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Version: 0.68.6

Kurtosis Quickstart

These instructions will give you a brief quickstart of Kurtosis. They should take 15 minutes.

tip

All code blocks can be copied by hovering over the code block and clicking the clipboard icon that appears on the right.

Set Up Prerequisites

Install Docker

Verify that you have the Docker daemon installed and running on your local machine:

docker image ls
caution

DockerHub restricts downloads from users who aren't logged in to 100 images downloaded per 6 hours, so if at any point in this tutorial you see the following error message:

Error response from daemon: toomanyrequests: You have reached your pull rate limit. You may increase the limit by authenticating and upgrading: https://www.docker.com/increase-rate-limit

you can fix it by creating a DockerHub account (if you don't have one already) and registering it with your local Docker engine like so:

docker login

Install the Kurtosis CLI

Follow the steps on this installation page to install the CLI, or upgrade it to latest if it's already installed.

tip

We strongly recommend installing tab completion; you'll find it very useful!

Create An Enclave

Kurtosis enclaves are where your environments live; you can think of them as "environment containers". Here we'll create a fresh enclave.

Run the following:

kurtosis enclave add
info

This may take a few seconds as Kurtosis downloads its Docker images for the first time; subsequent runs will be much faster.

tip

Kurtosis subcommands (e.g. enclave and add above) can be tab-completed as well!

You'll see an output similar to the following:

INFO[2023-01-26T15:10:22Z] Creating new enclave...                      
INFO[2023-01-26T15:10:32Z] ====================================================
INFO[2023-01-26T15:10:32Z] || Created enclave: patient-sun ||
INFO[2023-01-26T15:10:32Z] ====================================================

Now, type the following but don't press ENTER yet:

kurtosis enclave inspect

If you have tab completion installed, you can now press TAB to tab-complete your enclave's name (which will be different than patient-sun).

If you don't have tab completion installed, you'll need to paste the enclave ID from the Created enclave: line outputted above (yours will be different than wandering-frog).

tip

All enclave ID arguments can be tab-completed.

Press ENTER, and you should receive an output like so:

UUID:                                 edf4c085912d
Enclave Name: patient-sun
Enclave Status: RUNNING
Creation Time: Thu, 26 Jan 2023 15:10:24 GMT
API Container Status: RUNNING
API Container Host GRPC Port: 127.0.0.1:55529
API Container Host GRPC Proxy Port: 127.0.0.1:55530

========================================== User Services ==========================================
UUID Name Ports Status

kurtosis enclave inspect is the way to investigate an enclave.

If you ever forget your enclave name or don't feel like using tab completion, you can always run the following:

kurtosis enclave ls

This will print all the enclaves inside your Kurtosis cluster:

UUID           Name                                       Status    Creation Time
edf4c085912d patient-sun RUNNING Thu, 26 Jan 2023 15:10:24 GMT

Now run the following to store your enclave ID in a variable, replacing YOUR_ENCLAVE_NAME_HERE with your enclave's name.

ENCLAVE_IDENTIFIER="YOUR_ENCLAVE_NAME_HERE"

We'll use this variable so that you can continue to copy-and-paste code blocks in the next section.

Start A Service

Distributed applications are composed of services. Here we'll start a simple service, and see some of the options Kurtosis has for debugging.

Enter this command:

kurtosis service add "$ENCLAVE_IDENTIFIER" my-nginx nginx:latest --ports http=80

You should see output similar to the following:

Ports Bindings:
Name: my-nginx
UUID: ad28326bf014
http: 80/tcp -> 127.0.0.1:55571

Now inspect your enclave again:

kurtosis enclave inspect "$ENCLAVE_IDENTIFIER"

You should see a new service with the service name my-nginx in your enclave:

UUID:                                 edf4c085912d
Enclave Name: patient-sun
Enclave Status: RUNNING
Creation Time: Thu, 26 Jan 2023 15:10:24 GMT
API Container Status: RUNNING
API Container Host GRPC Port: 127.0.0.1:55529
API Container Host GRPC Proxy Port: 127.0.0.1:55530

========================================== User Services ==========================================
UUID Name Ports Status
ad28326bf014 my-nginx http: 80/tcp -> 127.0.0.1:55571 RUNNING

Kurtosis binds all service ports to ephemeral ports on your local machine. Copy the 127.0.0.1:XXXXX address into your browser (yours will be different), and you should see a welcome message from your NginX service running inside the enclave you created.

