Kubernetes Setup

Kubernetes is a container orchestration system.

A basic Flink cluster deployment in Kubernetes has three components:

  • a Deployment for a single Jobmanager
  • a Deployment for a pool of Taskmanagers
  • a Service exposing the Jobmanager’s RPC and UI ports

Launching the cluster

Using the resource definitions found below, launch the cluster with the kubectl command:

kubectl create -f jobmanager-deployment.yaml
kubectl create -f taskmanager-deployment.yaml
kubectl create -f jobmanager-service.yaml

You can then access the Flink UI via kubectl proxy:

  1. Run kubectl proxy in a terminal
  2. Navigate to http://localhost:8001/api/v1/proxy/namespaces/default/services/flink-jobmanager:8081 in your browser

Deleting the cluster

Again, use kubectl to delete the cluster:

kubectl delete -f jobmanager-deployment.yaml
kubectl delete -f jobmanager-service.yaml
kubectl delete -f taskmanager-deployment.yaml
Running Flink natively on kubernetes is an experimental feature. There may be behavioral changes of configuration and cli arguments.


  • Kubernetes 1.6 or above
  • kubectl has access to list, create, delete pods and services (can be configured in ~/.kube/config). You can verify that by kubectl auth can-i <list|create|edit|delete> pods
  • Kubernetes DNS enabled

Docker images

Use the following command to build a image with user jar

cd flink-container/docker

./build.sh --job-jar examples/streaming/WordCount.jar --from-local-dist --image-name <ImageName>

docker push <ImageName>

Start a Session

Use the following command to start a session


This command will show you the following overview:

     -ms,--master <arg>   Kubernetes cluster master url
     -n,--pods <arg>      Number of kubernetes pods to allocate (=Number of Task Managers)
     -D <property=value>             use value for given property
     -d,--detached                   If present, runs the job in detached mode
     -h,--help                       Help for the kubernetes session CLI.
     -i,--image <arg>                Container image to use for Flink containers.
                                     Individual container types (e.g. jobmanager or taskmanager)
                                     can also be configured to use different images if desired,
                                     by setting the container type-specific image name.
     -jm,--jobManagerMemory <arg>    Memory for JobManager Container [in MB]
     -nm,--name <arg>                Set a custom name for the flink cluster on kubernetes
     -ns,--namespace <arg>           Specify kubernetes namespace.
     -s,--slots <arg>                Number of slots per TaskManager
     -sa,--serviceaddress <arg>      The exposed address of kubernetes service to submit job and view dashboard.
     -tm,--taskManagerMemory <arg>   Memory per TaskManager Container [in MB]

Example: Issue the following command to allocate 4 Task Managers, with 8GB of memory and 32 processing slots each:

./bin/kubernetes-session.sh -ms https://k8s-master:port -n 4 -tm 8192 -i flink-k8s:latest

Blob Server and Task Manager are required to use nonrandom RPC ports. They can be configured with the following config options, either in flink-conf.yaml or as -D flags at starting the session.

blob.server.port: 7788
taskmanager.rpc.port: 7789

Once Flink is deployed in your kubernetes cluster, it will show you the connection details of the Job Manager.

Detached Kubernetes Session

In detached mode, the Flink client will exit after submitting the the service to the kubernetes cluster. If you want to stop the Kubernetes session, please use the Kubernetes utilities(kubectl delete service <ServiceName>). You can also start another client and attach to the session to stop it.

Accessing Job Manager UI

There are several ways to expose a Service onto an external (outside of your cluster) IP address. This could be changed by kubernetes.service.exposed.type.

  • ClusterIP: Default value, exposes the service on a cluster-internal IP. The Service is only reachable from within the cluster. If you want to access the Job Manager ui or submit job to the existing session, you need to start a local proxy.
kubectl port-forward service/<ServiceName> 8081
  • NodePort: Exposes the service on each Node’s IP at a static port (the NodePort). <NodeIP>:<NodePort> could be used to contact the Job Manager Service.
  • LoadBalancer: Exposes the service externally using a cloud provider’s load balancer. You could use kubectl get services/<ServiceName> to get EXTERNAL-IP for ServiceAddress argument.
  • ExternalName: Map a service to a DNS name, not supported in current version.

Navigate to publishing services in Kubernetes to get more information.

Submitting job to an existing Session

Use the following command to submit job

bin/flink run -m kubernetes-cluster -knm <ClusterId> -ksa <ServiceAddress> examples/streaming/WordCount.jar
  • The ClusterId is specified by -nm when starting a session. If you do not specify a certain name, Flink client will generate a UUID for you session cluster.
  • The ServiceName is auto generated following the pattern <ClusterId>-service
  • The ServiceAddress is the address of Job Manager service. It could be localhost, <NodeIP>:<NodePort> or EXTERNAL-IP based on exposed type.

