Driving Product Success with OKRs: A Practical Guide for Product Managers

In the ever-evolving landscape of cloud-native technologies, continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines have become critical to delivering software at speed and with reliability. One of the key components in a robust CI/CD pipeline is Jenkins, an open-source automation server that enables developers to build, test, and deploy their code seamlessly. In this blog post, we will explore how to create and manage a CI/CD pipeline for a Kubernetes-based application using Jenkins. We will cover installation, configuration, and best practices with code examples to set you up for success.

Introduction to Jenkins and Kubernetes

Kubernetes is a powerful container orchestration platform, but managing deployment pipelines manually can be challenging. Jenkins, being a flexible and widely-used automation server, integrates well with Kubernetes to provide a streamlined workflow for continuous integration and deployment. Our goal is to set up a Jenkins pipeline that automates the process of building a Docker image, running tests, and deploying the image to a Kubernetes cluster.

Step 1: Setting Up Jenkins

The first step is to install Jenkins. You can run Jenkins as a container in your Kubernetes cluster or as a standalone server.

Installing Jenkins on Kubernetes

To install Jenkins on a Kubernetes cluster, you can use the official Jenkins Helm chart. Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes that simplifies the deployment and management of applications.

# Add the Jenkins Helm repository
helm repo add jenkins https://charts.jenkins.io

# Update the Helm repository
helm repo update

# Install Jenkins using Helm
helm install jenkins jenkins/jenkins --namespace jenkins --create-namespace

# Get the Jenkins admin password
printf $(kubectl get secret --namespace jenkins jenkins -o jsonpath="{.data.jenkins-admin-password}" | base64 --decode);echo

# Get the Jenkins URL
kubectl --namespace jenkins get services -o wide -w jenkins

Accessing the Jenkins Dashboard

Once Jenkins is installed, access the Jenkins dashboard by navigating to the URL provided by the kubectl command. Use the admin password to log in.

Step 2: Configuring Jenkins for Kubernetes

To connect Jenkins to your Kubernetes cluster, install the Kubernetes Continuous Deploy plugin. This plugin allows Jenkins to interact with Kubernetes for deployments.

Installing the Plugin

Navigate to Manage Jenkins > Manage Plugins. In the Available tab, search for "Kubernetes Continuous Deploy" and install the plugin.

Configuring Kubernetes Credentials

Next, configure the credentials Jenkins will use to access Kubernetes:

  • Go to Manage Jenkins > Manage Credentials > (global) > Add Credentials.
  • Select Kubernetes service account and configure it with your Kubernetes cluster details.

Step 3: Creating a Jenkins Pipeline

With Jenkins and Kubernetes configured, create a Jenkins pipeline to automate your CI/CD process. We'll use a Jenkinsfile to define the pipeline stages.

Sample Jenkinsfile

Here's a sample Jenkinsfile that builds a Docker image, runs tests, and deploys to a Kubernetes cluster:

pipeline {
    agent any
    environment {
        registry = "my-docker-registry"
        registryCredential = 'dockerhub'
        dockerImage = ''
    stages {
        stage('Clone Repository') {
            steps {
                git 'https://github.com/my-repo/my-app.git'
        stage('Build Docker Image') {
            steps {
                script {
                    dockerImage = docker.build("${registry}/my-app:${env.BUILD_ID}")
        stage('Test') {
            steps {
                script {
                    dockerImage.inside {
                        sh 'make test'
        stage('Push to Registry') {
            steps {
                script {
                    docker.withRegistry('', registryCredential) {
        stage('Deploy to Kubernetes') {
            steps {
                script {
                        configs: 'k8s/deployment.yaml',
                        kubeConfig: [path: '/home/jenkins/.kube/config']
    post {
        always {

Step 4: Deploying with Kubernetes

In the Jenkinsfile above, the final stage deploys the Docker image to a Kubernetes cluster. Ensure you have a Kubernetes deployment configuration file (e.g., k8s/deployment.yaml) in your project repository.

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
    name: my-app
    namespace: default
    replicas: 3
                app: my-app
            - name: my-app
              image: my-docker-registry/my-app:latest
              - containerPort: 80

Best Practices

Implementing a CI/CD pipeline with Jenkins and Kubernetes comes with challenges, but following best practices can make the process smoother:

  • Isolation: Use separate environments (staging, production) for different pipeline stages.
  • Security: Secure Jenkins and Kubernetes with appropriate access controls and permissions.
  • Monitoring: Set up monitoring and alerting for your CI/CD pipeline to catch issues early.
  • Documentation: Maintain comprehensive documentation of your CI/CD process and pipeline configurations.

Lessons Learned

Here are some lessons learned from employing Jenkins for CI/CD in real-world applications:

  • Scalability: Jenkins can become a bottleneck in large teams. Consider using Jenkins agents to distribute the workload.
  • Flexibility: Jenkinsfile syntax can be complex. Start with simple pipelines and iterate as needed.
  • Integration: Plugin compatibility can vary. Always test plugins in a staging environment before deploying them to production.


By integrating Jenkins with Kubernetes, you can create a powerful CI/CD pipeline that automates the build, test, and deployment process for your cloud-native applications. Following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can set up and manage a Jenkins pipeline tailored to your needs. Adopting best practices and learning from experiences will further enhance the efficiency and reliability of your CI/CD workflow.

Have you set up a CI/CD pipeline with Jenkins and Kubernetes? Share your tips, challenges, and experiences in the comments below. Let's help each other build better, faster, and more reliable applications!