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How To Run VMware Project Octant As A Service For Remote Access

Previously, I wrote about couple of articles regarding VMware Project Octant and, it was running locally with access to the kube config file. In this post, I’m going to show you, how I configured the VMware Project Octant as a service in order to access it remotely. If you are not familiar with VMware’s Octant tool and this is the first time you heard it, it is a tool developed by VMware to have a clear insight about the Kubernetes cluster. If you need to know about more please follow my previous post.

You can find the latest releases of Octant in this GitHub releases page. My test Kubernetes cluster is sitting on the AWS Cloud platform and Amazon Linux was used as the operating system. So, I downloaded the linux tar.gz file with the latest release.

wget https://github.com/vmware-tanzu/octant/releases/download/v0.12.1/octant_0.12.1_Linux-64bit.tar.gz
VMware Project Octant As A Service  download

Extracted the downloaded folder and copied the executable “octant” file to the /usr/local/bin folder

VMware Project Octant As A Service unzip

Read More:

Octant uses below environment variables to set the access:

  • OCTANT_ACCEPTED_HOSTS – Local IP address of the machine it runs on
  • KUBECONFIG – Path to the kubeconfig file
  • OCTANT_LISTENER_ADDR – Listening IPs and the port (0.0.0.0 – “All IP addresses of the local machine”)

I created, the below file for my Octant Service and I used an AWS EC2 instance as my master node. Also I used EC2 metadata service to obtain the local IP of the machine as I created this service for a different purpose and along with some automation.

My user home directory and kube config file was set accordingly

tee /usr/lib/systemd/system/octant.service <<-'EOF'
[Unit]
Description=octant

[Service]
Environment="HOME=/home/ec2-user"
Environment="OCTANT_ACCEPTED_HOSTS=$(curl http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/local-ipv4)"
Environment="KUBECONFIG=/home/ec2-user/.kube/config"
Environment="OCTANT_LISTENER_ADDR=0.0.0.0:8900"
Environment="OCTANT_DISABLE_OPEN_BROWSER=true"
Environment="PATH=/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin"
WorkingDirectory=/usr/local/bin/
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/octant
Type=simple
Restart=on-failure

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

EOF

After that, permissions were set as below

sudo chmod 755 -R /usr/lib/systemd/system/octant.service

I reloaded the daemons and started the octant service, here is my service looked like after the successful configuration.

VMware Project Octant As A Service status

After that, Octant page was loaded in my browser with the remote IP address as below

VMware Project Octant As A Service loaded in the browser

Alternative Method Exporting Environment Variables

I wanted to run this as a service, if you don’t need a service level configuration and just running this as a remote service, you can simply export these variables as below on the remote server to achieve this easily.

Here is the tested command I used, feel free to change local machine IP address instead of my EC2 IPv4 Metadata.

OCTANT_ACCEPTED_HOSTS=$(curl http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/local-ipv4) KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/config OCTANT_LISTENER_ADDR=0.0.0.0:8900 octant

Octant New Shell Feature

If you remember, I have published an article about Octant’s Container Exec and Workload viewer features previously and this time it was quite different.

It was not needed to load the shell manually and it was part of the tabs, which could be easily loaded the container shell as a terminal.

VMware Project Octant As A Service terminal
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Aruna Lakmal

Associate Technical Specialist at Pearson, Sri Lanka. Technology junky, enthusiast, a VMware vExpert and a blogger with more than 7 years of Experience in Information Technology more focusing on VMware Virtualization, Microsoft and Datacenter Technologies.

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