Getting started

Thanks for giving Capsule a try.


Make sure you have access to a Kubernetes cluster as administrator.

There are two ways to install Capsule:

Install with the single YAML file installer

Ensure you have kubectl installed in your PATH. Clone this repository and move to the repo folder:

$ kubectl apply -f

It will install the Capsule controller in a dedicated namespace capsule-system.

Install with Helm Chart

Please, refer to the instructions reported in the Capsule Helm Chart README.

Create your first Tenant

In Capsule, a Tenant is an abstraction to group multiple namespaces in a single entity within a set of boundaries defined by the Cluster Administrator. The tenant is then assigned to a user or group of users who is called Tenant Owner.

Capsule defines a Tenant as Custom Resource with cluster scope.

Create the tenant as cluster admin:

kubectl create -f - << EOF
kind: Tenant
  name: oil
  - name: alice
    kind: User

You can check the tenant just created

$ kubectl get tenants
oil    Active                     0                                 10s

Login as Tenant Owner

Each tenant comes with a delegated user or group of users acting as the tenant admin. In the Capsule jargon, this is called the Tenant Owner. Other users can operate inside a tenant with different levels of permissions and authorizations assigned directly by the Tenant Owner.

Capsule does not care about the authentication strategy used in the cluster and all the Kubernetes methods of authentication are supported. The only requirement to use Capsule is to assign tenant users to the group defined by --capsule-user-group option, which defaults to

Assignment to a group depends on the authentication strategy in your cluster.

For example, if you are using, users authenticated through a X.509 certificate must have as Organization: -subj "/CN=${USER}/"

Users authenticated through an OIDC token must have in their token:

"users_groups": [

The hack/ can help you set up a dummy kubeconfig for the alice user acting as owner of a tenant called oil

./hack/ alice oil
... created approved
kubeconfig file is: alice-oil.kubeconfig
to use it as alice export KUBECONFIG=alice-oil.kubeconfig

Login as tenant owner

$ export KUBECONFIG=alice-oil.kubeconfig

Create namespaces

As tenant owner, you can create namespaces:

$ kubectl create namespace oil-production
$ kubectl create namespace oil-development

And operate with fully admin permissions:

$ kubectl -n oil-development run nginx 
$ kubectl -n oil-development get pods

Limiting access

Tenant Owners have full administrative permissions limited to only the namespaces in the assigned tenant. They can create any namespaced resource in their namespaces but they do not have access to cluster resources or resources belonging to other tenants they do not own:

$ kubectl -n kube-system get pods
Error from server (Forbidden): pods is forbidden:
User "alice" cannot list resource "pods" in API group "" in the namespace "kube-system"

See the tutorial for getting more cool things you can do with Capsule.