Advanced Standalone Kubelet tutorial for Raspberry Pi

So recently I adapted Kelsey Hightower’s Standalone Kubelet Tutorial for Raspberry Pi.
Standalone Kubelet Tutorial for Raspberry Pi is a prerequisite for this tutorial, as I’m going to skip Linux installation and all the other parts.

In this tutorial I will show you how to cross compile Kubernetes Kubelet to ARM architecture and we will run the amazing Prometheus, Node Exporter and Grafana using static pods.

I am running Ubuntu, so this should generally work for people running Ubuntu or other Linux distributions. If you are running Windows I have no idea whether this will work, but you can try 🙂 I think there could be issues in building Kubelet and/or cross compiling it for ARM.

You should subsitute IP for your Raspberry Pi’s IP address or hostname.

Compiling Kubernetes Kubelet for arm

Clone the Kubernetes project:

git clone

You can checkout specific version branch if you like (e.g. git checkout release-1.10), I will be running master in this tutorial.

Compile Kubernetes for ARM:

cd kubernetes

Build Kubernetes for your current platform:


To cross compile you will need to have gcc-arm-linux-gnueabihf package installed.
On Ubuntu/Debian you can install via:

sudo apt-get install gcc-arm-linux-gnueabihf

Cross compile Kubelet for ARM:

make all WHAT=cmd/kubelet KUBE_BUILD_PLATFORMS=linux/arm

Copy Kubelet binary to your Raspberry Pi:

scp ./_output/local/bin/linux/arm/kubelet IP:~/

Installing Kubelet

Connect to Raspberry Pi:

ssh alarm@IP

Move Kubelet to /usr/bin:

sudo mv kubelet /usr/bin/kubelet

Download Kubelet’s config file and create /etc/kubernetes from previous tutorial, if you haven’t already.

Download the Kubelet systemd file:

wget -q --show-progress --https-only --timestamping \

Move the kubelet.service unit file to the systemd configuration directory:

sudo mv kubelet.service /etc/systemd/system/

Start the kubelet service:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

sudo systemctl enable kubelet

sudo systemctl start kubelet


Verify the kubelet is running:

sudo systemctl status kubelet

View logs for Kubelet service:

journalctl -u kubelet

Check that no containers are running:

docker ps

Installing Prometheus and friends


Create Prometheus data dir:

sudo mkdir /root/prometheus-data/

Download Prometheus config:

wget -q --show-progress --https-only --timestamping \

Move prometheus.yml to /root/prometheus-data/:

sudo mv prometheus.yml /root/prometheus-data/prometheus.yml

Download Prometheus manifest:

wget -q --show-progress --https-only --timestamping \

Move the prometheus.yaml pod manifest to the Kubelet manifest directory:

sudo mv prometheus.yaml /etc/kubernetes/manifests/prometheus.yaml

Wait for image to download and list containers:

docker ps

You should see two containers running which represent the prometheus pod and a kubelet container. Docker does not understand pods so the containers are listed as individual containers following the Kubernetes naming convention.

Open up browser and go to:


You should see Prometheus WEB UI.

Open up targets page:


You should see 1 job as UP, and 2 jobs as DOWN. This is expected as we haven’t launched node exporter and grafana yet.

Node Exporter

Download Prometheus Node Exporter manifest:

wget -q --show-progress --https-only --timestamping \

Move the nodeexporter.yaml pod manifest to the Kubelet manifest directory:

sudo mv nodeexporter.yaml /etc/kubernetes/manifests/nodeexporter.yaml

Wait for image to download and list containers:

docker ps

You should see additional two containers running which represent the node exporter pod.

Open up Prometheus targets page:


You should see 2 jobs as UP, and 1 job as DOWN.


Download Grafana manifest:

wget -q --show-progress --https-only --timestamping \

Move the grafana.yaml pod manifest to the Kubelet manifest directory:

sudo mv grafana.yaml /etc/kubernetes/manifests/grafana.yaml

Wait for image to download and verify it is running:

docker ps

You should see additional two containers running which represent the grafana pod.

Open up Prometheus targets page:


You should see 3 jobs as UP.

Go to Grafana page:


Enter `admin`/`admin`.

Add data source:

Click on Add Source and enter:

Name: prom
Access: proxy
Scrape interval: 30s

Adding dashboards:

Click on Dashboards tab in `add data source page`:

Import `Prometheus 2.0 Stats` and `Grafana metrics` dashboards.

Hover on a left `+` button and click `Import`.

Enter `5573`.

Set `prometheus` as `prom`.

Take a look at those 3 dashboards in Grafana UI.

You should see something like:


Here we are at the end of the journey.