Now paste the following but don't press ENTER yet:

kurtosis service shell "$ENCLAVE_IDENTIFIER"

If you have tab completion installed, press TAB. The service UUID & name of the NginX service will be completed (which in this case was my-nginx, but yours will be different).

If you don't have tab completion installed, paste in the service name of the NginX service from the enclave inspect output above (which was my-nginx, but yours will be different).

tip

Like enclave names, all service UUID arguments can be tab-completed.

Press ENTER, and you'll be logged in to a shell on the container:

Found bash on container; creating bash shell...
[email protected]:/#

Kurtosis will try to give you a bash shell, but will drop down to sh if bash doesn't exist on the container.

Feel free to explore, and enter exit or press Ctrl-D when you're done.

Now enter the following but don't press ENTER:

kurtosis service logs -f "$ENCLAVE_IDENTIFIER"

Once again, you can use tab completion to fill the service UUID if you have it enabled. If not, you'll need to copy-paste the service UUID as the last argument.

Press ENTER, and you'll see a live-updating stream of the service's logs:

/docker-entrypoint.sh: /docker-entrypoint.d/ is not empty, will attempt to perform configuration
/docker-entrypoint.sh: Looking for shell scripts in /docker-entrypoint.d/
/docker-entrypoint.sh: Launching /docker-entrypoint.d/10-listen-on-ipv6-by-default.sh
10-listen-on-ipv6-by-default.sh: info: Getting the checksum of /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf
10-listen-on-ipv6-by-default.sh: info: Enabled listen on IPv6 in /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf
/docker-entrypoint.sh: Launching /docker-entrypoint.d/20-envsubst-on-templates.sh
/docker-entrypoint.sh: Launching /docker-entrypoint.d/30-tune-worker-processes.sh
/docker-entrypoint.sh: Configuration complete; ready for start up
2023/01/26 15:14:42 [notice] 1#1: using the "epoll" event method
2023/01/26 15:14:42 [notice] 1#1: nginx/1.23.3
2023/01/26 15:14:42 [notice] 1#1: built by gcc 10.2.1 20210110 (Debian 10.2.1-6)
2023/01/26 15:14:42 [notice] 1#1: OS: Linux 5.15.49-linuxkit
2023/01/26 15:14:42 [notice] 1#1: getrlimit(RLIMIT_NOFILE): 1048576:1048576
2023/01/26 15:14:42 [notice] 1#1: start worker processes
2023/01/26 15:14:42 [notice] 1#1: start worker process 29
2023/01/26 15:14:42 [notice] 1#1: start worker process 30
2023/01/26 15:14:42 [notice] 1#1: start worker process 31
2023/01/26 15:14:42 [notice] 1#1: start worker process 32

You can reload your browser window showing the NginX welcome page to see new log entries appear. When you're satisfied, press Ctrl-C to end the stream.

Lastly, run:

kurtosis enclave dump "$ENCLAVE_IDENTIFIER" enclave-output

Kurtosis will dump a snapshot of the enclave's logs and container specs to the enclave-output directory. This can be useful for quickly sharing debugging information with your coworkers.

Write A Simple Starlark Script

We've used the CLI and some debugging tools, so let's start using Kurtosis' Starlark environment definition language.

Create and cd into a new working directory:

mkdir my-kurtosis-package && cd my-kurtosis-package

Create a new Starlark file called main.star with the following contents:

def run(plan, args):
plan.add_service(
"my-nginx",
config = ServiceConfig(
image = "nginx:latest",
ports = {
"http": PortSpec(number = 80),
},
),
)

The commands in this file will do the same thing as the service add command you ran earlier, but they are now infrastructure-as-code.

Run the following:

kurtosis run main.star --dry-run

Because the --dry-run flag was specified, Kurtosis will read the file and show the instructions it would execute without executing them:

INFO[2023-01-26T17:47:34Z] Creating a new enclave for Starlark to run inside... 
INFO[2023-01-26T17:47:37Z] Enclave 'winter-night' created successfully

> add_service service_name="my-nginx" config=ServiceConfig(image="nginx:latest", ports={"http": PortSpec(number=80, transport_protocol="TCP", application_protocol="")})

Starlark code successfully run in dry-run mode. No output was returned.
INFO[2023-01-26T17:47:38Z] =====================================================
INFO[2023-01-26T17:47:38Z] || Created enclave: winter-night ||
INFO[2023-01-26T17:47:38Z] =====================================================

