Deploy a Compose-based app to a Kubernetes cluster

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Docker Enterprise Edition enables deploying Docker Compose files to Kubernetes clusters. Starting in Compose file version 3.3, you use the same docker-compose.yml file that you use for Swarm deployments, but you specify Kubernetes workloads when you deploy the stack. The result is a true Kubernetes app.

Get access to a Kubernetes namespace

To deploy a stack to Kubernetes, you need a namespace for the app’s resources. Contact your Docker EE administrator to get access to a namespace. In this example, the namespace has the name lab-words. Learn to grant access to a Kubernetes namespace.

Create a Kubernetes app from a Compose file

In this example, you create a simple app, named “lab-words”, by using a Compose file. The following yaml defines the stack:

version: '3.3'

    build: web
    image: dockerdemos/lab-web
     - "./web/static:/static"
     - "80:80"

    build: words
    image: dockerdemos/lab-words
      replicas: 5
      endpoint_mode: dnsrr
          memory: 16M
          memory: 16M

    build: db
    image: dockerdemos/lab-db
  1. Open the UCP web UI, and in the left pane, click Shared resources.
  2. Click Stacks, and in the Stacks page, click Create stack.
  3. In the Name textbox, type “lab-words”.
  4. In the Mode dropdown, select Kubernetes workloads.
  5. In the Namespace drowdown, select lab-words.
  6. In the docker-compose.yml editor, paste the previous YAML.
  7. Click Create to deploy the stack.

Inspect the deployment

After a few minutes have passed, all of the pods in the lab-words deployment are running.

  1. In the left pane, click Pods. Confirm that there are seven pods and that their status is Running. If any have a status of Pending, wait until they’re all running.
  2. Click one of the pods that has a name starting with words, and in the details pane, scroll down to the Pod IP to view the pod’s internal IP address.

  3. In the left pane, click Load balancers and find the web-published service.
  4. Click the web-published service, and in the details pane, scroll down to the Spec section.
  5. Under Ports, click the URL to open the web UI for the lab-words app.

  6. Look at the IP addresses that are displayed in each tile. The IP address of the pod you inspected previously may be listed. If it’s not, refresh the page until you see it.

  7. Refresh the page to see how the load is balanced across the pods.
UCP, Docker EE, Kubernetes, Compose