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Use an HTTP Proxy to Access the Kubernetes API

This page shows how to use an HTTP proxy to access the Kubernetes API.

Before you begin

You need to have a Kubernetes cluster, and the kubectl command-line tool must be configured to communicate with your cluster. It is recommended to run this tutorial on a cluster with at least two nodes that are not acting as control plane hosts. If you do not already have a cluster, you can create one by using minikube or you can use one of these Kubernetes playgrounds:

To check the version, enter kubectl version.

If you do not already have an application running in your cluster, start a Hello world application by entering this command:

kubectl create deployment node-hello --port=8080

Using kubectl to start a proxy server

This command starts a proxy to the Kubernetes API server:

kubectl proxy --port=8080

Exploring the Kubernetes API

When the proxy server is running, you can explore the API using curl, wget, or a browser.

Get the API versions:

curl http://localhost:8080/api/

The output should look similar to this:

  "kind": "APIVersions",
  "versions": [
  "serverAddressByClientCIDRs": [
      "clientCIDR": "",
      "serverAddress": ""

Get a list of pods:

curl http://localhost:8080/api/v1/namespaces/default/pods

The output should look similar to this:

  "kind": "PodList",
  "apiVersion": "v1",
  "metadata": {
    "resourceVersion": "33074"
  "items": [
      "metadata": {
        "name": "kubernetes-bootcamp-2321272333-ix8pt",
        "generateName": "kubernetes-bootcamp-2321272333-",
        "namespace": "default",
        "uid": "ba21457c-6b1d-11e6-85f7-1ef9f1dab92b",
        "resourceVersion": "33003",
        "creationTimestamp": "2016-08-25T23:43:30Z",
        "labels": {
          "pod-template-hash": "2321272333",
          "run": "kubernetes-bootcamp"

What's next

Learn more about kubectl proxy.

Last modified July 09, 2020 at 10:21 AM PST: Avoid using deprecated commands in task (621e5e7236)