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TL;DR
  • Drop executables named kubectl-plugin_name on your PATH and invoke with kubectl plugin-name
  • kubectl plugin list shows available plugins

Kubectl plugins

Kubectl plugins are a lightweight mechanism to extend kubectl with custom functionality to suit your needs.

Plugin mechanism

As of version 1.12, kubectl has a simple plugin mechanism to expose binaries on your PATH as kubectl subcommands. When invoking an unknown subcommand kubectl my-plugin, kubectl starts searching for an executable named kubectl-my_plugin on your PATH. Note how the dash is mapped to an underscore. This is to enable plugins that are invoked by multiple words, for example kubectl my plugin would trigger a search for the commands kubectl-my-plugin or kubectl-my. The more specific match always wins over the other, so if both kubectl-my and kubectl-my-plugin exist, the latter will be called. When a matching executable is found, kubectl calls it, forwarding all extra arguments.

The reference on kubernetes.io knows more.

Windows compatibility

On windows, the minimum required version to use the plugin mechanism is 1.14.

Listing installed plugins

kubectl plugin list

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