11 of the Best Open-Source Kubernetes Tools - 2021 Edition

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on dev.to

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  • dashboard

    General-purpose web UI for Kubernetes clusters

    Kubernetes projects like Minikube come out of the box with a sleek and straightforward GUI called Dashboard. It is an excellent read-focused view of the environment, but what if you want to do everything from a UI?

  • tilt

    Define your dev environment as code. For microservice apps on Kubernetes.

    Give Tilt a swing if you know you want to see the details without being overwhelmed by them.


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  • skaffold

    Easy and Repeatable Kubernetes Development

    Imagine you're a developer (because you are) and you want to write an app that will run on Kubernetes (because you do). The amount of Kubernetes concepts you need to know, from running Node.js or Python applications to running containers on Kubernetes can feel like a wall of YAML. Thankfully, the good folks at Google wrote Skaffold to provide some much-needed scaffolding.

  • podman

    Podman: A tool for managing OCI containers and pods.

    While Dockerfiles may forever be the way we express a container, Docker itself is completely optional. Even Kubernetes itself is shifting its runtime away from Dockershim. I cannot recommend Podman enough as a replacement for running Docker locally, for the sole reason you don't need to maintain a daemon service. Not messing with a daemon means less time fiddling and more time coding.

  • devspace-plugin-loft

    Loft Plugin for DevSpace - adds commands like `devspace create space` or `devspace create vcluster` to DevSpace

    Loft offers a set of services, including a UI and CLI, to further abstract the Kubernetes environments they'll eventually run on in production. By doing so, you can set up a self-service experience without the same concern for isolation and budget.

  • lens

    Lens - The way the world runs Kubernetes

    The most powerful option from the open source community is Lens. I really should not call it a GUI, because it's feature-rich enough to be considered an IDE. You can do anything Kubernetes is capable of doing within Lens with a click of the button. What I most enjoy about Lens is its incredible thought context-specific options that help me learn the distinction of a service from a namespace from the many other resources that need to be known in Kubernetes land.

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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