Remove the --dry-run flag and execute the script:

kurtosis run main.star

The output will look similar to the dry run, but the add_service instruction now returns information about the service it started:

INFO[2023-01-26T17:47:01Z] Creating a new enclave for Starlark to run inside... 
INFO[2023-01-26T17:47:06Z] Enclave 'muddy-grass' created successfully

> add_service service_name="my-nginx" config=ServiceConfig(image="nginx:latest", ports={"http": PortSpec(number=80, transport_protocol="TCP", application_protocol="")})
Service 'my-nginx' added with service UUID '490ac1e94356470a9da925e6c44722df'

Starlark code successfully run. No output was returned.
INFO[2023-01-26T17:47:08Z] ====================================================
INFO[2023-01-26T17:47:08Z] || Created enclave: muddy-grass ||
INFO[2023-01-26T17:47:08Z] ====================================================

Inspecting the enclave will now print the service inside:

UUID:                                 edf501e234a1
Enclave Name: muddy-grass
Enclave Status: RUNNING
Creation Time: Thu, 26 Jan 2023 17:47:01 GMT
API Container Status: RUNNING
API Container Host GRPC Port: 127.0.0.1:57301
API Container Host GRPC Proxy Port: 127.0.0.1:57302

========================================== User Services ==========================================
UUID Name Ports Status
490ac1e94356 my-nginx http: 80/tcp -> 127.0.0.1:57307 RUNNING

Just like the service added via the CLI, the same Kurtosis debugging tools are available for enclaves created via Starlark.

Create A Dependency

Now that you've seen the basics, let's define a system where one service depends on another service.

Replace your main.star contents with the following:

def run(plan, args):
web_server = plan.add_service(
"hello-world",
config = ServiceConfig(
image = "httpd",
ports = {
"http": PortSpec(number = 80),
},
),
)

nginx_conf_data = {
"HelloWorldIpAddress": web_server.ip_address,
"HelloWorldPort": web_server.ports["http"].number,
}

nginx_conf_template = """
server {
listen 80;
listen [::]:80;
server_name localhost;

location / {
root /usr/share/nginx/html;
index index.html index.htm;
}

# redirect server error pages to the static page /50x.html
#
error_page 500 502 503 504 /50x.html;
location = /50x.html {
root /usr/share/nginx/html;
}

# Reverse proxy configuration (note the template values!)
location /sample{
proxy_pass http://{{ .HelloWorldIpAddress }}:{{ .HelloWorldPort }}/;
}
}
"""

nginx_config_file_artifact = plan.render_templates(
name = "nginx-artifact",
config = {
"default.conf": struct(
template = nginx_conf_template,
data = nginx_conf_data,
)
},
)

plan.add_service(
"my-nginx",
config = ServiceConfig(
image = "nginx:latest",
ports = {
"http": PortSpec(number = 80),
},
files = {
"/etc/nginx/conf.d": nginx_config_file_artifact,
}
),
)

Run the Starlark script again:

kurtosis run main.star

Now inspect the enclave that got created. You'll see that two services, my-nginx and hello-world, have been added now:

UUID:                                 edf351b63ba6
Enclave Name: shy-surf
Enclave Status: RUNNING
Creation Time: Thu, 26 Jan 2023 17:49:59 GMT
API Container Status: RUNNING
API Container Host GRPC Port: 127.0.0.1:57336
API Container Host GRPC Proxy Port: 127.0.0.1:57337

========================================== User Services ==========================================
UUID Name Ports Status
049a95f55a93 hello-world http: 80/tcp -> 127.0.0.1:57357 RUNNING
a1b43c21f0e7 my-nginx http: 80/tcp -> 127.0.0.1:57361 RUNNING

Now in your browser open the my-nginx endpoint with the /sample URL path (e.g. http://127.0.0.1:57361/sample, though your URL will be different). You'll see the hello-world service responding through the NginX proxy that we've configured:

It works!

Your Starlark script defined a set of instructions - a plan - for building the environment. This plan was:

  1. Start a hello-world service, listening on port 5050
  2. Render a NginX config file using a template and the IP address and port of the hello-world service
  3. Start the my-nginx service with the NginX config file mounted at /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf

Kurtosis read this plan, ran pre-flight validation on it to catch common errors (e.g. referencing container images or services or ports that don't exist), and started the environment you specified.

