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Create Kubernetes cluster on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)


All commands from this guide can be run either in the Google Cloud shell or in your local shell.

To use Google Cloud shell, you need nothing but a modern web browser.

If you would like to use your local shell, install the following:

  1. gcloud. This tool is part of the Google Cloud SDK. To install it, select your operating system on the official Google Cloud SDK documentation page and then follow the instructions.

  2. kubectl. It is the Kubernetes command-line tool you will use to manage and deploy applications. To install the tool, run the following command:

    $ gcloud auth login
    $ gcloud components install kubectl

Create and configure the GKE cluster

You can configure the settings using the gcloud tool. You can run it either in the Cloud Shell or in your local shell (if you have installed Google Cloud SDK locally on the previous step). The following command will create a cluster named my-cluster-name:

$ gcloud container clusters create my-cluster-name --project <project name> --zone us-central1-a --cluster-version 1.27 --machine-type n1-standard-4 --num-nodes=3


You must edit the previous command and other command-line statements to replace the <project name> placeholder with your project name. You may also be required to edit the zone location, which is set to us-central1 in the above example. Other parameters specify that we are creating a cluster with 3 nodes and with machine type of 4 vCPUs.

You may wait a few minutes for the cluster to be generated.

When the process is over, you can see it listed in the Google Cloud console

Select Kubernetes EngineClusters in the left menu panel:


Now you should configure the command-line access to your newly created cluster to make kubectl be able to use it.

In the Google Cloud Console, select your cluster and then click the Connect shown on the above image. You will see the connect statement which configures the command-line access. You need to run the command in your local shell:

$ gcloud container clusters get-credentials my-cluster-name --zone us-central1-a --project <project name>

Finally, use your Cloud Identity and Access Management (Cloud IAM) to control access to the cluster. The following command will give you the ability to create Roles and RoleBindings:

kubectl create clusterrolebinding cluster-admin-binding --clusterrole cluster-admin --user $(gcloud config get-value core/account)
Expected output created

Remove the GKE cluster

You can clean up the cluster with the gcloud command as follows:

$ gcloud container clusters delete <cluster name>

The return statement requests your confirmation of the deletion. Type y to confirm.

Also, you can delete your cluster via the Google Cloud console

Just click the Delete popup menu item in the clusters list:


The cluster deletion may take time.


After deleting the cluster, all data stored in it will be lost!

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