Deploy NGINX to a Kubernetes Cluster

In this tutorial, we’ll deploy nginx to a Kubernetes cluster, and publicly expose it to the Internet with an IP address, using a Kubernetes Service. Along the way, we’ll get a flavor for the Pulumi CLI utility, and a general sense of the workflow for writing and managing Kubernetes applications with Pulumi.

In the gif below we see the experience of deploying this example with pulumi up. Notice that Pulumi has an inherent notion of “done-ness” – Pulumi waits for the IP address to be allocated to the Service. Because this example uses the Pulumi concept of stack exports to report this IP address, in this example we are also able to use curl to reach the nginx server.

Allocating a public IP to a Deployment

Running the App

Start by downloading the example code.

If you haven’t already, follow the steps in Pulumi Installation and Setup and Configuring Pulumi Kubernetes to get setup with Pulumi and Kubernetes.

Now, install dependencies:

$ npm install

Create a new stack:

$ pulumi stack init
Enter a stack name: exposed-deployment-dev

This example will attempt to expose the nginx deployment Internet with a Service of type LoadBalancer. Since minikube does not support LoadBalancer, the application already knows to use type ClusterIP instead; all you need to do is to tell it whether you’re deploying to minikube:

$ pulumi config set isMinikube <value>

Perform the deployment:

$ pulumi up
Updating stack 'exposed-deployment-dev'
Performing changes:

     Type                           Name                                       Status      Info
 +   pulumi:pulumi:Stack            exposed-deployment-exposed-deployment-dev  created     1 warning
 +   ├─ kubernetes:apps:Deployment  nginx                                      created
 +   └─ kubernetes:core:Service     nginx                                      created     2 info messages

  kubernetes:core:Service: nginx
    info: ✅ Service 'nginx-rn6uipeg' successfully created endpoint objects

    info: ✅ Service has been allocated an IP

frontendIp: ""

info: 3 changes performed:
    + 3 resources created
Update duration: 46.555593397s


We can see here in the ---outputs:--- section that nginx was allocated a public IP, in this case It is exported with a stack output variable, frontendIp. We can use curl and grep to retrieve the <title> of the site the proxy points at.

Note: minikube does not support type LoadBalancer; if you are deploying to minikube, make sure to run kubectl port-forward svc/frontend 8080:80 to forward the cluster port to the local machine and access the service via localhost:8080.

$ curl -sL $(pulumi stack output frontendIp) | grep "<title>"
<title>Welcome to nginx!</title>

Next steps

Now that nginx is deployed and exposed to the internet with an IP, try playing around with the example!

If we change the nginx image to nginx:1.16-alpine, we can run pulumi preview --diff and see this change reported to us:


Notice also that if you provide an image that does not exist, Pulumi will report errors as it sees them. You should see something similar in principle to this: