HOWTO install Prometheus & Grafana on a single host with microk8s
3 min read

HOWTO install Prometheus & Grafana on a single host with microk8s

I wanted to get Prometheus and Grafana up and running on a development machine but I didn't want to get bogged down by the specifics of how to run Kubernetes.

I found microk8s by Canonical and I was pleased to find out that it made things really simple to set up the entire k8s stack and Prometheus and Grafana on a single machine.

Getting Started

I did my setup on  a fresh install of Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, but these instructions should work on any recent version of Ubuntu.

First, install the microk8s snap package

$ sudo snap install microk8s --classic

Then, you can list all of the add-ons that are shipped with microk8s.

$ microk8s.status

None of these are enabled by default. So to run Prometheus and Grafana, you will have to enable them.

$ microk8s.enable dashboard prometheus

That should install the Kubernetes dashboard as well as Prometheus & Grafana.

$ Optional Alias
The next step is completely optional, but it makes me type less so I'm going to do it:

$ sudo snap alias microk8s.kubectl kubectl

Most of the upcoming commands are going to be microk8s.kubectl commands, so the above alias allows us to just use kubectl instead of typing out the entire microk8s.kubectl command.

Accessing the Kubernetes Dashboard

To access the dashboard, you need to get your access token. To do so:

$ kubectl describe secret
Name:         default-token-8vptq
Namespace:    default
Labels:       <none>
Annotations: default



With a fresh installation of Kubernetes, there should only be one secret: the default token.
You want to copy the token field into your clipboard.

Finally, you want open up a secure channel to the cluster:

$ kubectl proxy &

Finally, going to:


Should give you access to the dashboard. Use the token in your clipboard to login!

If you're SSHed into a machine, then you need to port forward!

If you're going through this HOWTO on a remote host via SSH, you're going to need to forward the port via SSH like so:

$ ssh -L 8001:localhost:8001 hostname

Then the above link in your browser should work!

Exploring kubectl commands

Here are some commands to get you started exploring the Kubernetes CLI:

$ kubectl get services -n monitoring
NAME                    TYPE        CLUSTER-IP       EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)                      AGE
prometheus-operator     ClusterIP   None             <none>        8443/TCP                     2d19h
alertmanager-main       ClusterIP   <none>        9093/TCP                     2d19h
grafana                 ClusterIP   <none>        3000/TCP                     2d19h
kube-state-metrics      ClusterIP   None             <none>        8443/TCP,9443/TCP            2d19h
node-exporter           ClusterIP   None             <none>        9100/TCP                     2d19h
prometheus-adapter      ClusterIP    <none>        443/TCP                      2d19h
prometheus-k8s          ClusterIP   <none>        9090/TCP                     2d19h
alertmanager-operated   ClusterIP   None             <none>        9093/TCP,9094/TCP,9094/UDP   2d19h
prometheus-operated     ClusterIP   None             <none>        9090/TCP                     2d19h
$ kubectl get pods -n monitoring
NAME                                   READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
prometheus-adapter-557648f58c-z8jf5    1/1     Running   0          2d19h
prometheus-operator-5b7946f4d6-5jkbw   2/2     Running   0          2d19h
grafana-7c9bc466d8-r6b88               1/1     Running   0          2d19h
node-exporter-hnvfl                    2/2     Running   0          2d19h
kube-state-metrics-66b65b78bc-mjj5q    3/3     Running   0          2d19h
alertmanager-main-0                    2/2     Running   0          2d19h
prometheus-k8s-0                       3/3     Running   1          2d19h

Accessing Prometheus

You need to port-forward to enable external access:

$ kubectl port-forward -n monitoring service/prometheus-k8s --address 9090:9090

Then you should be able to access the Prometheus UI on http://localhost:9090. No username/password is required.

Accessing Grafana

You need to port-forward to enable external access:

$ kubectl port-forward -n monitoring service/grafana --address 3000:3000 

Then you should be able to access the Grafana UI on http://localhost:3000. The default credentials are:

username: admin
password: admin

Grafana should come pre-configured with Prometheus as a data source.