K3D is my favorite way to run Kubernetes(K8s) clusters on my laptop. It is extremely lightweight and very fast. It is a wrapper around K3S using Docker. Krew is an essential tool to manage Kubectl plugins, this is a must have for any K8s user. I won’t go into the details of the more than 145 plugins available but at least install kubens and kubectx.
In this article I will try to summarize my favorite tools for Kubernetes with special emphasis on the newest and lesser known tools which I think will become very popular.
This is just my personal list based on my experience but, in order to avoid biases, I will try to also mention alternatives to each tool so you can compare and decide based on your needs. I will keep this article as short as I can and I will try to provide links so you can explore more on your own. My goal is to answer the question:_ “How can I do X in Kubernetes?”_ by describing tools for different software development tasks.
K3D is my favorite way to run Kubernetes(K8s) clusters on my laptop. It is extremely lightweight and very fast. It is a wrapper around K3S using Docker. So, you only need Docker to run it and it has a very low resource usage. The only problem is that** it is not fully K8s compliant**, but this shouldn’t be an issue for local development. For test environments you can use other solutions. K3D is faster than Kind, but Kind is fully compliant.
Lens is an IDE for K8s for SREs, Ops and Developers. It works with any Kubernetes distribution: on-prem or in the cloud. It is fast, easy to use and provides real time observability. With Lens it is very easy to manage many clusters. This is a must have if you are a cluster operator.
Our original Kubernetes tool list was so popular that we've curated another great list of tools to help you improve your functionality with the platform.
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