These instructions are just the beginning, however - there are many more instructions available.

Interlude

We've started a few enclaves at this point, and kurtosis enclave ls will display something like the following:

UUID           Name              Status    Creation Time
edffa85eb3b1 twilight-shadow RUNNING Thu, 26 Jan 2023 15:33:10 GMT
edf78299bbbd patient-field RUNNING Thu, 26 Jan 2023 16:50:12 GMT
edf1abc0bfc4 dry-thunder RUNNING Thu, 26 Jan 2023 16:50:22 GMT
edf501e234a1 muddy-grass RUNNING Thu, 26 Jan 2023 17:47:01 GMT
edf705c22be4 winter-night RUNNING Thu, 26 Jan 2023 17:47:34 GMT
edf351b63ba6 shy-surf RUNNING Thu, 26 Jan 2023 17:49:59 GMT

Enclaves themselves have very little overhead and are cheap to create, but the services inside the enclaves will naturally consume resources. Clean up your Kurtosis cluster now:

kurtosis clean -a

The -a flag indicates that even running enclaves should be removed. If you prefer to manage enclaves individually, this can be done with the kurtosis enclave stop and kurtosis enclave rm commands.

Before we continue, let's review what we've learned so far. We've:

  1. Seen how the Kurtosis CLI can manage enclaves and services
  2. Played with various debugging tools that the Kurtosis engine provides
  3. Used Starlark to define an infrastructure-as-code environment
  4. Defined a simple app that contained service dependencies and template-rendering

Use Resources In Starlark

It would be very cumbersome if your entire environment definition needed to fit in a single Starlark file, and we already see how the NginX config template makes the Starlark harder to read. Let's fix this.

First, create a file called kurtosis.yml next to your main.star file with the following contents, replacing YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME with your GitHub username:

name: "github.com/YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME/my-kurtosis-package"

This is a Kurtosis package manifest, which transforms your directory into a Kurtosis package and allows all Starlark scripts inside to use external dependencies.

Now create a file called default.conf.tmpl next to your main.star with the NginX config file contents (copied from the Starlark script):

server {
listen 80;
listen [::]:80;
server_name localhost;

location / {
root /usr/share/nginx/html;
index index.html index.htm;
}

# redirect server error pages to the static page /50x.html
#
error_page 500 502 503 504 /50x.html;
location = /50x.html {
root /usr/share/nginx/html;
}

# Reverse proxy configuration (note the template values!)
location /sample{
proxy_pass http://{{ .HelloWorldIpAddress }}:{{ .HelloWorldPort }}/sample;
}
}

Finally, replace your main.star with the following, replacing YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME in the first line with your GitHub username:

nginx_conf_template = read_file("github.com/YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME/my-kurtosis-package/default.conf.tmpl")

def run(plan, args):
rest_service = plan.add_service(
"hello-world",
config = ServiceConfig(
image = "vad1mo/hello-world-rest",
ports = {
"http": PortSpec(number = 5050),
},
),
)

nginx_conf_data = {
"HelloWorldIpAddress": rest_service.ip_address,
"HelloWorldPort": rest_service.ports["http"].number,
}

nginx_config_file_artifact = plan.render_templates(
name = "nginx-artifact",
config = {
"default.conf": struct(
template = nginx_conf_template,
data = nginx_conf_data,
)
},
)

plan.add_service(
"my-nginx",
config = ServiceConfig(
image = "nginx:latest",
ports = {
"http": PortSpec(number = 80),
},
files = {
"/etc/nginx/conf.d": nginx_config_file_artifact,
}
),
)

Take note that:

  • The template contents are now being imported using the read_file Starlark instruction.
  • The template file is referenced using a URL-like syntax; this is called a "locator" and is how Starlark files include external resources.
  • Because our directory is now a Kurtosis package due to the kurtosis.yml file and the package has a main.star file with a run function, our directory is now a runnable Kurtosis package.

Because our directory is a runnable Kurtosis package, we now run the package by specifying the package directory (the directory with the kurtosis.yml):

kurtosis run .

This will create the same hello-world and my-nginx services, but using external resources.

Parameterize Your Package

Notice that the run function in the main.star has an args argument. This allows you to parameterize your Kurtosis package.