Attach to an existing Session

Use the following command to attach to a session.

./bin/kubernetes-session.sh -ms https://k8s-master:port -nm <ClusterId> -sa <ServiceAddress>

The documentation above describes how to start a Flink cluster within a Kubernetes environment. It is also possible to launch a new Flink cluster for executing each individual job with better isolation.


./bin/flink run -m kubernetes-cluster -kms https://k8s-master:port -kn 4 -ki flink-k8s:latest examples/streaming/WordCount.jar

The command line options of the Kubernetes session are also available with the ./bin/flink tool. They are prefixed with a k or kubernetes (for the long argument options).

Note: In attach mode, the argument -kn (number of TaskManagers) is required and kubernetes.service.exposed.type must be either NODE_PORT or LOAD_BALANCER.

Note: You can use a different configuration directory per job by setting the environment variable FLINK_CONF_DIR. To use this copy the conf directory from the Flink distribution and modify, for example, the logging settings on a per-job basis.

Note: It is also possible to “fire and forget” a Flink job to the Kubernetes cluster in detached mode. Use -m to specify the kubernetes-cluster and -d for detached mode. The -kn argument will not take effect and resource is allocated as demand. Also in this case, your application will not get any accumulator results or exceptions from the ExecutionEnvironment.execute() call!

Note: If you want to accessing the Job Manager UI or get the logs, set kubernetes.destroy-perjob-cluster.after-job-finished=false and the Flink cluster will not be destroyed after finished.

Debug a failed Kubernetes cluster

Users could use the following command to retrieve logs of Job Manager and Task Manager.

kubectl logs pod/<PodName>

Kubernetes concepts


Namespaces in Kubernetes are a way to divide cluster resources between multiple users (via resource quota). It is similar to queue concept in Yarn cluster. Flink on Kubernetes can use namespaces to launch Flink clusters. The namespace could be specified by -ns argument when starting a Flink cluster.

ResourceQuota provides constraints that limit aggregate resource consumption per namespace. It can limit the quantity of objects that can be created in a namespace by type, as well as the total amount of compute resources that may be consumed by resources in that project.


Role-based access control (RBAC) is a method of regulating access to compute or network resources based on the roles of individual users within an enterprise. So users can configure RBAC roles and service accounts used by Flink JobManager to access the Kubernetes API server within the Kubernetes cluster.

Every namespace will have a default service account. However, the default service account may not have the permission to create or delete pods within the Kubernetes cluster. So users may need to specify another service account that has the right role binded. The configuration option kubernetes.jobmanager.service-account could be used to set the service account. Use the following command to make the JobManager pod use the flink service account to create and delete TaskManager pods.

-D kubernetes.jobmanager.service-account=flink

If the flink service account does not exist, use the following command to create a new one and set the role binding.

kubectl create serviceaccount flink
kubectl create clusterrolebinding flink-role-binding --clusterrole=edit --serviceaccount=default:flink --namespace=default

Navigate to RBAC Authorization for more information.

Advanced Cluster Deployment

An early version of a Flink Helm chart is available on GitHub.



apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
kind: Deployment
  name: flink-jobmanager
  replicas: 1
        app: flink
        component: jobmanager
      - name: jobmanager
        image: flink:latest
        - jobmanager
        - containerPort: 6123
          name: rpc
        - containerPort: 6124
          name: blob
        - containerPort: 6125
          name: query
        - containerPort: 8081
          name: ui
          value: flink-jobmanager


apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
kind: Deployment
  name: flink-taskmanager
  replicas: 2
        app: flink
        component: taskmanager
      - name: taskmanager
        image: flink:latest
        - taskmanager
        - containerPort: 6121
          name: data
        - containerPort: 6122
          name: rpc
        - containerPort: 6125
          name: query
          value: flink-jobmanager


apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: flink-jobmanager
  - name: rpc
    port: 6123
  - name: blob
    port: 6124
  - name: query
    port: 6125
  - name: ui
    port: 8081
    app: flink
    component: jobmanager

This section briefly describes how Flink and Kubernetes interact.

When starting a Kubernetes session, Flink client will first (step 1) contact to Kubernetes ApiServer to submit the cluster description, including ConfigMap spec, Job Manager Service spec, Job Manager Replica Controller spec and Owner Reference.

The next step (step 2), Kubernetes Master create the required components. The Kubelet will pull the image, prepare and mount the volume and then execute the start command.

Once Flink JobManager pod is launched, the ResourceManager will allocate (step 3) the specified number of Task Managers. The JobManager will generate a new configuration for the TaskManagers, with the address of Job Manager set to ServiceName. This allows the TaskManagers to connect back to the JobManager after failover).

After all TaskManagers are launched and registered to ResourceManager and JobManager, the session is ready to accept jobs. Back to top