Configuring kubectl on an OVHcloud Managed Kubernetes cluster

Find out how to retrieve the `kubectl` configuration file to interact with an OVHcloud Managed Kubernetes cluster.

Last updated 27th April, 2022.


The OVHcloud Managed Kubernetes service gives you access to Kubernetes clusters, without the hassle of installing or operating them.

This guide will cover how to retrieve the kubectl configuration file to interact with an OVHcloud Managed Kubernetes cluster.


You can find the detailed installation instructions for kubectl in Kubernetes' official documentation.


Step 1 - Configure the default settings for kubectl

Log in to the OVHcloud Control Panel, go to the Public Cloud section and select the Public Cloud project concerned.

Access the administration UI for your OVHcloud Managed Kubernetes clusters by clicking on Managed Kubernetes Service in the left-hand menu.

Then, click on one of your Kubernetes cluster in the tab.

Configuring default settings for kubectl

Then, click on kubeconfig to download the kubectl configuration file:

Configuring default settings for kubectl

How kubeconfig files are loaded?

    1. from the --kubeconfig flag, is specified
    1. from the KUBECONFIG environment variable, if set
    1. from the $HOME/.kube/config file, by default

So, after downloading it, if you want to use this configuration file by default in kubectl, you can save it with the filename config in the $HOME/.kube/ directory. Alternatively, you can place it in your working directory, with either the KUBECONFIG environment variable or the --kubeconfig flag.

In this example, we are using the KUBECONFIG environment variable method.

For MacOS or Linux:

Type the following command into your terminal:

export KUBECONFIG=/Users/myuser/.kube/my-test-cluster.yml

For Windows 7, 10 and 11 :

  1. From the Windows menu or Cortana search bar, search for "Modify system environment variables".
  2. In the System Properties window, click on the Advanced tab, then click the Environment Variables button near the bottom.
  3. In the window that opens (pictured below), add a new variable, KUBECONFIG, with the path to the kube-config file as its value.

Add environment variables

You can also add the variable for the current shell process with this command :

set KUBECONFIG=my-test-cluster.yml

Step 2 - Verify that kubectl can connect to the cluster

You can verify that kubectl is able to interact with the cluster by using it to send a cluster-info command:

kubectl cluster-info

The cluster should return a response with some key information about itself:

$ kubectl cluster-info
Kubernetes control plane is running at
CoreDNS is running at
Metrics-server is running at

To further debug and diagnose cluster problems, use 'kubectl cluster-info dump'.

Define the access for several Kubernetes clusters

You can also specify several kubeconfig files in your KUBECONFIG environment variable, separated by a colon (:).

export KUBECONFIG=/Users/myuser/.kube/my-test-cluster.yml:/Users/myuser/.kube/my-test-cluster2.yml

Switch to a different cluster

You can switch between different clusters by using the kubectl config command.

$ kubectl config use-context kubernetes-admin@my-test-cluster
Switched to context "kubernetes-admin@my-test-cluster".

$ kubectl config use-context kubernetes-admin@my-test-cluster2
Switched to context "kubernetes-admin@my-test-cluster2".

Or you can install and use kubectx.

Go further

To deploy your first application on your Kubernetes cluster, we suggest you refer to our guide to Deploying an application.

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