Enhancing Resilience with Chaos Engineering: A Guide to Using LitmusChaos on Kubernetes

As cloud-native technologies continue to evolve, one of the critical aspects of managing cloud-native applications is ensuring their resilience and reliability. A popular approach to achieve this is through Chaos Engineering. Chaos Engineering involves intentionally injecting failures into your system to understand its behavior under adverse conditions and to build confidence in its resilience. In this blog post, we will delve into the principles of Chaos Engineering, introduce you to the open-source tool LitmusChaos, and demonstrate how to use it to conduct chaos experiments in a Kubernetes environment.

What is Chaos Engineering?

Chaos Engineering is the discipline of experimenting on a system to build confidence in its ability to withstand turbulent conditions in production. The goal is to identify potential weaknesses before they cause real problems, ensuring that the system behaves as expected during failures.

Principles of Chaos Engineering, as outlined by the Principles of Chaos Engineering, include:

  • Define a Steady State: Identify the normal behavior of your system under typical conditions.
  • Hypothesize the Impact: Formulate hypotheses about the system's behavior under failure conditions.
  • Inject Realistic Faults: Introduce controlled faults that mimic real-world failures.
  • Run Experiments in Production: Conduct experiments in environments that closely resemble production to get accurate results.
  • Automate Experiments: Automate chaos experiments for repeatability and continuous validation.

Introducing LitmusChaos

LitmusChaos is an open-source Chaos Engineering platform for Kubernetes. It provides a set of chaos experiments that can be easily integrated with CI/CD pipelines and offers detailed metrics and analysis to understand the impact of injected failures.

Getting Started with LitmusChaos

In this section, we'll demonstrate how to install LitmusChaos on a Kubernetes cluster and run a sample chaos experiment.

Step 1: Install LitmusChaos

First, ensure you have kubectl configured to access your Kubernetes cluster. Then, install LitmusChaos using Helm:

kubectl create ns litmus
helm repo add litmuschaos https://litmuschaos.github.io/litmus-helm/
helm install litmus litmuschaos/litmus --namespace=litmus

Verify the installation by checking that the Litmus pods are running:

kubectl get pods -n litmus

Step 2: Deploy a Sample Application

For this demonstration, we'll use a simple Nginx application. Deploy the Nginx application using the following commands:

kubectl create namespace nginx
kubectl apply -f https://k8s.io/examples/application/deployment.yaml -n nginx

Check that the Nginx deployment is running:

kubectl get deployments -n nginx

Step 3: Run a Chaos Experiment

Now, let's run a chaos experiment on the Nginx deployment to test its resilience. We'll inject a pod delete experiment that randomly deletes a pod from the Nginx deployment.

Create a file named nginx-pod-delete.yaml with the following content:

apiVersion: litmuschaos.io/v1alpha1
kind: ChaosEngine
  name: nginx-chaos
  namespace: nginx
    appns: nginx
    applabel: "app=nginx"
    appkind: deployment
  chaosexperiment: pod-delete
  chaosserviceaccount: litmus-admin

Apply the chaos engine configuration:

kubectl apply -f nginx-pod-delete.yaml

Verify that the chaos experiment is running:

kubectl get pods -n nginx -l "chaosengine=nginx-chaos"

Step 4: Analyze the Results

After running the chaos experiment, observe the behavior of the Nginx deployment. Check if the deployment self-heals and returns to the steady state.

View the events and logs generated by the chaos experiment to gain insights into the system's behavior:

kubectl describe chaosengine nginx-chaos -n nginx
kubectl logs -l "chaosengine=nginx-chaos" -n nginx

Lessons Learned

Conducting chaos experiments with LitmusChaos can reveal critical insights about your system's resilience:

  • Identify Weak Points: Understand which components are susceptible to failures and need improvements.
  • Validate Recovery Mechanisms: Ensure that your system's recovery mechanisms, such as Kubernetes' self-healing capabilities, are effective.
  • Improve Observability: Enhance monitoring and alerting systems to detect and respond to failures promptly.


Chaos Engineering is a powerful practice to ensure the reliability and resilience of cloud-native applications. By using tools like LitmusChaos, you can systematically identify and address weaknesses in your system, ultimately improving its robustness. Start experimenting with chaos in your Kubernetes environment today, and build confidence in your system's ability to withstand real-world failures.

Have you tried Chaos Engineering in your cloud-native projects? Share your experiences and insights in the comments below!