Port Forwarding

Skaffold has built-in support for forwarding ports for exposed Kubernetes resources on your cluster to your local machine when running in either dev or debug mode.

Port forwarding is disabled by default; it can be enabled with the --port-forward flag. If this flag is not set, no port forwarding will occur!

When port forwarding is enabled, Skaffold will:

  1. Set up automatic port forwarding as described in the following section
  2. Port forward any user defined resources in the Skaffold config

Automatic Port Forwarding

Skaffold will perform automatic port forwarding for resources that it manages:

  • all services it deploys for both skaffold dev and skaffold debug.
  • all pods it deploys, but only including containers that run skaffold built images, for skaffold debug.

User Defined Port Forwarding

Users can also define additional resources to port forward in the skaffold config, to enable port forwarding for

  • additional resource types supported by kubectl port-forward e.g.Deploymentor ReplicaSet.
  • additional pods running containers which run images not built by Skaffold.

For example:

- resourceType: deployment
  resourceName: myDep
  namespace: mynamespace  # 
  port: 8080 # 
  localPort: 9000 # *Optional*

For this example, Skaffold will attempt to forward port 8080 to localhost:9000. If port 9000 is unavailable, Skaffold will forward to a random open port.

Skaffold will run kubectl port-forward on each of these resources in addition to the automatic port forwarding described above. Acceptable resource types include: Service, Pod and Controller resource type that has a pod spec: ReplicaSet, ReplicationController, Deployment, StatefulSet, DaemonSet, Job, CronJob.

Field Values Mandatory
resourceType pod, service, deployment, replicaset, statefulset, replicationcontroller, daemonset, job, cronjob Yes
resourceName Name of the resource to forward. Yes
namespace The namespace of the resource to port forward. No. Defaults to default
port Port is the resource port that will be forwarded. Yes
localPort LocalPort is the local port to forward too. No. Defaults to value set for port.

Skaffold will run kubectl port-forward on all user defined resources. kubectl port-forward will select one pod created by that resource to forward too.

For example, forwarding a deployment that creates 3 replicas could look like this:

- resourceType: deployment
  resourceName: myDep
  namespace: mynamespace
  port: 8080
  localPort: 9000


Last modified November 5, 2019: cleanup + maturity update (ce910f728)