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DNS for Services and Pods

Your workload can discover Services within your cluster using DNS; this page explains how that works.

Kubernetes creates DNS records for Services and Pods. You can contact Services with consistent DNS names instead of IP addresses.

Kubernetes publishes information about Pods and Services which is used to program DNS. Kubelet configures Pods' DNS so that running containers can lookup Services by name rather than IP.

Services defined in the cluster are assigned DNS names. By default, a client Pod's DNS search list includes the Pod's own namespace and the cluster's default domain.

Namespaces of Services

A DNS query may return different results based on the namespace of the Pod making it. DNS queries that don't specify a namespace are limited to the Pod's namespace. Access Services in other namespaces by specifying it in the DNS query.

For example, consider a Pod in a test namespace. A data Service is in the prod namespace.

A query for data returns no results, because it uses the Pod's test namespace.

A query for data.prod returns the intended result, because it specifies the namespace.

DNS queries may be expanded using the Pod's /etc/resolv.conf. Kubelet configures this file for each Pod. For example, a query for just data may be expanded to data.test.svc.cluster.local. The values of the search option are used to expand queries. To learn more about DNS queries, see the resolv.conf manual page.

nameserver 10.32.0.10
search <namespace>.svc.cluster.local svc.cluster.local cluster.local
options ndots:5

In summary, a Pod in the test namespace can successfully resolve either data.prod or data.prod.svc.cluster.local.

DNS Records

What objects get DNS records?

  1. Services
  2. Pods

The following sections detail the supported DNS record types and layout that is supported. Any other layout or names or queries that happen to work are considered implementation details and are subject to change without warning. For more up-to-date specification, see Kubernetes DNS-Based Service Discovery.

Services

A/AAAA records

"Normal" (not headless) Services are assigned DNS A and/or AAAA records, depending on the IP family or families of the Service, with a name of the form my-svc.my-namespace.svc.cluster-domain.example. This resolves to the cluster IP of the Service.

Headless Services (without a cluster IP) Services are also assigned DNS A and/or AAAA records, with a name of the form my-svc.my-namespace.svc.cluster-domain.example. Unlike normal Services, this resolves to the set of IPs of all of the Pods selected by the Service. Clients are expected to consume the set or else use standard round-robin selection from the set.

SRV records

SRV Records are created for named ports that are part of normal or headless services. For each named port, the SRV record has the form _port-name._port-protocol.my-svc.my-namespace.svc.cluster-domain.example. For a regular Service, this resolves to the port number and the domain name: my-svc.my-namespace.svc.cluster-domain.example. For a headless Service, this resolves to multiple answers, one for each Pod that is backing the Service, and contains the port number and the domain name of the Pod of the form hostname.my-svc.my-namespace.svc.cluster-domain.example.

Pods

A/AAAA records

In general a Pod has the following DNS resolution:

pod-ip-address.my-namespace.pod.cluster-domain.example.

For example, if a Pod in the default namespace has the IP address 172.17.0.3, and the domain name for your cluster is cluster.local, then the Pod has a DNS name:

172-17-0-3.default.pod.cluster.local.

Any Pods exposed by a Service have the following DNS resolution available:

pod-ip-address.service-name.my-namespace.svc.cluster-domain.example.

Pod's hostname and subdomain fields

Currently when a Pod is created, its hostname (as observed from within the Pod) is the Pod's metadata.name value.

The Pod spec has an optional hostname field, which can be used to specify a different hostname. When specified, it takes precedence over the Pod's name to be the hostname of the Pod (again, as observed from within the Pod). For example, given a Pod with spec.hostname set to "my-host", the Pod will have its hostname set to "my-host".

The Pod spec also has an optional subdomain field which can be used to indicate that the pod is part of sub-group of the namespace. For example, a Pod with spec.hostname set to "foo", and spec.subdomain set to "bar", in namespace "my-namespace", will have its hostname set to "foo" and its fully qualified domain name (FQDN) set to "foo.bar.my-namespace.svc.cluster.local" (once more, as observed from within the Pod).

If there exists a headless Service in the same namespace as the Pod, with the same name as the subdomain, the cluster's DNS Server also returns A and/or AAAA records for the Pod's fully qualified hostname.

Example:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  name: busybox-subdomain
spec:
  selector:
    name: busybox
  clusterIP: None
  ports:
  - name: foo # name is not required for single-port Services
    port: 1234
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: busybox1
  labels:
    name: busybox
spec:
  hostname: busybox-1
  subdomain: busybox-subdomain
  containers:
  - image: busybox:1.28
    command:
      - sleep
      - "3600"
    name: busybox
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: busybox2
  labels:
    name: busybox
spec:
  hostname: busybox-2
  subdomain: busybox-subdomain
  containers:
  - image: busybox:1.28
    command:
      - sleep
      - "3600"
    name: busybox

Given the above Service "busybox-subdomain" and the Pods which set spec.subdomain to "busybox-subdomain", the first Pod will see its own FQDN as "busybox-1.busybox-subdomain.my-namespace.svc.cluster-domain.example". DNS serves A and/or AAAA records at that name, pointing to the Pod's IP. Both Pods "busybox1" and "busybox2" will have their own address records.

An EndpointSlice can specify the DNS hostname for any endpoint addresses, along with its IP.

