Write Your Kubernetes Infrastructure as Go Code — Cdk8s-Plus in Action!

One of my previous blog posts covered how to get started with cdk8s (Cloud Development Kit for Kubernetes), which is an open-source framework (part of CNCF) using which you can define your Kubernetes applications using regular programming languages ​​(instead of yaml).

You were able to set up a simple nginx Deployment and accessed it via a Service – all this was done using Go, which was then converted to yaml (using cdk8s synth) and submitted to the cluster using kubectl. This was a good start. However, since the core cdk8s library is pretty low-level (for a good reason!) the code involved a lot of boilerplate (you can refer to the code here).

cdk8s-plus leverages building blocks from cdk8s core library, thereby helping reduce verbosity and complexity by providing higher level abstractions/APIs for all Kubernetes objects such as Deployments, Services, etc. In this blog, we will see cdk8s-plus in action and even deploy WordPress on Kubernetes with it!

Let’s Start by Revamping the Nginx Deployment

To witness how cdk8s-plus works, it’s best to look at the code.

It is available on Github.

I will walk you through the code as we go along.

func NewNginxChart(scope constructs.Construct, id string, props *NginxChartProps) cdk8s.Chart {
    var cprops cdk8s.ChartProps
    if props != nil {
        cprops = props.ChartProps
    chart := cdk8s.NewChart(scope, jsii.String(id), &cprops)

    dep := cdk8splus22.NewDeployment(chart, jsii.String("deployment"), &cdk8splus22.DeploymentProps{Metadata: &cdk8s.ApiObjectMetadata{Name: jsii.String("nginx-deployment-cdk8s-plus")}})

        Name:  jsii.String("nginx-container"),
        Image: jsii.String("nginx"),
        Port:  jsii.Number(80)})

        Name:        jsii.String("nginx-container-service"),
        ServiceType: cdk8splus22.ServiceType_LOAD_BALANCER,
        Ports:       &[]*cdk8splus22.ServicePort{{Port: jsii.Number(9090), TargetPort: jsii.Number(80)}}})

    return chart

We start by creating a Deployment, then add a container and finally expose it using a Service. This is quite intuitive and user-friendly.

The container details could have been provided via DeploymentProps but using AddContainer seemed more natural (at least to me).

To generate Kubernetes manifest, simply run cdk8s synth. This will generate a yaml in the dist folder. Here is an example (some of the names, labels, etc. will be different in your case):

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: nginx-deployment-cdk8s-plus
  minReadySeconds: 0
  progressDeadlineSeconds: 600
  replicas: 1
      cdk8s.io/metadata.addr: nginx-cdk8s-plus-deployment-c84b388e
      maxSurge: 25%
      maxUnavailable: 25%
    type: RollingUpdate
        cdk8s.io/metadata.addr: nginx-cdk8s-plus-deployment-c84b388e
      automountServiceAccountToken: true
        - image: nginx
          imagePullPolicy: Always
          name: nginx-container
            - containerPort: 80
            privileged: false
            readOnlyRootFilesystem: false
            runAsNonRoot: false
      dnsPolicy: ClusterFirst
        fsGroupChangePolicy: Always
        runAsNonRoot: false
      setHostnameAsFQDN: false
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: nginx-container-service
  externalIPs: []
    - port: 9090
      targetPort: 80
    cdk8s.io/metadata.addr: nginx-cdk8s-plus-deployment-c84b388e
  type: LoadBalancer

Both the Deployment and Service are present in the same manifest, since they were declared in the same Chart.

It’s worth noting that there was no need to specify any Pod label selectors, template labels (in Deployment code) or Service selector. cdk8s-plus took care of it by auto-generating cdk8s.io/metadata.addr: nginx-cdk8s-plus-deployment-c84b388ewhich was used in spec.selector.matchLabels and spec.template.metadata.labelsalong with the Service selector in nginx-container-service

A note on dependencies

go.mod lists all the modules:

require (
    github.com/aws/constructs-go/constructs/v10 v10.1.42
    github.com/aws/jsii-runtime-go v1.61.0
    github.com/cdk8s-team/cdk8s-core-go/cdk8s/v2 v2.3.31
    github.com/cdk8s-team/cdk8s-plus-go/cdk8splus22/v2 v2.0.0-rc.23

Note that we are using cdk8splus22. The reason for this naming convention is because each cdk8s-plus library is separately vented to target a specific Kubernetes version – the 22 at the end signifies that this dependency will work with Kubernetes 1.22

I would recommend reading the FAQs to get further clarity

To test this locally…

… you can use minikube, kind, etc.

git clone https://github.com/abhirockzz/cdk8s-for-go-developers
cd part2-cdk8s-plus-in-action/nginx-example

# make sure cluster is running
minikube start

# create the resources
kubectl apply -f dist/
kubectl get pods -w

Once Pod is running, check the Service:

In a terminal, run this command (it runs as a separate process):

To access the nginx server, navigate to the external IP (as per the Service). In the case of minikube, you can simply use localhost:9090 or

How About a WordPress Installation on Kubernetes?

I like this example – it’s not overly complex but realistic enough because it has multiple moving parts that include a combination of stateless, stateful components, different kinds of services, etc.

This post is not a deep dive into WordPress and loosely inspired by this article in the Kubernetes documentation, which I assume folks might be familiar with.

