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Debugging DNS Resolution

This page provides hints on diagnosing DNS problems.

Before you begin

To check the version, enter kubectl version.

Create a simple Pod to use as a test environment

Create a file named busybox.yaml with the following contents:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: busybox
  namespace: default
  - name: busybox
    image: busybox:1.28
      - sleep
      - "3600"
    imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
  restartPolicy: Always

Then create a pod using this file and verify its status:

kubectl apply -f https://k8s.io/examples/admin/dns/busybox.yaml
pod/busybox created

kubectl get pods busybox
busybox   1/1       Running   0          <some-time>

Once that pod is running, you can exec nslookup in that environment. If you see something like the following, DNS is working correctly.

kubectl exec -ti busybox -- nslookup kubernetes.default
Address 1:

Name:      kubernetes.default
Address 1:

If the nslookup command fails, check the following:

Check the local DNS configuration first

Take a look inside the resolv.conf file. (See Inheriting DNS from the node and Known issues below for more information)

kubectl exec busybox cat /etc/resolv.conf

Verify that the search path and name server are set up like the following (note that search path may vary for different cloud providers):

search default.svc.cluster.local svc.cluster.local cluster.local google.internal c.gce_project_id.internal
options ndots:5

Errors such as the following indicate a problem with the coredns/kube-dns add-on or associated Services:

kubectl exec -ti busybox -- nslookup kubernetes.default
Address 1:

nslookup: can't resolve 'kubernetes.default'


kubectl exec -ti busybox -- nslookup kubernetes.default
Address 1: kube-dns.kube-system.svc.cluster.local

nslookup: can't resolve 'kubernetes.default'

Check if the DNS pod is running

Use the kubectl get pods command to verify that the DNS pod is running.

For CoreDNS:

kubectl get pods --namespace=kube-system -l k8s-app=coredns
NAME                       READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
coredns-7b96bf9f76-5hsxb   1/1       Running   0           1h
coredns-7b96bf9f76-mvmmt   1/1       Running   0           1h

Or for kube-dns:

kubectl get pods --namespace=kube-system -l k8s-app=kube-dns
NAME                    READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
kube-dns-v19-ezo1y      3/3       Running   0           1h

If you see that no pod is running or that the pod has failed/completed, the DNS add-on may not be deployed by default in your current environment and you will have to deploy it manually.

Check for Errors in the DNS pod

Use kubectl logs command to see logs for the DNS containers.

For CoreDNS:

for p in $(kubectl get pods --namespace=kube-system -l k8s-app=coredns -o name); do kubectl logs --namespace=kube-system $p; done

Here is an example of a healthy CoreDNS log:

2018/08/15 14:37:17 [INFO] CoreDNS-1.2.2
2018/08/15 14:37:17 [INFO] linux/amd64, go1.10.3, 2e322f6
linux/amd64, go1.10.3, 2e322f6
2018/08/15 14:37:17 [INFO] plugin/reload: Running configuration MD5 = 24e6c59e83ce706f07bcc82c31b1ea1c

For kube-dns, there are 3 sets of logs:

kubectl logs --namespace=kube-system $(kubectl get pods --namespace=kube-system -l k8s-app=kube-dns -o name | head -1) -c kubedns

kubectl logs --namespace=kube-system $(kubectl get pods --namespace=kube-system -l k8s-app=kube-dns -o name | head -1) -c dnsmasq

kubectl logs --namespace=kube-system $(kubectl get pods --namespace=kube-system -l k8s-app=kube-dns -o name | head -1) -c sidecar

See if there are any suspicious error messages in the logs. In kube-dns, a ‘W’, ‘E’ or ‘F’ at the beginning of a line represents a Warning, Error or Failure. Please search for entries that have these as the logging level and use kubernetes issues to report unexpected errors.

Is DNS service up?

