Guest post by Ranjan Parthasarathy, Co-Founder, LOGIQ
Helm is a Kubernetes package manager that helps you find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes. With Helm Charts, you can bundle Kubernetes deployments into a single package you can install by running a single command.
This article will explain how you can deploy your favorite Helm Chart on MicroK8s in under 5 minutes.
What is MicroK8s?
MicroK8s is a lightweight, pure-upstream Kubernetes aiming to reduce entry barriers for K8s and cloud-native application development. It comes in a single package that installs a single-node (standalone) K8s cluster in under 60 seconds. While MicroK8s has all the Kubernetes core components, it is also opinionated, which means that many of the add-ons you would typically look for in Kubernetes, such as DNS, Helm, registry, storage, etc. are all a single command away.
In this demo, we’ll use the LOGIQ Helm Chart. You can also use your own favorite Helm Chart that you’d like to try out. Let’s also assume that you have access to the Linux operating system.
As a first step, let’s install MicroK8s on your machine by running the following commands:
sudo apt-get -y update
sudo snap install core
sudo snap install microk8s --classic
sudo usermod -a -G microk8s $USER
sudo chown -f -R $USER ~/.kube
sudo microk8s config > ~/.kube/config
Now, let’s check whether MicroK8s is up and running or not with the command:
sudo microk8s status
Now that we have MicroK8s up and running, let’s set up your cluster and enable the add-ons that MicroK8s readily provides, like Helm, DNS, ingress, storage, and private registry. These add-ons can be enabled and disabled at any time, and most are pre-configured to work without any additional setup.
Run the following commands to enable add-ons:
microk8s enable helm
microk8s enable storage
microk8s enable dns
microk8s enable ingress
microk8s enable registry
microk8s.kubectl config view > $HOME/.kube/config
Provisioning an IP address
We need an endpoint or an IP address to access the application we’re spinning up. This endpoint can either be within or outside our cluster. For this, let’s leverage MetalLB – a Kubernetes-aware solution that can monitor services with the type LoadBalancer and assign them an IP address. Alternatively, you can also set an IP address while enabling add-ons.
While provisioning an IP address, you can use your local machine’s IP address, which pulls up the stack at IP-address:80. If you do not know your local machine’s IP address, run the ifconfig command as shown below and use the output of the command:
wlp60s0: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet 192.168.1.27 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.1.255
Next, enable MetalLB by running:
microk8s enable metallb
Enter each IP address range delimited by comma (e.g. ‘10.64.140.43-10.64.140.49,192.168.0.105-192.168.0.111’): 192.168.1.27-192.168.1.27
Note: If you’re spinning up an EC2 instance from AWS, MetalLB might not work due to private/public IP configuration. We’ll take a closer look at and resolve this issue in another article.
Bring in the Helm Chart
Now that the configuration bits are in place, it’s time to bring in your Helm Chart. Like we mentioned above, we’re using the LOGIQ Helm Chart and Helm 3 in the following commands. You can replace the Helm Chart repo URL in the following command with your own Helm Chart’s repo URL if you’re trying another chart.
helm repo add logiq-repo https://logiqai.github.io/helm-charts
helm repo update
Bringing up our application
Next, let’s create a namespace called logiq for the LOGIQ stack to spin up from and start running with the command:
microk8s kubectl create namespace logiq
And then run helm install with the storage class set to the microk8s-hostpath as shown below:
helm install logiq -n logiq --set global.persistence.storageClass=microk8s-hostpath logiq-repo/logiq -f values.yaml --debug --timeout 10m
Note: The values.yml file used in the command above is customized to suit our cluster’s configuration.
Our application is now ready to go. Before we launch it, let’s inspect the pods in your cluster by running the following command in the logiq namespace we created:
microk8s kubectl get pod -n logiq
We can now access our application by hitting the MetalLB endpoint we defined earlier in this article. To find the endpoint, let’s search for the LoadBalancer service that knows which IP address MicroK8s exposes.
Run the command:
microk8s kubectl get service -n logiq |grep -i loadbalancer
logiq-kubernetes-ingress LoadBalancer 10.152.183.45 192.168.1.2780:30537/TCP,20514:30222/TCP,24224:30909/TCP,24225:31991/TCP,2514:30800/TCP,3000:32680/TCP,514:32450/TCP,7514:30267/TCP,8081:30984/TCP,9998:31425/TCP 18m
Now, using the web browser you love, navigate to the IP address shown by the LoadBalancer service above: http://192.168.1.27:80
And voila! Our LOGIQ deployment on MicroK8s using a Helm Chart is up and running! As you can see, Helm Charts make it much easier to deploy complex applications on Kubernetes clusters. Along with superfast deployments, Helm Charts also help you streamline your CI/CD pipeline by automating various tasks that need to be carried out by default which is why we’re such huge fans of it.
At LOGIQ, we use Helm Charts on the regular. One of our favorite Helm Charts is LOGIQ – the same Helm Chart we use for quick deployments of the LOGIQ observability platform for customers, prospects, and folks who’d love to know more about what we’re building.