Define Dependent Environment Variables
This page shows how to define dependent environment variables for a container in a Kubernetes Pod.
Before you begin
You need to have a Kubernetes cluster, and the kubectl command-line tool must be configured to communicate with your cluster. It is recommended to run this tutorial on a cluster with at least two nodes that are not acting as control plane hosts. If you do not already have a cluster, you can create one by using minikube or you can use one of these Kubernetes playgrounds:
Define an environment dependent variable for a container
When you create a Pod, you can set dependent environment variables for the containers that run in the Pod. To set dependent environment variables, you can use $(VAR_NAME) in the
env in the configuration file.
In this exercise, you create a Pod that runs one container. The configuration file for the Pod defines a dependent environment variable with common usage defined. Here is the configuration manifest for the Pod:
apiVersion: v1 kind: Pod metadata: name: dependent-envars-demo spec: containers: - name: dependent-envars-demo args: - while true; do echo -en '\n'; printf UNCHANGED_REFERENCE=$UNCHANGED_REFERENCE'\n'; printf SERVICE_ADDRESS=$SERVICE_ADDRESS'\n';printf ESCAPED_REFERENCE=$ESCAPED_REFERENCE'\n'; sleep 30; done; command: - sh - -c image: busybox:1.28 env: - name: SERVICE_PORT value: "80" - name: SERVICE_IP value: "172.17.0.1" - name: UNCHANGED_REFERENCE value: "$(PROTOCOL)://$(SERVICE_IP):$(SERVICE_PORT)" - name: PROTOCOL value: "https" - name: SERVICE_ADDRESS value: "$(PROTOCOL)://$(SERVICE_IP):$(SERVICE_PORT)" - name: ESCAPED_REFERENCE value: "$$(PROTOCOL)://$(SERVICE_IP):$(SERVICE_PORT)"
Create a Pod based on that manifest:
kubectl apply -f https://k8s.io/examples/pods/inject/dependent-envars.yaml
List the running Pods:
kubectl get pods dependent-envars-demo
NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGE dependent-envars-demo 1/1 Running 0 9s
Check the logs for the container running in your Pod:
kubectl logs pod/dependent-envars-demo
UNCHANGED_REFERENCE=$(PROTOCOL)://172.17.0.1:80 SERVICE_ADDRESS=https://172.17.0.1:80 ESCAPED_REFERENCE=$(PROTOCOL)://172.17.0.1:80
As shown above, you have defined the correct dependency reference of
SERVICE_ADDRESS, bad dependency reference of
UNCHANGED_REFERENCE and skip dependent references of
When an environment variable is already defined when being referenced,
the reference can be correctly resolved, such as in the
Note that order matters in the
env list. An environment variable is not considered
"defined" if it is specified further down the list. That is why
fails to resolve
$(PROTOCOL) in the example above.
When the environment variable is undefined or only includes some variables, the undefined environment variable is treated as a normal string, such as
UNCHANGED_REFERENCE. Note that incorrectly parsed environment variables, in general, will not block the container from starting.
$(VAR_NAME) syntax can be escaped with a double
Escaped references are never expanded, regardless of whether the referenced variable
is defined or not. This can be seen from the
ESCAPED_REFERENCE case above.
- Learn more about environment variables.
- See EnvVarSource.