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☸️ A curated list for awesome resources needed to pass your Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam.

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☸️ awesome-cka

A curated list for awesome resources needed to pass your Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam.

📟 Background

The exam consists of the following, as of writing it is based on curriculum

1.19
;
  • 2 hours
  • 15-20 questions
  • Pass mark of 66%
  • Remotely proctored
  • Chrome browser plus an extension
  • Government-issued non-expired ID
  • Webcam and microphone
  • Steady internet, preferably 5MB up/down

Topics

The exam consists of the following topics and their total points allocation;

  • 25% - Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration
  • 15% - Workloads & Scheduling
  • 20% - Services & Networking
  • 10% - Storage
  • 30% - Troubleshooting

The latest curriculum can always be found at https://github.com/cncf/curriculum.

During the exam you are allowed be allowed to open one tab apart from the browser based terminal. You can open any link under the kubernetes.io domain. Some links that will help during the exam are;

If you are unsure of the spec or parameters of a yaml, always use

kubectl explain .
.

🛠 Pre-requisites

Time is a big factor, you have 3 hours to finish 24 questions. That's 7.5 minutes per question and they do get progressively harder, so no wasting time on the easier questions. If you’re spending more than 7 mins on questions worth only one or two percent (each question does tell you the percentage it is worth), move on. You won't finish otherwise.

You need to be very comfortable with the following tools, so that you are not wasting time on non task orientated goals.

tmux

You only get one console, tmux and screen area allowed. This will allow you to split your single console into multiple windows. ie one master, two nodes. Try and use it in your daily workflow to get comfortable with the default settings. This is purely optional, most people pass the exam without the needed of

tmux
.
  • [ ] Perform tmux deepdive - https://thoughtbot.com/upcase/tmux - This course teaches you about tmux's pane and window management, session management, copy-paste, and more.

vi

  • [ ] Perform Onramp to Vim - https://thoughtbot.com/upcase/onramp-to-vim - Get up and running with the world's best text editor. No Vim experience is required, but you'll be productive in no time (and blazing-fast, soon).

systemd

kubectl

These aliases will help save the precious time you have. Use these during your studies, so you are used to them on the day.

# Needed
alias k='kubectl'

Optional

alias kgp='kubectl get pods' alias kgs='kubectl get svc' alias kgc='kubectl get componentstatuses' alias kctx='kubectl config current-context' alias kcon='kubectl config use-context' alias kgc='kubectl config get-context'

openssl/cfssl

📚 Study

This is a list of the bare minimum resoures necessary to try and pass the exam.

Read

  • [ ] Read Kubernetes in Action - https://www.manning.com/books/kubernetes-in-action - Kubernetes in Action is a comprehensive guide to effectively developing and running applications in a Kubernetes environment. Before diving into Kubernetes, the book gives an overview of container technologies like Docker, including how to build containers, so that even readers who haven't used these technologies before can get up and running.

Additional Reading

Kubernetes Up and Running by Kelsey Hightower, Brendan Burns, Joe Beda - https://www.amazon.com/Kubernetes-Running-Dive-Future-Infrastructure/dp/1491935677

DevOps with Kubernetes by Hideto Saito, Hui-Chuan Chloe Lee, Cheng-Yang Wu - https://www.amazon.com/DevOps-Kubernetes-Accelerating-container-orchestrators-ebook/dp/B0711KDB8N/

The Kubernetes Book by Nigel Poulton - https://www.amazon.com/Kubernetes-Book-Version-January-2018-ebook/dp/B072TS9ZQZ

Do

  • [ ] Do all the tasks on https://kubernetes.io/docs/tasks/ - This section of the Kubernetes documentation contains pages that show how to do individual tasks. A task page shows how to do a single thing, typically by giving a short sequence of steps.

  • [ ] Do kelseyhightower/kubernetes-the-hard-way - https://github.com/kelseyhightower/kubernetes-the-hard-way - This tutorial walks you through setting up Kubernetes the hard way. This guide is not for people looking for a fully automated command to bring up a Kubernetes cluster.

Courses

If you prefer doing course instead of reading books, here are some courses for you to go through.

💼 The Coal Face

With the CKA being a practical exam, you will need significant experience working with clusters; setting up clusters, fixing clusters, and backing up clusters. Here are several options to get started and more advanced ones as well.

  • [ ] Use Katacoda's Kubernetes Playground - https://www.katacoda.com/courses/kubernetes/playground - This is a Kubernetes playground, a safe place designed for experimenting, exploring and learning Kubernetes. The playground has a pre-configured Kubernetes cluster with two nodes, one configured as the master node and a second worker node.

  • [ ] Use minikube - https://github.com/kubernetes/minikube/ - minikube implements a local Kubernetes cluster on macOS, Linux, and Windows.

  • [ ] Use MicroK8s - https://microk8s.io/ - MicroK8s is a CNCF certified upstream Kubernetes deployment that runs entirely in your workstation. Being a snap it runs all Kubernetes services natively (i.e. no virtual machines) while packing the entire set of libraries and binaries needed. Installation is limited by how fast you can download a couple of hundred megabytes and the removal of MicroK8s leaves nothing behind.

  • [ ] Use Google Kubernetes Engine - https://cloud.google.com/kubernetes-engine/docs/quickstart - Kubernetes Engine is a managed, production-ready environment for deploying containerized applications. It brings our latest innovations in developer productivity, resource efficiency, automated operations, and open source flexibility to accelerate your time to market.

🎯 Practice Test

This following here is great for a testing scenario. It gives you 24 questions to answer, a terminal, and a timer. You bring the cluster and kube config. It's highly suggest running through this to get comfortable with the test environment as this is the best replica for the test environment out there. It uses the same terminal emulator that the test uses, https://github.com/liftoff/GateOne.

🌏 Extra Reading

In case you yearn for more information about the exam and it's topics, here is another brilliant list of curated resoures that you will find handy.


A big thank you has to go to James Strong for his awesome curation of resources for the CKA.

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