Quickstart: Develop an application on Kubernetes using Azure Dev Spaces

In this guide, you will learn how to:

  • Set up Azure Dev Spaces with a managed Kubernetes cluster in Azure.
  • Develop and run code in containers using the command line.


Create an Azure Kubernetes Service cluster

You need to create an AKS cluster in a supported region. The below commands create a resource group called MyResourceGroup and an AKS cluster called MyAKS.

az group create --name MyResourceGroup --location eastus
az aks create -g MyResourceGroup -n MyAKS --location eastus --disable-rbac --generate-ssh-keys

Enable Azure Dev Spaces on your AKS cluster

Use the use-dev-spaces command to enable Dev Spaces on your AKS cluster and follow the prompts. The below command enables Dev Spaces on the MyAKS cluster in the MyResourceGroup group and creates a default dev space.

$ az aks use-dev-spaces -g MyResourceGroup -n MyAKS

'An Azure Dev Spaces Controller' will be created that targets resource 'MyAKS' in resource group 'MyResourceGroup'. Continue? (y/N): y

Creating and selecting Azure Dev Spaces Controller 'MyAKS' in resource group 'MyResourceGroup' that targets resource 'MyAKS' in resource group 'MyResourceGroup'...2m 24s

Select a dev space or Kubernetes namespace to use as a dev space.
 [1] default
Type a number or a new name: 1

Kubernetes namespace 'default' will be configured as a dev space. This will enable Azure Dev Spaces instrumentation for new workloads in the namespace. Continue? (Y/n): Y

Configuring and selecting dev space 'default'...3s

Managed Kubernetes cluster 'MyAKS' in resource group 'MyResourceGroup' is ready for development in dev space 'default'. Type `azds prep` to prepare a source directory for use with Azure Dev Spaces and `azds up` to run.

Get sample application code

In this article, you use the Azure Dev Spaces sample application to demonstrate using Azure Dev Spaces.

Clone the application from GitHub and navigate into the dev-spaces/samples/nodejs/getting-started/webfrontend directory:

git clone https://github.com/Azure/dev-spaces
cd dev-spaces/samples/nodejs/getting-started/webfrontend

Prepare the application

In order to run your application on Azure Dev Spaces, you need a Dockerfile and Helm chart. For some languages, such as Java, .NET core, and Node.js, the Azure Dev Spaces client tooling can generate all the assets you need. For many other languages, such as Go, PHP, and Python, the client tooling can generate the Helm chart as long as you can provide a valid Dockerfile.

Generate the Docker and Helm chart assets for running the application in Kubernetes using the azds prep command:

azds prep --public

You must run the prep command from the dev-spaces/samples/nodejs/getting-started/webfrontend directory to correctly generate the Docker and Helm chart assets.

Build and run code in Kubernetes

Build and run your code in AKS using the azds up command:

$ azds up
Using dev space 'default' with target 'MyAKS'
Synchronizing files...2s
Installing Helm chart...2s
Waiting for container image build...2m 25s
Building container image...
Step 1/8 : FROM node
Step 2/8 : ENV PORT 80
Step 3/8 : EXPOSE 80
Step 4/8 : WORKDIR /app
Step 5/8 : COPY package.json .
Step 6/8 : RUN npm install
Step 7/8 : COPY . .
Step 8/8 : CMD ["npm", "start"]
Built container image in 6m 17s
Waiting for container...13s
Service 'webfrontend' port 'http' is available at http://webfrontend.1234567890abcdef1234.eus.azds.io/
Service 'webfrontend' port 80 (http) is available at http://localhost:54256

You can see the service running by opening the public URL, which is displayed in the output from the azds up command. In this example, the public URL is http://webfrontend.1234567890abcdef1234.eus.azds.io/.


When you navigate to your service while running azds up, the HTTP request traces are also displayed in the output of the azds up command. These traces can help you troubleshoot and debug your service. You can disable these traces using --disable-http-traces when running azds up.

If you stop the azds up command using Ctrl+c, the service will continue to run in AKS, and the public URL will remain available.

Update code

To deploy an updated version of your service, you can update any file in your project and rerun the azds up command. For example:

  1. If azds up is still running, press Ctrl+c.

  2. Update line 13 in server.js to:

        res.send('Hello from webfrontend in Azure');
  3. Save your changes.

  4. Rerun the azds up command:

    $ azds up
    Using dev space 'default' with target 'MyAKS'
    Synchronizing files...1s
    Installing Helm chart...3s
    Waiting for container image build...
  5. Navigate to your running service and observe your changes.

  6. Press Ctrl+c to stop the azds up command.

Clean up your Azure resources

az group delete --name MyResourceGroup --yes --no-wait

Next steps

Learn how Azure Dev Spaces helps you develop more complex applications across multiple containers, and how you can simplify collaborative development by working with different versions or branches of your code in different spaces.