Pod's setHostnameAsFQDN field

FEATURE STATE: Kubernetes v1.22 [stable]

When a Pod is configured to have fully qualified domain name (FQDN), its hostname is the short hostname. For example, if you have a Pod with the fully qualified domain name busybox-1.busybox-subdomain.my-namespace.svc.cluster-domain.example, then by default the hostname command inside that Pod returns busybox-1 and the hostname --fqdn command returns the FQDN.

When you set setHostnameAsFQDN: true in the Pod spec, the kubelet writes the Pod's FQDN into the hostname for that Pod's namespace. In this case, both hostname and hostname --fqdn return the Pod's FQDN.

Pod's DNS Policy

DNS policies can be set on a per-Pod basis. Currently Kubernetes supports the following Pod-specific DNS policies. These policies are specified in the dnsPolicy field of a Pod Spec.

  • "Default": The Pod inherits the name resolution configuration from the node that the Pods run on. See related discussion for more details.
  • "ClusterFirst": Any DNS query that does not match the configured cluster domain suffix, such as "www.kubernetes.io", is forwarded to an upstream nameserver by the DNS server. Cluster administrators may have extra stub-domain and upstream DNS servers configured. See related discussion for details on how DNS queries are handled in those cases.
  • "ClusterFirstWithHostNet": For Pods running with hostNetwork, you should explicitly set its DNS policy to "ClusterFirstWithHostNet". Otherwise, Pods running with hostNetwork and "ClusterFirst" will fallback to the behavior of the "Default" policy.
    • Note: This is not supported on Windows. See below for details
  • "None": It allows a Pod to ignore DNS settings from the Kubernetes environment. All DNS settings are supposed to be provided using the dnsConfig field in the Pod Spec. See Pod's DNS config subsection below.

The example below shows a Pod with its DNS policy set to "ClusterFirstWithHostNet" because it has hostNetwork set to true.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: busybox
  namespace: default
spec:
  containers:
  - image: busybox:1.28
    command:
      - sleep
      - "3600"
    imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
    name: busybox
  restartPolicy: Always
  hostNetwork: true
  dnsPolicy: ClusterFirstWithHostNet

Pod's DNS Config

FEATURE STATE: Kubernetes v1.14 [stable]

Pod's DNS Config allows users more control on the DNS settings for a Pod.

The dnsConfig field is optional and it can work with any dnsPolicy settings. However, when a Pod's dnsPolicy is set to "None", the dnsConfig field has to be specified.

Below are the properties a user can specify in the dnsConfig field:

  • nameservers: a list of IP addresses that will be used as DNS servers for the Pod. There can be at most 3 IP addresses specified. When the Pod's dnsPolicy is set to "None", the list must contain at least one IP address, otherwise this property is optional. The servers listed will be combined to the base nameservers generated from the specified DNS policy with duplicate addresses removed.
  • searches: a list of DNS search domains for hostname lookup in the Pod. This property is optional. When specified, the provided list will be merged into the base search domain names generated from the chosen DNS policy. Duplicate domain names are removed. Kubernetes allows for at most 6 search domains.
  • options: an optional list of objects where each object may have a name property (required) and a value property (optional). The contents in this property will be merged to the options generated from the specified DNS policy. Duplicate entries are removed.

The following is an example Pod with custom DNS settings:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  namespace: default
  name: dns-example
spec:
  containers:
    - name: test
      image: nginx
  dnsPolicy: "None"
  dnsConfig:
    nameservers:
      - 1.2.3.4
    searches:
      - ns1.svc.cluster-domain.example
      - my.dns.search.suffix
    options:
      - name: ndots
        value: "2"
      - name: edns0

When the Pod above is created, the container test gets the following contents in its /etc/resolv.conf file:

nameserver 1.2.3.4
search ns1.svc.cluster-domain.example my.dns.search.suffix
options ndots:2 edns0

For IPv6 setup, search path and name server should be set up like this:

kubectl exec -it dns-example -- cat /etc/resolv.conf

The output is similar to this:

nameserver 2001:db8:30::a
search default.svc.cluster-domain.example svc.cluster-domain.example cluster-domain.example
options ndots:5

Expanded DNS Configuration

FEATURE STATE: Kubernetes 1.22 [alpha]

By default, for Pod's DNS Config, Kubernetes allows at most 6 search domains and a list of search domains of up to 256 characters.

If the feature gate ExpandedDNSConfig is enabled for the kube-apiserver and the kubelet, it is allowed for Kubernetes to have at most 32 search domains and a list of search domains of up to 2048 characters.

DNS resolution on Windows nodes

  • ClusterFirstWithHostNet is not supported for Pods that run on Windows nodes. Windows treats all names with a . as a FQDN and skips FQDN resolution.
  • On Windows, there are multiple DNS resolvers that can be used. As these come with slightly different behaviors, using the Resolve-DNSName powershell cmdlet for name query resolutions is recommended.
  • On Linux, you have a DNS suffix list, which is used after resolution of a name as fully qualified has failed. On Windows, you can only have 1 DNS suffix, which is the DNS suffix associated with that Pod's namespace (example: mydns.svc.cluster.local). Windows can resolve FQDNs, Services, or network name which can be resolved with this single suffix. For example, a Pod spawned in the default namespace, will have the DNS suffix default.svc.cluster.local. Inside a Windows Pod, you can resolve both kubernetes.default.svc.cluster.local and kubernetes, but not the partially qualified names (kubernetes.default or kubernetes.default.svc).

What's next

For guidance on administering DNS configurations, check Configure DNS Service

Last modified November 21, 2022 at 3:39 PM PST: Correct misleading wording in Pod DNS Policies (e2c34dff6c)