19 April, 2018

CKA - Kubernetes Certified Administrator exam tips

I passed the Kubernetes Certified Administrator exam recently and I would like to share some tips.

I was looking for some details about the exam before, but most of the articles I found are quite old:

So I decided to write some more fresh stuff from the April 2018.

  • You will have access to one terminal window where you are switching between Kubernetes clusters using "kubectl config use-context ". (Every exercise start with command showing you which cluster to use.) Here is how it looks (picture is taken from http://madorn.com/certified-kubernetes-administrator-exam.html)
  • When you are doing some cluster troubleshooting it may be useful to know "screen" command and how to work with it. It's handy when you need to quickly switch between cluster node sessions, because you have only one terminal window.
  • Absolute must is to enable bash completion on the "master station" where you will be running all the "kubectl" commands. This handy autocomplete will speed up your work significantly - you can enable it by running: "<(kubectl completion bash)" (https://kubernetes.io/docs/reference/kubectl/cheatsheet/)
    Examples can be found here: https://blog.heptio.com/kubectl-shell-autocomplete-heptioprotip-48dd023e0bf3
  • Web console used on the exam has some limitation so be prepared, that it's not so easy to manage it like in case of your favorite terminal. Se the Exam Handbook how to use Copy & Paste and do not use the bash shortcut "Ctrl + W" for deleting word if you are used to.
  • During the exam I marked some questions which I would like to look at before exam ends. Actually I didn't have time to do it - so do not expect, that you will have much time to left to return back to some questions...
  • If you are completely lost with some hard questions - it's better to skip them or just give them limited amount of time.
  • There is a notepad in your browser available during the exam - so use it for your notes.
  • Be familiar with structure of kubernetes.io and how to search there. This is the only page which can be opened in the second browser tab and you are allowed to use it.
  • You should practice your Kubernetes knowledge on multinode cluster. minikube is very handy to spin up the Kubernetes easily, but it has only single node. All clusters in CKA exam are multinode clusters and you should know how to work with them.
    Feel free to look at this page how to quickly install the multinode Kubernetes cluster (using kubeadm): https://linux.xvx.cz/2018/04/create-kubernetes-multinode-cluster.html

Other CKA exam details can be found on many blogs / pages / handbooks and I do not want to cover them here. I just point to the most important ones...

Enjoy ;-)


  1. Piotr I love your blog! Let me know if it is possible to use tmux (and not screen). I want to know if in the CKA exam all the cluster are with kubeadm (or some without it).

  2. As far as I remember you can use tmux, but you need to install it. You have root on all machines so you can install whatever is in Ubuntu.
    I do not remember how it is with kubeadm - but again - you should be able to download it and install it (it's just one binary).
    If you need kubeadm for some tasks then it is preinstalled...


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.