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How to Use Environment Variables in Kubernetes

How to Use Environment Variables in Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration system used to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. One of the key features of Kubernetes is the ability to use environment variables to configure applications. Environment variables are used to set configuration values and can be used to configure anything from database credentials to application settings.

In this article, we will explore how to use environment variables in Kubernetes, and how they can be used to configure your applications.

Setting Environment Variables in Kubernetes

In Kubernetes, you can set environment variables in several ways. You can set them directly in a container specification, as well as using ConfigMaps and Secrets.

To set environment variables directly in a container specification, you can use the following syntax:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
name: my-pod
spec:
containers:
- name: my-container
image: my-image
env:
- name: MY_ENV_VAR
value: my-env-var-value

In this example, we are setting the environment variable MY_ENV_VAR to the value my-env-var-value. You can set multiple environment variables by adding additional - name and value fields.

Using ConfigMaps and Secrets

ConfigMaps and Secrets are Kubernetes resources that can be used to store configuration data. They can be used to store environment variables, as well as other configuration data such as files.

To create a ConfigMap, you can use the following command:

kubectl create configmap my-config --from-literal=MY_ENV_VAR=my-env-var-value

In this example, we are creating a ConfigMap named my-config, and setting the environment variable MY_ENV_VAR to the value my-env-var-value.

To use a ConfigMap in a container specification, you can use the following syntax:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
name: my-pod
spec:
containers:
- name: my-container
image: my-image
envFrom:
- configMapRef:
name: my-config

In this example, we are setting the environment variables in the container specification using the envFrom field, which specifies that the environment variables should be taken from a ConfigMap named my-config.

To create a Secret, you can use the following command:

kubectl create secret generic my-secret --from-literal=MY_SECRET=my-secret-value

In this example, we are creating a Secret named my-secret, and setting the environment variable MY_SECRET to the value my-secret-value.

To use a Secret in a container specification, you can use the following syntax:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
name: my-pod
spec:
containers:
- name: my-container
image: my-image
envFrom:
- secretRef:
name: my-secret

In this example, we are setting the environment variables in the container specification using the envFrom field, which specifies that the environment variables should be taken from a Secret named my-secret.

In this article, we have explored how to use environment variables in Kubernetes, and how they can be used to configure your applications. We have seen how environment variables can be set directly in a container specification, as well as using ConfigMaps and Secrets.

By using environment variables in your Kubernetes applications, you can easily manage your application configuration and make it more flexible and configurable.

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  • That's it for this post. Keep practicing and have fun. Leave your comments if any.

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