Docs » Integrations Guide » Use the Smart Agent » Install and configure the Smart Agent » Install using kubectl

Install using kubectl 🔗

Use kubectl to install the Smart Agent to Kubernetes environments.

If you have Helm installed already, you can also use Helm to install the Smart Agent. To learn more, see Install the Smart Agent using Helm.

Prerequisites 🔗

  • Linux kernel version 2.6.32 or higher
  • cap_dac_read_search and cap_sys_ptrace capabilities
  • Terminal or a similar command-line interface application
  • SignalFx access token. See Smart Agent Access Token.
  • Your SignalFx realm. See Realms.

Configure kubectl for the Smart Agent 🔗

Create a Kubernetes secret 🔗

To install the Smart Agent using kubectl, you need to create a Kubernetes secret for your access token and update settings in the Smart Agent’s configuration files.

  1. To create the Kubernetes secret, log in to the host from which you run kubectl.

  2. Run the following command to create the Kubernetes secret called signalfx-agent, substituting <access_token> with your SignalFx access token:

    kubectl create secret generic --from-literal access-token=<access_token> signalfx-agent

Download configuration files 🔗

On the same host, download the following configuration files from the Kubernetes Deployments area in GitHub:

File Description
clusterrole.yaml Configuration settings for the ClusterRole cluster-admin. This file doesn't require an update.
clusterrolebinding.yaml Configuration settings for Kubernetes role-based access control (RBAC)
configmap.yaml Cluster configuration settings
daemonset.yaml Daemonset configuration settings
serviceaccount.yaml Configuration settings for Kubernetes Service Accounts. This file doesn't require an update.

Update .yaml files 🔗

  1. Update configmap.yaml:

    • Cluster name: For each of your Kubernetes clusters, replace MY-CLUSTER with a unique cluster name.
    • Realm: Update the value of signalFxRealm with the name of your SignalFx realm.
    • To avoid sending docker and cadvisor metrics from some containers, update the datapointsToExclude property. To learn more, see Filtering.
  2. In the clusterrolebinding.yaml file, update MY_AGENT_NAMESPACE or the service account token reference with the Smart Agent namespace in which you’re deploying the agent.

  3. Update the daemonset.yaml file:

    • For RBAC-enabled clusters, add the permissions required for the Smart Agent.

    • For Rancher nodes, ensure that the Docker engine proxy is configured so that it can pull the signalfx-agent Docker image from To learn more, see the Rancher v1.6 or Rancher v2.x documentation regarding proxy configuration.

    • Update the cAdvisor monitor configuration to use port 9344:

        - type: cadvisor
        - cadvisorURL: http://localhost:9344
  4. If you’re using OpenShift and you can’t use the default namespace, modify each namespace occurrence and then ask your cluster administrator to run the following commands:

    oc create serviceaccount signalfx-agent
    oc adm policy add-cluster-role-to-user anyuid system:serviceaccount:default:signalfx-agent
    oc edit scc privileged

    Make the following changes to the scc file:

     - system:serviceaccount:default:signalfx-agent
     - serviceAccountName: signalfx-agent

Install the Smart Agent 🔗

  1. Remove collector services such as collectd.

  2. Run the following command to update kubectl with the configuration files you’ve just modified:

    cat *.yaml | kubectl apply -f-

Verify the Smart Agent 🔗

After you install the Smart Agent, it starts sending data from your clusters to SignalFx.

To see the services the Smart Agent has discovered, perform the following tasks:

  1. Navigate to the directory where you installed kubectl.
  2. Run the following command:
while read -r line; do kubectl exec --namespace `echo $line` signalfx-agent status; done <<< `kubectl get pods -l app=signalfx-agent --all-namespaces --no-headers | tr -s " " | cut -d " " -f 1,2`

In addition, you can do the following in SignalFx:

  • For infrastructure monitoring:

    1. In SignalFx, open the Infrastructure built-in dashboard.
    2. In the override bar, select Choose a host. Select one of your nodes from the dropdown.

    The charts display metrics from the infrastructure for that node.

    To learn more, see Built-In Dashboards and Charts.

  • For Kubernetes monitoring:

    1. In SignalFx, from the main menu select Infrastructure > Kubernetes Navigator > Cluster map.
    2. The map displays all the clusters running the Smart Agent.
    3. Click the magnification icon to view the nodes in a cluster.

    The detail pane displays details of that cluster and nodes.

    To learn more, see Getting Around the Kubernetes Navigator.

  • For APM monitoring, learn how to install, configure, and verify the Smart Agent for Microservices APM (µAPM). See Get started with SignalFx µAPM.