow the principle of least privilege.


Regardless of your privilege, you will not be able to see components such as Harbor and Elasticsearch via the Kubernetes API. This is in order to comply with common logging policies, which requires logging to be sent to a tamper-proof environment. The tamper-proof environment needs to be separated from the production cluster.

Usage guide

This section focuses on using the kubeconfig.

Using the kubeconfig file

The kubeconfig file can be used with kubectl by:

  • Setting and exporting the KUBECONFIG environment variable:

Setting KUBECONFIG in terminal

Authenticating to the Kubernetes API

To authenticate to the Kubernetes API, run a kubectl command. The oidc-login plugin will launch a browser where you log in to the cluster:

Dex login page

This page contains the authentication options provided by your administrator. Select your log in method and log in:

User authentication page

Once you have logged in through the browser, you are authenticated to the cluster:

Successful login

Your credentials will then be used by the Kubernetes API to make sure you are authorized. You are now logged in and can use kubectl to manage your Kubernetes resources!

Further reading