This documentation is for an out-of-date version of Apache Flink. We recommend you use the latest stable version.

Native Kubernetes Setup Beta

This page describes how to deploy a Flink session cluster natively on Kubernetes.

Flink's native Kubernetes integration is still experimental. There may be changes in the configuration and CLI flags in latter versions.


  • Kubernetes 1.9 or above.
  • KubeConfig, which has access to list, create, delete pods and services, configurable via ~/.kube/config. You can verify permissions by running kubectl auth can-i <list|create|edit|delete> pods.
  • Kubernetes DNS enabled.
  • A service Account with RBAC permissions to create, delete pods.

Follow these instructions to start a Flink Session within your Kubernetes cluster.

A session will start all required Flink services (JobManager and TaskManagers) so that you can submit programs to the cluster. Note that you can run multiple programs per session.

$ ./bin/

All the Kubernetes configuration options can be found in our configuration guide.

Example: Issue the following command to start a session cluster with 4 GB of memory and 2 CPUs with 4 slots per TaskManager:

In this example we override the resourcemanager.taskmanager-timeout setting to make the pods with task managers remain for a longer period than the default of 30 seconds. Although this setting may cause more cloud cost it has the effect that starting new jobs is in some scenarios faster and during development you have more time to inspect the logfiles of your job.

$ ./bin/ \
  -Dkubernetes.cluster-id=<ClusterId> \
  -Dtaskmanager.memory.process.size=4096m \
  -Dkubernetes.taskmanager.cpu=2 \
  -Dtaskmanager.numberOfTaskSlots=4 \

The system will use the configuration in conf/flink-conf.yaml. Please follow our configuration guide if you want to change something.

If you do not specify a particular name for your session by kubernetes.cluster-id, the Flink client will generate a UUID name.

If you want to use a custom Docker image to deploy Flink containers, check the Flink Docker image documentation, its tags, how to customize the Flink Docker image and enable plugins. If you created a custom Docker image you can provide it by setting the kubernetes.container.image configuration option:

$ ./bin/ \
  -Dkubernetes.cluster-id=<ClusterId> \
  -Dtaskmanager.memory.process.size=4096m \
  -Dkubernetes.taskmanager.cpu=2 \
  -Dtaskmanager.numberOfTaskSlots=4 \
  -Dresourcemanager.taskmanager-timeout=3600000 \

Submitting jobs to an existing Session

Use the following command to submit a Flink Job to the Kubernetes cluster.

$ ./bin/flink run -d -t kubernetes-session -Dkubernetes.cluster-id=<ClusterId> examples/streaming/WindowJoin.jar

Accessing Job Manager UI

There are several ways to expose a Service onto an external (outside of your cluster) IP address. This can be configured using

  • ClusterIP: Exposes the service on a cluster-internal IP. The Service is only reachable within the cluster. If you want to access the Job Manager ui or submit job to the existing session, you need to start a local proxy. You can then use localhost:8081 to submit a Flink job to the session or view the dashboard.
$ kubectl port-forward service/<ServiceName> 8081
  • NodePort: Exposes the service on each Node’s IP at a static port (the NodePort). <NodeIP>:<NodePort> could be used to contact the Job Manager Service. NodeIP could be easily replaced with Kubernetes ApiServer address. You could find it in your kube config file.

  • LoadBalancer: Exposes the service externally using a cloud provider’s load balancer. Since the cloud provider and Kubernetes needs some time to prepare the load balancer, you may get a NodePort JobManager Web Interface in the client log. You can use kubectl get services/<ClusterId> to get EXTERNAL-IP and then construct the load balancer JobManager Web Interface manually http://<EXTERNAL-IP>:8081.

    Warning! Your JobManager (which can run arbitary jar files) might be exposed to the public internet, without authentication.

  • ExternalName: Map a service to a DNS name, not supported in current version.

Please reference the official documentation on publishing services in Kubernetes for more information.

Attach to an existing Session

The Kubernetes session is started in detached mode by default, meaning the Flink client will exit after submitting all the resources to the Kubernetes cluster. Use the following command to attach to an existing session.

$ ./bin/ -Dkubernetes.cluster-id=<ClusterId> -Dexecution.attached=true

To stop a Flink Kubernetes session, attach the Flink client to the cluster and type stop.

$ echo 'stop' | ./bin/ -Dkubernetes.cluster-id=<ClusterId> -Dexecution.attached=true

Manual Resource Cleanup

Flink uses Kubernetes OwnerReference’s to cleanup all cluster components. All the Flink created resources, including ConfigMap, Service, Pod, have been set the OwnerReference to deployment/<ClusterId>. When the deployment is deleted, all other resources will be deleted automatically.

