#kubernetes #kubectl #cli #k8s #port-forward

app k8sfwd

A Kubernetes port-forwarding utility for managing multiple targets

3 releases (breaking)

0.3.0 Jul 22, 2023
0.2.0 Jul 17, 2023
0.1.0 Jul 16, 2023

#698 in Command line utilities


1.5K SLoC

k8s:fwd — config-based kubernetes multi-port forwarding

A tool for handling port-forwards to multiple services and across multiple clusters.

The setup is currently based on cargo until platform-specific binaries can be provided. To install the latest version (or update to it), run:

cargo install k8sfwd

Please note that the application internally relies on kubectl, so it needs to be present in your path. If kubectl is not on your path, you may specify it via the --kubectl argument or the KUBECTL_PATH environment variable.

Depending on your configuration, you'll be greeted with something along the lines of:

k8s:fwd 0.2.0 - a Kubernetes multi-cluster port forwarder
Using kubectl version v1.24.12-dispatcher
Using config from 2 locations

Forwarding to the following targets:
#0 Items API (Staging)
   target:  service/foo.test-api
   context: (default)
   cluster: (default)
#1 Items API (Production)
   target:  pod/foo-59b58f5d68-6t6bh.test-api
   context: (default)
   cluster: production

Spawning child processes:
#0: Error from server (NotFound): pods "foo-59b58f5d68-6t6bh" not found
#0: Process exited with exit status: 1 - will retry in 5 sec
#1: Forwarding from -> 80
#1: Forwarding from -> 8080
#1: Forwarding from [::1]:5012 -> 80
#1: Forwarding from [::1]:46737 -> 8080
#0: Error from server (NotFound): pods "foo-59b58f5d68-6t6bh" not found
#0: Process exited with exit status: 1 - will retry in 5 sec

Command-Line Options


Targets can be selected through prefix filters specified on the command-line. Only targets (and target names) starting with the specified prefixes will be forwarded. In the following example, services starting with foo and bar will be selected:

k8sfwd foo bar

Filters can operate in combination with tags as well:

k8sfwd -t test foo bar


Targets can be labeled with tags. When k8sfwd is started with one or more space-separated --tags parameters, targets are filtered down to match the selection. If multiple values are specified (e.g. --tags foo bar), any matching tag results in the target being selected. If two tags are combined with a plus sign (e.g. --tags foo+bar) only targets matching both tags are selected.

Target tags --tags argument Selected
(none) (none) ✅ yes
(none) --tags some ❌ no
["foo", "bar", "baz"] (none) ✅ yes
["foo", "bar", "baz"] --tags fubar ❌ no
["foo", "bar", "baz"] --tags foo bar ✅ yes
["foo", "bar", "baz"] --tags bar ✅ yes
["foo", "bar", "baz"] --tags foo+baz ✅ yes
["foo", "bar", "baz"] --tags foo+fubar ❌ no
["foo", "bar", "baz"] --tags foo+baz fubar ✅ yes
["fubar"] --tags foo+baz fubar ✅ yes


The configuration is provided as a YAML file.

  • If one or more files are specified on program launch via the --file argument(s), their configuration is loaded.
  • If no configuration file is specified, k8sfwd will recursively look for a .k8sfwd file in
    • the current directory hierarchy,
    • your home directory and
    • your configuration directory, in that order.

Non-target configuration (e.g., retry delays) are always loaded from the hierarchy stated above regardless of whether a --file argument is present. However, all target configuration that is not directly specified through a file pointed to by the --file argument is ignored.

See k8sfwd-example.yaml for an example.

version: 0.1.0
  # Optional: Number of seconds to wait before attempting to re-establish
  # a broken connection.
  retry_delay_sec: 5.0
  - name: Test API (Staging)    # Optional, for display purposes.
    target: foo                 # The name of the resource to forward to.
    tags:                       # Optional, for use with `--tags <tag1> <tag2>+<tag3>`
      - integration
    type: service               # Can be service, deployment or pod.
    namespace: bar              # The namespace of the resource.
    context: null               # Optional; will default to current context.
    cluster: null               # Optional; will default to current cluster.
      - "5012:80"               # Forward resource port 80 to local port 5012.
      - "8080"                  # Forward resource port 8080 to random local port. 
  - name: Test API (Production)
    target: foo-59b58f5d68-6t6bh
    type: pod
    namespace: bar
    cluster: production
    listen_addrs:               # Select the listen addresses; defaults to `localhost`.
      - ""
      - "5012:80"


~141K SLoC