The main function will give you a sense of what lies ahead:

func main() {
    app := cdk8s.NewApp(nil)

    mySQLChart := NewMySQLChart(app, "mysql", nil)
    wordpressChart := NewWordpressChart(app, "wordpress", nil)



So far, we have dealt with a single chart. Our WordPress cdk8s application has two Separate charts – one for MySQL database and the other one for WordPress. This will result in two different manifests being created as a result of cdk8s synth process.

Let’s look at the MySQL chart first

some code has been omitted for brevity

We start by defining a Kubernetes Secret to store MySQL password (with NewSecret):

func NewMySQLChart(scope constructs.Construct, id string, props *MyChartProps) cdk8s.Chart {
    secretName := "mysql-pass"
    password := "Password123"

    mysqlSecret := cdk8splus22.NewSecret(chart, jsii.String("mysql-secret"),
            Metadata: &cdk8s.ApiObjectMetadata{Name: jsii.String(secretName)}})

    secretKey := "password"
    mysqlSecret.AddStringData(jsii.String(secretKey), jsii.String(password))

MySQL password has been declared in the code – not a best practice by any means, just for demo. Do not do this in production!

Then we create the Deployment and provide container details. Notice how the Secret has been added as an environment variable to the container:

   dep := cdk8splus22.NewDeployment(chart, jsii.String("mysql-deployment-cdk8splus"), &cdk8splus22.DeploymentProps{})

    containerImage := "mysql"

    mysqlContainer := dep.AddContainer(&cdk8splus22.ContainerProps{
        Name:  jsii.String("mysql-container"),
        Image: jsii.String(containerImage),
        Port:  jsii.Number(3306),

    envValFromSecret := cdk8splus22.EnvValue_FromSecretValue(&cdk8splus22.SecretValue{Key: jsii.String(secretKey), Secret: mysqlSecret}, &cdk8splus22.EnvValueFromSecretOptions{Optional: jsii.Bool(false)})

    mySQLPasswordEnvName := "MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD"

    mysqlContainer.Env().AddVariable(jsii.String(mySQLPasswordEnvName), envValFromSecret)

For durable storage, we create a PersistentVolumeClaim, use that to define a Volume, and mount it onto the container at the path /var/lib/mysql.

   mysqlPVC := cdk8splus22.NewPersistentVolumeClaim(chart, jsii.String("mysql-pvc"), &cdk8splus22.PersistentVolumeClaimProps{
        AccessModes: &[]cdk8splus22.PersistentVolumeAccessMode{cdk8splus22.PersistentVolumeAccessMode_READ_WRITE_ONCE},
        Storage:     cdk8s.Size_Gibibytes(jsii.Number(2))})

    mysqlVolumeName := "mysql-persistent-storage"
    mysqlVolume := cdk8splus22.Volume_FromPersistentVolumeClaim(chart, jsii.String("mysql-vol-pvc"), mysqlPVC, &cdk8splus22.PersistentVolumeClaimVolumeOptions{Name: jsii.String(mysqlVolumeName)})

    mySQLVolumeMountPath := "/var/lib/mysql"
    mysqlContainer.Mount(jsii.String(mySQLVolumeMountPath), mysqlVolume, &cdk8splus22.MountOptions{})

Finally, we create a Service:

 mySQLServiceName := "mysql-service"
    clusterIPNone := "None"

    cdk8splus22.NewService(chart, jsii.String("mysql-service"), &cdk8splus22.ServiceProps{
        Metadata:  &cdk8s.ApiObjectMetadata{Name: jsii.String(mySQLServiceName)},
        Selector:  dep,
        ClusterIP: jsii.String(clusterIPNone),
        Ports:     &[]*cdk8splus22.ServicePort{{Port: jsii.Number(3306)}},

Unlike previous example, we create a Service explicitly and then refer to Deployment object in the service selector.

WordPress Chart – Except for minor differences, it’s the same as the MySQL chart with WordPress-specific configuration obviously. So I won’t repeat it here – feel free to explore the code.

Time to Kick off WordPress on Kubernetes!

Rinse and repeat – cdk8s synth to create the manifest and apply it with kubectl:

cd part2-cdk8s-plus-in-action/wordpress

#create manifests
cdk8s synth

#apply them
kubectl apply -f dist/

#output - you will see something similar to:

secret/mysql-pass created
deployment.apps/mysql-mysql-deployment-cdk8splus-c83762d9 created
persistentvolumeclaim/mysql-mysql-pvc-c8799bba created
service/mysql-service created
deployment.apps/wordpress-wordpress-deployment-cdk8splus-c8252da7 created
service/wordpress-service created
persistentvolumeclaim/wordpress-wordpress-pvc-c8334a29 created

In a different terminal run (if not already running):

Use your browser to navigate to http://localhost:80. You should see the familiar WordPress installation screen.

Go ahead, finish the installation and log into your WordPress instance. Feel free to experiment. Maybe try deleting the MySQL deployment and re-create it. Thanks to the PersistentVolumeMySQL data should be recovered and WordPress will continue to work.


Awesome! In this blog, you saw the expressiveness of cdk8s-plus. We started off with a compact and less verbose version of the Nginx deployment and ended up with a full-fledged WordPress instance – all using Go.

Happy coding!


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