Replace your main.star with the following, replacing YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME in the first line with your GitHub username:

nginx_conf_template = read_file("github.com/YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME/my-kurtosis-package/default.conf.tmpl")

def run(plan, args):
rest_service = plan.add_service(
"hello-world",
config = ServiceConfig(
image = "vad1mo/hello-world-rest",
ports = {
"http": PortSpec(number = 5050),
},
),
)

nginx_conf_data = {
"HelloWorldIpAddress": rest_service.ip_address,
"HelloWorldPort": rest_service.ports["http"].number,
}

nginx_config_file_artifact = plan.render_templates(
name = "nginx-artifact",
config = {
"default.conf": struct(
template = nginx_conf_template,
data = nginx_conf_data,
)
},
)

nginx_count = 1
if hasattr(args, "nginx_count"):
nginx_count = args.nginx_count

for i in range(0, nginx_count):
plan.add_service(
"my-nginx-" + str(i),
config = ServiceConfig(
image = "nginx:latest",
ports = {
"http": PortSpec(number = 80),
},
files = {
"/etc/nginx/conf.d": nginx_config_file_artifact,
}
),
)

Now run the package again, passing in a JSON object for args:

kurtosis run . '{"nginx_count": 3}'

After execution, inspecting the enclave will reveal that three NginX services have been started:

UUID:                                 edf011afc46c
Enclave Name: purple-smoke
Enclave Status: RUNNING
Creation Time: Thu, 26 Jan 2023 17:53:28 GMT
API Container Status: RUNNING
API Container Host GRPC Port: 127.0.0.1:57429
API Container Host GRPC Proxy Port: 127.0.0.1:57430

========================================== User Services ==========================================
UUID Name Ports Status
0925dff98df7 hello-world http: 5050/tcp -> 127.0.0.1:57437 RUNNING
3cf9f9fdd5e6 my-nginx-2 http: 80/tcp -> 127.0.0.1:57451 RUNNING
60ef364bb7c5 my-nginx-1 http: 80/tcp -> 127.0.0.1:57447 RUNNING
8ccb57e0e778 my-nginx-0 http: 80/tcp -> 127.0.0.1:57441 RUNNING

Each one of these NginX services works identically.

Note that we used the hasattr Starlark builtin to check if args.nginx_count exists, so the package will continue to work if you omit the args argument to kurtosis run.

Publish & Consume Your Package

Kurtosis packages are designed to be trivial to share and consume, so let's do so now.

First, create a repo in your personal GitHub called my-kurtosis-package.

Second, run the following in your Kurtosis my-kurtosis-package directory (the directory with kurtosis.yml), replacing YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME with your GitHub username:

git init && git remote add origin https://github.com/YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME/my-kurtosis-package.git

This makes your directory a Git repo associated with the new GitHub repo you just created.

Now commit and push your changes:

git add . && git commit -m "Initial commit" && git push origin main

Your package is now published, and available to anyone using Kurtosis. To use it, anyone can run the following, replacing YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME with your GitHub username:

kurtosis run github.com/YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME/my-kurtosis-package
tip

If you want to run a non-main branch, tag or commit use the following syntax kurtosis run github.com/package-author/pa[email protected]

Starlark code is composable, meaning you can import Starlark inside other Starlark (in keeping with the properties of a reusable environment definition).

To see this in action, create a new new-kurtosis-package directory outside of your my-kurtosis-package directory:

cd ~ && mkdir new-kurtosis-package && cd new-kurtosis-package

Add a kurtosis.yml manifest make the directory a Kurtosis package:

name: "github.com/test/test"

Next to the kurtosis.yml, add a main.star, replacing YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME in the first line with your GitHub username:

my_package = import_module("github.com/YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME/my-kurtosis-package/main.star")

def run(plan, args):
my_package.run(plan, struct(nginx_count = 3))

Finally, run it by referencing the directory containing the new kurtosis.yml:

kurtosis run .

Kurtosis will handle the importing of your already-published package, allowing anyone to use your environment definition.

Conclusion

In this tutorial we've seen:

  • Environments as a first-class concept - easy to create, access, and destroy
  • Two ways of manipulating the contents of an environment, through the CLI and through Starlark
  • Referencing external resources in Starlark
  • Publishing & consuming environment definitions through the concept of Kurtosis packages
  • Parameterizing environment definitions through the concept of runnable package

These are just the basics of Kurtosis. To dive deeper, you can now: