Services exposed and ports used

MicroK8s is meant to be used for local development and so certain security issues are not addressed at this point. Here we present the ports and sockets each service uses as well as the default authorisation and authentication configuration.

Services can be placed in two groups based on the network interface they bind to. Services binding to the localhost interface are only available from within the host and we take no action to limit access to them. Services binding to the default host interface are available from outside the host and thus we enforce some form of access restrictions.

Services binding to the default Host interface

Port Service Access Restrictions
16443 API server SSL encrypted. Clients need to present a valid password from a Static Password File.
10250 kubelet Anonymous authentication is disabled. X509 client certificate is required.
10255 kubelet Read only port for the Kubelet.
random kube-proxy One random port per hosted service is opened as we use --proxy-mode=userspace for compatibility reasons.

If you remove --proxy-mode from /var/snap/microk8s/current/args/kube-proxy and sudo systemctl restart snap.microk8s.daemon-proxy kube-proxy will stop exposing the cluster hosted services.

Services binding to the localhost interface

Port Service Description
8080 API server Port for insecure communication to the API server
10248 kubelet Localhost healthz endpoint.
10249 kube-proxy Port for the metrics server to serve on.
10251 kube-schedule Port on which to serve HTTP insecurely.
10252 kube-controller Port on which to serve HTTP insecurely.
10256 kube-proxy Port to bind the health check server.

Note that this is not an exhaustive list of ports used.

Containerd and etcd

Both these services are exposed through unix sockets.

Service Socket
containerd unix:///var/snap/microk8s/common/run/containerd.sock
etcd unix://etcd.socket:2379

Authentication and authorization

Upon deployment MicroK8s creates a CA, a signed server certificate and a service account key file. These files are stored under /var/microk8s/current/certs. Kubelet and the API server are aware of the same CA and so the signed server certificate is used by the API server to authenticate with kubelet (--kubelet-client-certificate). Clients talking to the secure port of the API server (16443) have to also be aware of the CA (certificate-authority-data in user kubeconfig).

Authentication of users is done with a Static Password File also generated at first MicroK8s deployment. Password tokens and usernames are stored in the basic_token.csv file available under /var/snap/microk8s/current/credentials/. Also under /var/snap/microk8s/current/credentials/ you can find the client.config kubeconfig file used by microk8s.kubectl.

Currently all requests coming from authenticated sources are authorized as we have configured the api-server with --authorization-mode=AlwaysAllow.


  • Authentication strategies:
  • kubelet:
  • kube-proxy:
  • kube-scheduler:
  • kube-controller-manager: