Overall API conventions are described in the API conventions doc.
API endpoints, resource types and samples are described in API Reference.
Remote access to the API is discussed in the Controlling API Access doc.
The Kubernetes API also serves as the foundation for the declarative configuration schema for the system. The kubectl command-line tool can be used to create, update, delete, and get API objects.
Kubernetes also stores its serialized state (currently in etcd) in terms of the API resources.
Kubernetes itself is decomposed into multiple components, which interact through its API.
In our experience, any system that is successful needs to grow and change as new use cases emerge or existing ones change. Therefore, we expect the Kubernetes API to continuously change and grow. However, we intend to not break compatibility with existing clients, for an extended period of time. In general, new API resources and new resource fields can be expected to be added frequently. Elimination of resources or fields will require following the API deprecation policy.
What constitutes a compatible change and how to change the API are detailed by the API change document.
Complete API details are documented using Swagger v1.2 and OpenAPI. The Kubernetes apiserver (aka “master”) exposes an API that can be used to retrieve the Swagger v1.2 Kubernetes API spec located at
Starting with Kubernetes 1.10, OpenAPI spec is served in a single
/openapi/v2 endpoint. The format-separated endpoints (
/swagger-2.0.0.pb-v1.gz) are deprecated and will get removed in Kubernetes 1.14.
Requested format is specified by setting HTTP headers:
Examples of getting OpenAPI spec:
|Before 1.10||Starting with Kubernetes 1.10|
|GET /swagger.json||GET /openapi/v2 Accept: application/json|
|GET /swagger-2.0.0.pb-v1||GET /openapi/v2 Accept: email@example.com+protobuf|
|GET /swagger-2.0.0.pb-v1.gz||GET /openapi/v2 Accept: firstname.lastname@example.org+protobuf Accept-Encoding: gzip|
Kubernetes implements an alternative Protobuf based serialization format for the API that is primarily intended for intra-cluster communication, documented in the design proposal and the IDL files for each schema are located in the Go packages that define the API objects.
To make it easier to eliminate fields or restructure resource representations, Kubernetes supports
multiple API versions, each at a different API path, such as
We chose to version at the API level rather than at the resource or field level to ensure that the API presents a clear, consistent view of system resources and behavior, and to enable controlling access to end-of-lifed and/or experimental APIs. The JSON and Protobuf serialization schemas follow the same guidelines for schema changes - all descriptions below cover both formats.
Note that API versioning and Software versioning are only indirectly related. The API and release versioning proposal describes the relationship between API versioning and software versioning.
Different API versions imply different levels of stability and support. The criteria for each level are described in more detail in the API Changes documentation. They are summarized here:
Xis an integer.
To make it easier to extend the Kubernetes API, we implemented API groups.
The API group is specified in a REST path and in the
apiVersion field of a serialized object.
Currently there are several API groups in use:
The core group, often referred to as the legacy group, is at the REST path
/api/v1 and uses
The named groups are at REST path
/apis/$GROUP_NAME/$VERSION, and use
apiVersion: batch/v1). Full list of supported API groups can be seen in Kubernetes API reference.
There are two supported paths to extending the API with custom resources:
Certain resources and API groups are enabled by default. They can be enabled or disabled by setting
--runtime-config accepts comma separated values. For ex: to disable batch/v1, set
--runtime-config=batch/v1=false, to enable batch/v2alpha1, set
The flag accepts comma separated set of key=value pairs describing runtime configuration of the apiserver.
IMPORTANT: Enabling or disabling groups or resources requires restarting apiserver and controller-manager
to pick up the
DaemonSets, Deployments, HorizontalPodAutoscalers, Ingress, Jobs and ReplicaSets are enabled by default.
Other extensions resources can be enabled by setting
--runtime-config accepts comma separated values. For example: to disable deployments and ingress, set