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Using CoreDNS for Service Discovery

This page describes the CoreDNS upgrade process and how to install CoreDNS instead of kube-dns.

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:

Your Kubernetes server must be at or later than version v1.9. To check the version, enter kubectl version.

About CoreDNS

CoreDNS is a flexible, extensible DNS server that can serve as the Kubernetes cluster DNS. Like Kubernetes, the CoreDNS project is hosted by the CNCF.

You can use CoreDNS instead of kube-dns in your cluster by replacing kube-dns in an existing deployment, or by using tools like kubeadm that will deploy and upgrade the cluster for you.

Installing CoreDNS

For manual deployment or replacement of kube-dns, see the documentation at the CoreDNS GitHub project.

Migrating to CoreDNS

Upgrading an existing cluster with kubeadm

In Kubernetes version 1.21, kubeadm removed its support for kube-dns as a DNS application. For kubeadm v1.24, the only supported cluster DNS application is CoreDNS.

You can move to CoreDNS when you use kubeadm to upgrade a cluster that is using kube-dns. In this case, kubeadm generates the CoreDNS configuration ("Corefile") based upon the kube-dns ConfigMap, preserving configurations for stub domains, and upstream name server.

Upgrading CoreDNS

You can check the version of CoreDNS that kubeadm installs for each version of Kubernetes in the page CoreDNS version in Kubernetes.

CoreDNS can be upgraded manually in case you want to only upgrade CoreDNS or use your own custom image. There is a helpful guideline and walkthrough available to ensure a smooth upgrade. Make sure the existing CoreDNS configuration ("Corefile") is retained when upgrading your cluster.

If you are upgrading your cluster using the kubeadm tool, kubeadm can take care of retaining the existing CoreDNS configuration automatically.

Tuning CoreDNS

When resource utilisation is a concern, it may be useful to tune the configuration of CoreDNS. For more details, check out the documentation on scaling CoreDNS.

What's next

You can configure CoreDNS to support many more use cases than kube-dns does by modifying the CoreDNS configuration ("Corefile"). For more information, see the documentation for the kubernetes CoreDNS plugin, or read the Custom DNS Entries for Kubernetes. in the CoreDNS blog.

Last modified March 08, 2022 at 9:09 PM PST: Improve coredns page (15f643e5e8)