Verify that the DNS service is up by using the kubectl get service command.

kubectl get svc --namespace=kube-system
NAME         TYPE        CLUSTER-IP     EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)             AGE
kube-dns     ClusterIP      <none>        53/UDP,53/TCP        1h

Note that the service name will be “kube-dns” for both CoreDNS and kube-dns deployments. If you have created the service or in the case it should be created by default but it does not appear, see debugging services for more information.

Are DNS endpoints exposed?

You can verify that DNS endpoints are exposed by using the kubectl get endpoints command.

kubectl get ep kube-dns --namespace=kube-system
NAME       ENDPOINTS                       AGE
kube-dns,    1h

If you do not see the endpoints, see endpoints section in the debugging services documentation.

For additional Kubernetes DNS examples, see the cluster-dns examples in the Kubernetes GitHub repository.

Are DNS queries being received/processed?

You can verify if queries are being received by CoreDNS by adding the log plugin to the CoreDNS configuration (aka Corefile). The CoreDNS Corefile is held in a ConfigMap named coredns. To edit it, use the command …

kubectl -n kube-system edit configmap coredns

Then add log in the Corefile section per the example below.

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: coredns
  namespace: kube-system
  Corefile: |
    .:53 {
        kubernetes cluster.local in-addr.arpa ip6.arpa {
          pods insecure
          fallthrough in-addr.arpa ip6.arpa
        prometheus :9153
        proxy . /etc/resolv.conf
        cache 30

After saving the changes, it may take up to minute or two for Kubernetes to propagate these changes to the CoreDNS pods.

Next, make some queries and view the logs per the sections above in this document. If CoreDNS pods are receiving the queries, you should see them in the logs.

Here is an example of a query in the log.

2018/08/15 14:37:15 [INFO] CoreDNS-1.2.0
2018/08/15 14:37:15 [INFO] linux/amd64, go1.10.3, 2e322f6
linux/amd64, go1.10.3, 2e322f6
2018/09/07 15:29:04 [INFO] plugin/reload: Running configuration MD5 = 162475cdf272d8aa601e6fe67a6ad42f
2018/09/07 15:29:04 [INFO] Reloading complete - [07/Sep/2018:15:29:11 +0000] 59925 "A IN kubernetes.default.svc.cluster.local. udp 54 false 512" NOERROR qr,aa,rd,ra 106 0.000066649s

Known issues

Some Linux distributions (e.g. Ubuntu), use a local DNS resolver by default (systemd-resolved). Systemd-resolved moves and replaces /etc/resolv.conf with a stub file that can cause a fatal forwarding loop when resolving names in upstream servers. This can be fixed manually by using kubelet’s --resolv-conf flag to point to the correct resolv.conf (With systemd-resolved, this is /run/systemd/resolve/resolv.conf). kubeadm (>= 1.11) automatically detects systemd-resolved, and adjusts the kubelet flags accordingly.

Kubernetes installs do not configure the nodes’ resolv.conf files to use the cluster DNS by default, because that process is inherently distribution-specific. This should probably be implemented eventually.

Linux’s libc is impossibly stuck (see this bug from 2005) with limits of just 3 DNS nameserver records and 6 DNS search records. Kubernetes needs to consume 1 nameserver record and 3 search records. This means that if a local installation already uses 3 nameservers or uses more than 3 searches, some of those settings will be lost. As a partial workaround, the node can run dnsmasq which will provide more nameserver entries, but not more search entries. You can also use kubelet’s --resolv-conf flag.

If you are using Alpine version 3.3 or earlier as your base image, DNS may not work properly owing to a known issue with Alpine. Check here for more information.

Kubernetes Federation (Multiple Zone support)

Release 1.3 introduced Cluster Federation support for multi-site Kubernetes installations. This required some minor (backward-compatible) changes to the way the Kubernetes cluster DNS server processes DNS queries, to facilitate the lookup of federated services (which span multiple Kubernetes clusters). See the Cluster Federation Administrators’ Guide for more details on Cluster Federation and multi-site support.


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