Execute Scheduled kubectl Command within a Kubernetes Cluster

Sometimes one may need to perform periodic activities (restarting pods, cleaning up volumes, updating replica counts, etc.). For self-hosted clusters, it is possible to schedule kubectl commands as cron jobs on the master nodes. But what about EKS/GKE/AKS clusters? You wouldn't want to create a server solely for this purpose. Additionally, there are numerous overheads, such as creating IAM roles and installing kubectl, among others.

Well, here is the trick. You can do the following.

  1. Create a Kubernetes-native CronJob using any Docker image that includes kubectl

  2. Run the pod with a service account that has the Role/ClusterRole to perform the desired actions

First, choose a namespace where the CronJob will be created and executed. Then, create a service account in that namespace.

kubectl create ns my-namespace
kubectl create sa my-cronjob -n my-namespace

Next, associate some RBAC rules with the service account. You can use system roles (like cluster-admin or view) but try not to allow excessive permission.

kubectl create clusterrolebinding --clusterrole edit \

Finally, create a CronJob definition that utilizes the previously mentioned ServiceAccount. Make sure that the spec.schedule is accurate in the UTC timezone. Additionally, you should include an exit 0 at the end of the command; otherwise, Kubernetes will regard the job as failed.

Here's an example:

apiVersion: batch/v1
kind: CronJob
  name: my-cronjob
  namespace: my-namespace
  schedule: "0 0 * * SUN"
          restartPolicy: Never
          - command:
            - /bin/bash
            - -c
            - |
              kubectl -n prod rollout restart deploy
              kubectl -n stage rollout restart deploy
              kubectl -n dev rollout restart deploy
              exit 0
            image: bitnami/kubectl
            imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
            name: job
          serviceAccount: my-cronjob