Deploy on KubernetesEstimated reading time: 3 minutes
Docker Desktop includes a standalone Kubernetes server and client, as well as Docker CLI integration. The Kubernetes server runs locally within your Docker instance, is not configurable, and is a single-node cluster.
The Kubernetes server runs within a Docker container on your local system, and is only for local testing. When Kubernetes support is enabled, you can deploy your workloads, in parallel, on Kubernetes, Swarm, and as standalone containers. Enabling or disabling the Kubernetes server does not affect your other workloads.
See Docker Desktop for Mac > Getting started to enable Kubernetes and begin testing the deployment of your workloads on Kubernetes.
Use Docker commands
You can deploy a stack on Kubernetes with
docker stack deploy, the
docker-compose.yml file, and the name of the stack.
docker stack deploy --compose-file /path/to/docker-compose.yml mystack docker stack services mystack
You can see the service deployed with the
kubectl get services command.
Specify a namespace
By default, the
default namespace is used. You can specify a namespace with
docker stack deploy --namespace my-app --compose-file /path/to/docker-compose.yml mystack
kubectl get services -n my-app to see only the services deployed in the
Override the default orchestrator
While testing Kubernetes, you may want to deploy some workloads in swarm mode.
DOCKER_STACK_ORCHESTRATOR variable to override the default orchestrator for
a given terminal session or a single Docker command. This variable can be unset
(the default, in which case Kubernetes is the orchestrator) or set to
kubernetes. The following command overrides the orchestrator for a single
deployment, by setting the variable
at the start of the command itself.
DOCKER_STACK_ORCHESTRATOR=swarm docker stack deploy --compose-file /path/to/docker-compose.yml mystack
--orchestrator flag may be set to
when deploying to override the default orchestrator for that deployment.
docker stack deploy --orchestrator swarm --compose-file /path/to/docker-compose.yml mystack
Note: Deploying the same app in Kubernetes and swarm mode may lead to conflicts with ports and service names.
Use the kubectl command
The mac Kubernetes integration provides the Kubernetes CLI command
/usr/local/bin/kubectl. This location may not be in your shell’s
variable, so you may need to type the full path of the command or add it to
PATH. For more information about
kubectl, see the
You can test the command by listing the available nodes:
kubectl get nodes NAME STATUS ROLES AGE VERSION docker-desktop Ready master 3h v1.8.2
Docker has created the following demo app that you can deploy to swarm mode or
to Kubernetes using the
docker stack deploy command.
version: '3.3' services: web: image: dockersamples/k8s-wordsmith-web ports: - "80:80" words: image: dockersamples/k8s-wordsmith-api deploy: replicas: 5 endpoint_mode: dnsrr resources: limits: memory: 50M reservations: memory: 50M db: image: dockersamples/k8s-wordsmith-db
If you already have a Kubernetes YAML file, you can deploy it using the