With the adoption of Kubernetes grows the number of specialists that interact with K8s clusters on daily basis. Some of those engineers introduce their own customized tools designed to simplify and automate their daily operations with the clusters.


Most of these tools are CLI utilities, with some working as kubectl wrappers or plugins to extend the functionality of kubectl. For example, kubectx and kubens allow for quick switching between kubectl contexts and namespaces within a cluster, while kube-ps1 indicates the actual context and namespace.


Kubectl-aliases provides nearly 800 programmatically generated kubectl aliases to avoid excessive verbosity in command strings. The kube-prompt client features convenient interactive autocomplete using prompts built in Go. The list could go on; more information could be found here.


Among Kubernetes CLI utilities there are also tools with more advanced functionality. For example, K9s, a terminal based UI, allows real-time tracking of cluster resources and activities, which makes it an alternative of a K8s dashboard. Stern provides for the advanced log analysis, as it enables tailing of multiple pods and containers at once. Each result is color coded for quicker debugging.


In the table below we have gathered the most popular CLI utilities and plugins with a brief stats showing the project health on GitHub.


Kubernetes CLI utilities


 API/CLI  adaptor  Functionality Stars Contributors Commits
(last 6 months)
 kubectx A tool for switching between clusters on kubectl 6.9k 36 10  ahmet.im



 kubens A tool for switching  between namespaces on kubectl 6.9k 36 10  blogs.oracle.com


 K9s A terminal based UI to interact with K8s clusters 6.2k 58 302  k9scli.io



 Stern Multi pod and container log tailing for K8s 3.6k 22 _  kubernetes.io/blog


 kube-ps1 K8s prompt helper for bash and zsh 1.6k 12 1  formulae.brew.sh


 kube-shell Integrated shell for working with the K8s CLI 1.6k 4 _  pythonawesome.com



 kubectl-tree kubectl plugin to browse K8s object hierarchies as a tree 1.4k 6 38  ahmet.im


 kubectl-aliases Aliases for kubectl 1.3k 7 3  ahmet.im


 kube-prompt Interactive K8s client featuring auto-complete using prompts built in Go 1.3k 10 16



 Kui Hybrid CLI/GUI for cloud-native development, alternative to kubectl 1.2k 13 550  awesomeopensource.com
 Click A CLI focused REPL for quickly interacting with K8s objects 1.1k  7 50  databricks.com/blog
 kubectl-trace A kubectl plugin for scheduling bpftrace programs on your K8s cluster  880  18  8
 webkubectl A web based tool to run kubectl commands in web browser 248 6 49



 kubectl-plugins A collection of plugins for kubectl integration  232  4 10
 KubeFuse K8s as a FUSE filesystem 228 4 _  opencredo.com
 kube-tmux K8s tmux plugin to display the current context and namespace  200  4 _  brunoluiz.net
 Vikube K8s operations from Vim, in Vim  186 4 2
 tubectl Wrapper around kubectl, kubectl alternative with quick context switching  171  4 1



 awesome-kubectl-plugins Extending kubectl with custom commands 148 4 13  awesomeopensource.com
 KSQL Tool for interactive database queries on K8s resources 119 3 _  confluent.io
 kubeplay A new way to interact with K8s API from your terminal  81 1 _  discuss.kubernetes.io
 kubensx A tool for Cluster/User/Namespace switching for K8s  37 2 _  libs.garden
 kubectld A microservice to expose kubectl create/apply/get logic 12 9 _
 kubesh An interactive shell around kubectl 5  1  _




As Kubernetes itself, these client tools are open-source and could be installed from their Git repositories. Hope you will find something useful here!