$ kubectl delete deployment/<ClusterID>

Log Files

By default, the JobManager and TaskManager only store logs under /opt/flink/log in each pod. If you want to use kubectl logs <PodName> to view the logs, you must perform the following:

  1. Add a new appender to the in the Flink client.
  2. Add the following ‘appenderRef’ the rootLogger in rootLogger.appenderRef.console.ref = ConsoleAppender.
  3. Remove the redirect args by adding config option -Dkubernetes.container-start-command-template="%java% %classpath% %jvmmem% %jvmopts% %logging% %class% %args%".
  4. Stop and start your session again. Now you could use kubectl logs to view your logs.
# Log all infos to the console = ConsoleAppender
appender.console.type = CONSOLE
appender.console.layout.type = PatternLayout
appender.console.layout.pattern = %d{yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss,SSS} %-5p %-60c %x - %m%n

If the pod is running, you can use kubectl exec -it <PodName> bash to tunnel in and view the logs or debug the process.

Application mode allows users to create a single image containing their Job and the Flink runtime, which will automatically create and destroy cluster components as needed. The Flink community provides base docker images customized for any use case.

FROM flink
RUN mkdir -p $FLINK_HOME/usrlib
COPY /path/of/my-flink-job-*.jar $FLINK_HOME/usrlib/my-flink-job.jar

Use the following command to start a Flink application.

$ ./bin/flink run-application -p 8 -t kubernetes-application \
  -Dkubernetes.cluster-id=<ClusterId> \
  -Dtaskmanager.memory.process.size=4096m \
  -Dkubernetes.taskmanager.cpu=2 \
  -Dtaskmanager.numberOfTaskSlots=4 \
  -Dkubernetes.container.image=<CustomImageName> \

Note: Only “local” is supported as schema for application mode. This assumes that the jar is located in the image, not the Flink client.

Note: All the jars in the “$FLINK_HOME/usrlib” directory in the image will be added to user classpath.

When an application is stopped, all Flink cluster resources are automatically destroyed. As always, Jobs may stop when manually canceled or, in the case of bounded Jobs, complete.

$ ./bin/flink cancel -t kubernetes-application -Dkubernetes.cluster-id=<ClusterID> <JobID>

Kubernetes concepts


Namespaces in Kubernetes are a way to divide cluster resources between multiple users (via resource quota). It is similar to the queue concept in Yarn cluster. Flink on Kubernetes can use namespaces to launch Flink clusters. The namespace can be specified using the -Dkubernetes.namespace=default argument when starting a Flink cluster.

ResourceQuota provides constraints that limit aggregate resource consumption per namespace. It can limit the quantity of objects that can be created in a namespace by type, as well as the total amount of compute resources that may be consumed by resources in that project.


Role-based access control (RBAC) is a method of regulating access to compute or network resources based on the roles of individual users within an enterprise. Users can configure RBAC roles and service accounts used by JobManager to access the Kubernetes API server within the Kubernetes cluster.

Every namespace has a default service account, however, the default service account may not have the permission to create or delete pods within the Kubernetes cluster. Users may need to update the permission of default service account or specify another service account that has the right role bound.

$ kubectl create clusterrolebinding flink-role-binding-default --clusterrole=edit --serviceaccount=default:default

If you do not want to use default service account, use the following command to create a new flink service account and set the role binding. Then use the config option -Dkubernetes.jobmanager.service-account=flink to make the JobManager pod using the flink service account to create and delete TaskManager pods.

$ kubectl create serviceaccount flink
$ kubectl create clusterrolebinding flink-role-binding-flink --clusterrole=edit --serviceaccount=default:flink

Please reference the official Kubernetes documentation on RBAC Authorization for more information.

Background / Internals

This section briefly explains how Flink and Kubernetes interact.

When creating a Flink Kubernetes session cluster, the Flink client will first connect to the Kubernetes ApiServer to submit the cluster description, including ConfigMap spec, Job Manager Service spec, Job Manager Deployment spec and Owner Reference. Kubernetes will then create the JobManager deployment, during which time the Kubelet will pull the image, prepare and mount the volume, and then execute the start command. After the JobManager pod has launched, the Dispatcher and KubernetesResourceManager are available and the cluster is ready to accept one or more jobs.

When users submit jobs through the Flink client, the job graph will be generated by the client and uploaded along with users jars to the Dispatcher.

The JobManager requests resources, known as slots, from the KubernetesResourceManager. If no slots are available, the resource manager will bring up TaskManager pods and registering them with the cluster.

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