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The Evolution of Kubernetes Dashboard

Authors: Marcin Maciaszczyk, Kubermatic & Sebastian Florek, Kubermatic

In October 2020, the Kubernetes Dashboard officially turned five. As main project maintainers, we can barely believe that so much time has passed since our very first commits to the project. However, looking back with a bit of nostalgia, we realize that quite a lot has happened since then. Now it’s due time to celebrate “our baby” with a short recap.

How It All Began

The very first commit to the Kubernetes Dashboard was made by Filip Grządkowski from Google on 16th October 2015 – just a few months from the initial commit to the Kubernetes repository. Our initial commits go back to November 2015 (Sebastian committed on 16 November 2015Marcin committed on 23 November 2015). Since that time, we’ve become regular contributors to the project. For the next two years, we worked closely with the Googlers, eventually becoming main project maintainers ourselves.

Growing Up - The Big Migration

At the beginning of 2018, we reached a point where AngularJS was getting closer to the end of its life, while the new Angular versions were published quite often. A lot of the libraries and the modules that we were using were following the trend. That forced us to spend a lot of the time rewriting the frontend part of the project to make it work with newer technologies.

The migration came with many benefits like being able to refactor a lot of the code, introduce design patterns, reduce code complexity, and benefit from the new modules. However, you can imagine that the scale of the migration was huge. Luckily, there were a number of contributions from the community helping us with the resource support, new Kubernetes version support, i18n, and much more. After many long days and nights, we finally released the first beta version in July 2019, followed by the 2.0 release in April 2020 — our baby had grown up.

Where Are We Standing in 2021?

Due to limited resources, unfortunately, we were not able to offer extensive support for many different Kubernetes versions. So, we’ve decided to always try and support the latest Kubernetes version available at the time of the Kubernetes Dashboard release. The latest release, Dashboard v2.2.0 provides support for Kubernetes v1.20.

On top of that, we put in a great deal of effort into improving resource support. Meanwhile, we do offer support for most of the Kubernetes resources. Also, the Kubernetes Dashboard supports multiple languages: English, German, French, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Traditional, Simplified, Traditional Hong Kong). Persian and Russian localizations are currently in progress. Moreover, we are working on the support for 3rd party themes and the design of the app in general. As you can see, quite a lot of things are going on.

Luckily, we do have regular contributors with domain knowledge who are taking care of the project, updating the Helm charts, translations, Go modules, and more. But as always, there could be many more hands on deck. So if you are thinking about contributing to Kubernetes, keep us in mind 😉