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In this article I will share the steps to add or remove labels to worker nodes in Kubernetes cluster. This article assumes that you are already familiar with the concept of labels and selectors used in Kubernetes.
I will be using my multi-node cluster which I had created during the starting of this entire tutorial to demonstrate this article. This cluster contains two worker nodes and one control plane node. So we will add and remove labels on these worker nodes and deploy pods using
List assigned labels on the node
kubectl get nodes to list the available nodes in the cluster. Additionally we can use
--show-labels arguments to also list the assigned labels to individual nodes in the cluster.
[root@controller ~]# kubectl get nodes --show-labels NAME STATUS ROLES AGE VERSION LABELS controller.example.com Ready master 25d v1.19.9 beta.kubernetes.io/arch=amd64,beta.kubernetes.io/os=linux,kubernetes.io/arch=amd64,kubernetes.io/hostname=controller.example.com,kubernetes.io/os=linux,node-role.kubernetes.io/master= worker-1.example.com Ready <none> 25d v1.19.9 beta.kubernetes.io/arch=amd64,beta.kubernetes.io/os=linux,kubernetes.io/arch=amd64,kubernetes.io/hostname=worker-1.example.com,kubernetes.io/os=linux worker-2.example.com Ready <none> 25d v1.19.9 beta.kubernetes.io/arch=amd64,beta.kubernetes.io/os=linux,kubernetes.io/arch=amd64,kubernetes.io/hostname=worker-2.example.com,kubernetes.io/os=linux
Here you can see, now we have one additional field “LABELS” which shows the labels which are applied to individual nodes.
Add label to a node
To add a label, we can use
kubectl label nodes command in the following syntax:
kubectl label nodes <your-node-name> <label>
For example if we want to apply label as “
color: blue” to
worker-2.example node then this can applied using:
[root@controller ~]# kubectl label nodes worker-2.example.com color=blue node/worker-2.example.com labeled
You can verify the respective worker node and the applied label:
Deploy a pod on specific node
Now we will utilise the label which we specified in the previous example to deploy a pod. By default when you create a Pod, it can be created on any of the available worker nodes. But using node labels and selectors, we can control this behaviour.
So in this example, we will create a deployment where the replica pods must be deployed only on the nodes with label “
color: blue“. Following is our YAML file to create the deployment:
[root@controller ~]# cat nginx-deploy.yaml apiVersion: apps/v1 kind: Deployment metadata: labels: ## This label is applied to the Deployment type: dev name: nginx-deploy spec: replicas: 1 selector: matchLabels: ## This label is used to match the Pod to create replicas type: dev template: metadata: labels: ## This label is applied to the Pod type: dev spec: containers: - image: nginx name: nginx ports: - containerPort: 80 nodeSelector: ## This label is used to deploy the pod on matching nodes color: blue
Let’s create this deployment:
[root@controller ~]# kubectl create -f nginx-deploy.yaml deployment.apps/nginx-deploy created
As you can see the pod from our deployment is deployed on
worker-2 node because that is the only node with label
[root@controller ~]# kubectl get pods -o wide NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGE IP NODE NOMINATED NODE READINESS GATES nginx-deploy-6d8d787fb7-xxbn4 0/1 ContainerCreating 0 24s <none> worker-2.example.com <none> <none> sidecar-pod-1 2/2 Running 2 7d 10.0.142.159 worker-1.example.com <none> <none> sidecar-pod-2 2/2 Running 2 7d 10.0.142.160 worker-1.example.com <none> <none>
So every time the pod is restarted or terminated, it will always start on
Remove label from a node
Use the following syntax to remove a label from a node:
kubectl label node <nodename> <labelname>-
As you can notice, we use the same command but with a minus sign with the label name. For example to remove the label
color: blue from
worker-2 node, we will use:
[root@controller ~]# kubectl label node worker-2.example.com color- node/worker-2.example.com not labeled
You can verify the same, here the command output should be blank:
~]# kubectl get nodes --show-labels | grep color
But this wouldn’t mean that your existing pod would be terminated which we created in our example. It will continue to function, although if the pod is terminated then another pod would not be created unless it finds a node with label
Let us verify this theory by deleting the deployment pod replica:
[root@controller ~]# kubectl delete pod nginx-deploy-6d8d787fb7-xxbn4 pod "nginx-deploy-6d8d787fb7-xxbn4" deleted
Now check if a new pod was created:
So a pod was created as our deployment expects a single replica to be always there but since the pod fails to find a node with label
color: blue, the pod container is not yet created.
Let us assign this label to
worker-1 node this time:
[root@controller ~]# kubectl label node worker-1.example.com color=blue node/worker-1.example.com labeled
Now you can see the container is getting created on
worker-1.example.com because we applied the label
[root@controller ~]# kubectl get pods -o wide NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGE IP NODE NOMINATED NODE READINESS GATES nginx-deploy-6d8d787fb7-pgkws 0/1 ContainerCreating 0 2m39s <none> worker-1.example.com <none> <none> sidecar-pod-1 2/2 Running 2 7d 10.0.142.159 worker-1.example.com <none> <none> sidecar-pod-2 2/2 Running 2 7d 10.0.142.160 worker-1.example.com <none> <none>
You should learn about DaemonSets which is used to deploy node specific pods. In this case if you remove a label from the node then the pod deployed on this specific node will be terminated.
In this article we learned about node labels, add or remove labels from the nodes in a Kubernetes Cluster. Labels and label selectors should be used to organize pods and easily perform operations on multiple pods at once. You can use node labels and selectors to schedule pods only to nodes that have certain features.