Abhimanyu Selvan


Provisioning Kubernetes clusters on Linode using Terraform and LKE

Provisioning Kubernetes clusters on Linode using Terraform and LKE

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Abhimanyu Selvan
·Sep 18, 2021·

3 min read

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In this blog post, I'll demonstrate how I am using Linode Kubernetes Engine(LKE) and Terraform to provision kubernetes clusters for Hivenetes (a personal project that I am working on). I chose Linode as the cloud provider as it is extremely easy to setup, cost effective and many more. I dont think I will use any other cloud provider other than Linode at least for my personal projects. Now that I have established my love for Linode, let's get started shall we?

Before you begin

Make sure you have the following setup,

  • Linode account (Note: Using LKE is not free)
  • Terraform installed

Setting up your workspace

  • Generate your Linode API Token by following these steps and save them in a secure place.

  • Clone the hivenetes/apiculture repository

      git clone https://github.com/hivenetes/apiculture.git && cd apiculture/lke_cluster
  • Initial directory setup should be like this,

         ├── hivenetes.tf            # Main Configuration File
          ── linode_types.json       # List of Linode Types - Pricing and Specs
         └── variables.tf            # Variables used in hivenetes.tf
  • Create a terraform.tfvars file with the following content,

      # This just an example
      label = "hivenetes"
      k8s_version = "1.19"
      region = "eu-central"
      pools = [
          # Type can be found from linode_types.json
          type : "g6-standard-2" 
          count : 3
  • Create a secret.tfvars file that holds the API Token

      token = "<your linode api token>"

[Note]: the .tfvars file should not be checked in to as it may contain sensitive information

Time to launch

Open a terminal and execute the following,

# Initialise terraform
terraform init
# View your terraform plan
terraform plan -var-file="secret.tfvars"
# Apply the plan
terraform apply -var-file="secret.tfvars"
# After a few minutes, you will see the outputs being displayed on the terminal

Connecting to LKE cluster

Open a terminal and execute the following,

# Saving the cluster configuration to hivenetes-config.yaml
export KUBE_VAR=`terraform output kubeconfig` && sed -e 's/^"//' -e 's/"$//' <<<"$KUBE_VAR" | base64 -d > hivenetes-config.yaml
# Add the kubeconfig file to your $KUBECONFIG environment variable
export KUBECONFIG=hivenetes-config.yaml

You can now begin interacting with your cluster using kubectl

# To list all your LKE Nodes
kubectl get nodes

Note: I use fubectl to interact with k8s as it makes my life way easier. I encourage you to check it out. If you are using microk8s then you can use microk8s fubectl, an microk8s adapted version that I made.


Make sure to clean up and destroy your clusters after using as you will be charged based on your usage.

# Bye Bye Hivenetes
terraform destroy

Now that is how simple and easy it is to spin up a Kubernetes cluster on Linode.

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