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Version: 2.4

Install kubefirst From the CLI

Using the CLI to create your cluster directly without using the UI is a perfect alternative for automation. The end result will be the same, a new production-ready management Kubernetes cluster, but you won't have access to the useful additional features available within the UI.



If you are on macOS or Linux, and have Homebrew installed, you can run:

brew install kubefirst/tools/kubefirst

To upgrade an existing kubefirst CLI to the latest version run:

brew update
brew upgrade kubefirst

Docker Desktop

Install Docker Desktop.


If you are a Windows user, you need to be sure to enable Docker support in WSL2 distros. More information in the Docker documentation.

Docker Resources Allocation

The more resources you give Docker, the faster your cluster creation will go, but here are the minimum requirements:

  • CPU: 5 Cores
  • Memory (RAM): 5 GB
  • Swap: 1 GB
  • Virtual Disk limit (for Docker images & containers): 10 GB

Civo Prerequisites

For kubefirst to be able to provision your Civo cloud resources:


kubefirst is keeping low the resources needed to create your Kubernetes cluster, but if you are already using Civo, note that you may have exceeding quota issues during the creation process.

Civo has a quota based on a combined allocation of instances/Kubernetes nodes, CPUs, RAM usage, and other resources. All customers start with a basic quota level, but you can request quota increase.

GitHub Prerequisites

Create your new kubefirst cluster

Adjust the following command with your GitHub and Civo tokens in addition to the appropriate values for your new platform.

export GITHUB_TOKEN=ghp_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
export CIVO_TOKEN=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

kubefirst civo create \
--alerts-email \
--github-org your-github-org \
--domain-name \
--cluster-name kubefirst

By default kubefirst use the cloud providers to manage DNS. You also have the option to use Cloudflare.

To do so, add the dnsProvider flag with the value cloudflare to your create command —dnsProvider cloudflare.

You also need to set the CF_API_TOKEN environment variable with a Cloudflare token (export CF_API_TOKEN=xxxxxxxxx) having the Zone.Zone, and Zone.DNS edit permission. More information on Cloudflare token creation in their documentation.

The kubefirst CLI will produce a directory of utilities, a state file, and some staged platform content that can now be found in the ~/.kubefirst and ~/.k1 folders on your local machine.

After the ~ 10 minute installation, your browser will launch a new tab to the kubefirst Console, which will help you navigate your new suite of tools running in your new Civo cluster.

If your deployment is not successful, errors and troubleshooting information will be stored in a local log file specified during the installation run.

Example of terminal output following cluster creation

Handoff Screen

Root credentials

To obtain your 3 initial passwords, run

kubefirst civo root-credentials

root credentials

If you created your cluster using the UI, or reset your kubefirst environment, you can still retrieve the root credentials (except the kbot user password, which you will have to find manually in Vault) using kubectl:

# Argo CD admin password
kubectl -n argocd get secret argocd-initial-admin-secret -o jsonpath="{.data.password}" | base64 -d

# Vault root token
kubectl -n vault get secret vault-unseal-secret -o jsonpath="{.data.root-token}" | base64 -d

Connecting to Kubernetes

To connect to your new Kubernetes cluster, run

export KUBECONFIG=~/.k1/kubeconfig

To view all cluster pods, run

kubectl get pods -A