How to Use External DNS for Kubernetes

How to Use External DNS for Kubernetes

Kubernetes has become the cornerstone of container orchestration, simplifying deployment and management of containerized applications. However, managing DNS records for dynamically changing services within a Kubernetes cluster can be challenging. This is where External DNS for Kubernetes comes into play, offering a seamless solution to automatically update DNS records based on the state of your cluster.

Understanding External DNS

External DNS is a Kubernetes extension that allows automatic management of DNS records, enabling services to be discovered easily. Instead of manually updating DNS configurations whenever services change, External DNS dynamically adjusts DNS records based on changes within the Kubernetes environment.

Getting Started

Before diving into the details, make sure you have a Kubernetes cluster up and running, and kubectl configured to interact with it. Additionally, you'll need to have a DNS provider account, as External DNS supports various providers like AWS Route 53, Google Cloud DNS, and more.


The first step is to install External DNS. Use the following command to install External DNS using Helm:

helm install external-dns bitnami/external-dns \
--set provider=<your_dns_provider> \
--set provider.<your_provider_specific_config>

Replace <your_dns_provider> with the name of your DNS provider (e.g., aws, google) and <your_provider_specific_config> with the specific configuration for your provider.

Configuring External DNS

After installation, you need to configure External DNS to authenticate with your DNS provider. This typically involves providing credentials or API keys. Refer to your DNS provider's documentation for the specific configuration details.

Creating a Service

Let's create a sample Kubernetes service that External DNS will manage. Use the following YAML manifest to create a simple service:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
name: my-service
annotations: ""
app: my-app
- protocol: TCP
port: 80
targetPort: 8080

Apply the manifest using:

kubectl apply -f my-service.yaml

Verifying External DNS

Check if External DNS has created the corresponding DNS record by querying your DNS provider or using a tool like nslookup:


Updating Services

Now, whenever you update the service or its annotations, External DNS will automatically update the DNS record accordingly. For example, to change the hostname:

kubectl annotate service my-service \


If you encounter any issues, check External DNS logs using:

kubectl logs -l app=external-dns

Reviewing the logs can provide insights into any errors or misconfigurations.

So, External DNS for Kubernetes is a powerful tool for simplifying the management of DNS records in dynamic environments. By automating the process, it ensures that your DNS records stay up-to-date with the ever-changing state of your Kubernetes cluster.

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