We went through a lot together: modifying archlinux kernel parameters, checking cgroup stats via lxc-checkconfig, crosscompiling Kubelet for ARM and actually running Prometheus and friends on a Raspberry Pi.

Hope you enjoyed the journey and see you next time!

Running Prometheus Node exporter on a router

So at home I have Asus RT-N14U router, which has 600 Mhz MIPS architecture CPU, 16mb of flash storage and 64mb of RAM. On the software side, I’m running Andy Padavan’s RT-N56U firmware (Thank you, Andy!), this firmware gives you all the router features, I think raw Linux, ssh and some basic tools.

So Node exporter is written in Go, why not just go build ? So what I did is just simply cross compile into MIPS little endian architecture:

git clone

cd node_exporter
GOARCH='mipsle' GOOS=linux go build

Success! We have a node_exporter executable. By the way, you can checkout specific version (eg git checkout release-0.16) if you like, I usually run master for the latest and greatest 😉
So now, let’s just copy the built executable into the router

scp node_exporter router:~/
node_exporter                                               89%   13MB   2.0MB/s   00:00
ETAscp: /home/admin//node_exporter: No space left on device

Turns out that I only have 1MB of space in my home dir:

Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
rootfs                    8.5M      8.5M         0 100% /
/dev/root                 8.5M      8.5M         0 100% /
tmpfs                     8.0K         0      8.0K   0% /dev
tmpfs                     2.0M    180.0K      1.8M   9% /etc
tmpfs                     1.0M      8.0K   1016.0K   1% /home
tmpfs                     8.0K         0      8.0K   0% /media
tmpfs                     8.0K         0      8.0K   0% /mnt
tmpfs                    24.0M     76.0K     23.9M   0% /tmp
tmpfs                     4.0M    192.0K      3.8M   5% /var

and Node exporter’s executable size is around ~15mb, So, I attached usb, copied file scp node_exporter router:/media/UBUNTU_17_0/ into mounted usb and tried to launch it:

time="2018-04-14T15:15:00Z" level=info msg="Starting node_exporter (version=, branch=, revision=)" source="node_exporter.go:82"
time="2018-04-14T15:15:00Z" level=info msg="Build context (go=go1.10.1, user=, date=)" source="node_exporter.go:83"
time="2018-04-14T15:15:00Z" level=info msg="Enabled collectors:" source="node_exporter.go:90"
time="2018-04-14T15:15:00Z" level=info msg=" - arp" source="node_exporter.go:97"
time="2018-04-14T15:15:00Z" level=info msg=" - bcache" source="node_exporter.go:97"
time="2018-04-14T15:15:00Z" level=info msg=" - bonding" source="node_exporter.go:97"
time="2018-04-14T15:15:00Z" level=info msg=" - conntrack" source="node_exporter.go:97"
time="2018-04-14T15:15:00Z" level=info msg=" - cpu" source="node_exporter.go:97"

time=”2018-04-14T15:15:00Z” level=info msg=” – vmstat” source=”node_exporter.go:97″
time=”2018-04-14T15:15:00Z” level=info msg=” – wifi” source=”node_exporter.go:97″
time=”2018-04-14T15:15:00Z” level=info msg=” – xfs” source=”node_exporter.go:97″
time=”2018-04-14T15:15:00Z” level=info msg=” – zfs” source=”node_exporter.go:97″
time=”2018-04-14T15:15:00Z” level=info msg=”Listening on :9100″ source=”node_exporter.go:111″

Woohoo it’s working!

Let’s add a Grafana dashboard, to look at those exported metrics:

I’ve used Host Stats – Prometheus Node Exporter grafana dashboard, just had to change it, as all of the labels have changed in recent release of exporter. You can find this fixed dashboard in

Getting back to the Node exporter, so now that we have node exporter running, how do we start it on router boot?
This Linux is very limited and doesn’t support systemd. So, looking at what other options are available I found that there is crontab (you need to enable it via UI). So first thing I tried:

@reboot /media/UBUNTU_17_0/node_exporter >> /media/UBUNTU_17_0/node_exporter.log 2>&1

Restarted router and nope, @reboot doesn’t seem to work, no surprises here, as this router is very limited.

So this leads us doing things “the old way”: running a cron script every minute or so checking for process existence and starting if it’s not there.

Here is the script:


pidof node_exporter

if [[ $? -ne 0 ]] ; then
        /media/UBUNTU_17_0/node_exporter >> /media/UBUNTU_17_0/node_exporter.log 2>&1 & 

And the crontab:

* * * * * /media/UBUNTU_17_0/         

Thats all, thanks for reading!