Multiple configurations in kubernetes

It may happen to you, that you start working with 2 or more different clusters in kubernetes. At this point, you'll want to have multiple config files, instead of replacing ~/.kube/config, which is fine the first few times.

In order to do this we only need to set KUBECONFIG env variable with the path to the kubeconfigs.

Create a configs folder, where the kubernetes config files will live.

mkdir -p ~/.kube/configs

The next thing is to add the env variable to our .bashrc, .zshrc or .profile file, with the location of our configurations. The paths should be separated by a :.

export KUBECONFIG=$HOME/.kube/configs/gke-config:$HOME/.kube/configs/eks-config

Reloading our terminal with . ~/.bashrc, or opening a new one should pick up the changes.

Automating the config detection

Why not automate this? So everytime we add a new kubeconfig, it's detected automatically.

Here's my attempt, place this snippet in your .bashrc or any other terminal file.

set_kubeconfig() {
    for entry in "$HOME/.kube/configs"/*
        # Get files which do not include "skip"
        if [ -f "$entry" ] && [[ $entry != *"skip"* ]];then

    # Clean first colons
    export KUBECONFIG=$kubeconfigs

# Execute the function

This script will get all the files inside ~/.kube/configs, which do not include skip in their name, and will set the KUBECONFIG variable to the found files.

Switching context and namespace

Now that our configs are detected automatically, we still have to change manually between contexts and namespaces. I'll leave here the shortcuts

Remember that a context is a mix of [cluster, namespace, user].

Current configuration
kubectl config view --minify  # without minify we'll see all the configs
List contexts
kubectl config get-contexts
Swtich context
kubectl config use-context <context_name>
Switch namespace
kubectl config set-context --current --namespace=<new_namespace>

Find me on twitter: @santiwilly

Thanks for reading!


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