INFO: Install Kubectx and Kubens Powertools for Kubectl

Applies To:

Any Kubernetes environment


kubectx is a power tool to switch between kubernetes clusters with ease as well as a utility to manage and switch between kubectl contexts

Kubens is a power tool that allows for ease of switching between namespaces

These power tools come in handy when navigating your clusters and namespaces. 


More Information:

You can find download instructions for kubectx and kubens here:


When working within kubernetes, there are a few tools that can assist you in your overall navigation of your clusters and namespaces.

For example, you can create as many namespaces as you would like within a cluster. Kubens allows you to change from the default namespace as your active namespace, to your desired namespace.


You can see on first startup of my kubernetes environment, that I'm configured to use the "minikube" cluster and "default" namespace by default.


I have many different namespaces to work within. In this example, I have created my certificate resources and TPP issuer in the "cert-manager" namespace:


Above you can see my default namespace is selected. I can use Kubens to switch to my cert-manager namespace:


This acts as a shortcut to allow me to not have to specify my namespace in each of my commands. Instead, kubernetes knows I am now choosing to work within my cert-manager namespace


Example: Difference between looking at resources from the active namespace using kubens vs. not switching the namespace and having to specify namespace in every command:



The difference between these two are in the commands

kubectl get pods
kubectl get pods -n kube-system

As the complexity of your environment grows and the commands become more involved, you can see how specifying the namespace can become a very cumbersome affair.



The same general functionality exists with kubectx for switching between clusters.

please refer to their github for usage and download instructions



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