kubectl rollout error: unknown command restart deployment

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When I wanted to use kubectl to restart a deployment (rancher) in the cattle-system namespace, I had to raise an eyebrow when I got the following error:

ck@mint ~ $ kubectl rollout restart deployment rancher -n cattle-system
error: unknown command "restart deployment rancher"

In case you wonder what this command is supposed to do inside a Kubernetes cluster:


In Kubernetes, kubectl rollout restart is a command used to start a new rollout process for three specific Kubernetes objects: Deployment, DaemonSet, and StatefulSet. A rollout process essentially means a gradual, step-by-step recreation of Pods — The old Pods are not removed entirely until the new Pods are running successfully. This process ensures that your application remains available throughout the restart process. - kodekloud.com/blog/kubectl-rollout-restart/

There is no rollout restart sub-command!

Turns out this sub-command "rollout restart" does indeed not exist:

ck@mint ~ $ kubectl rollout --help
Manage the rollout of a resource.

 Valid resource types include:

  *  deployments
  *  daemonsets
  *  statefulsets

  # Rollback to the previous deployment
  kubectl rollout undo deployment/abc

  # Check the rollout status of a daemonset
  kubectl rollout status daemonset/foo

Available Commands:
  history     View rollout history
  pause       Mark the provided resource as paused
  resume      Resume a paused resource
  status      Show the status of the rollout
  undo        Undo a previous rollout

  kubectl rollout SUBCOMMAND [options]

Use "kubectl <command> --help" for more information about a given command.
Use "kubectl options" for a list of global command-line options (applies to all commands).

But it also turned out that this way a very old version of kubectl:

ck@mint ~ $ kubectl version
Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"14", GitVersion:"v1.14.6", GitCommit:"96fac5cd13a5dc064f7d9f4f23030a6aeface6cc", GitTreeState:"clean", BuildDate:"2019-08-19T11:13:49Z", GoVersion:"go1.12.9", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"linux/amd64"}

On this machine, kubectl 1.14.6 is installed - that's old (certainly when looking at the Kubernetes release schedules)!

kubectl rollout restart using newer cli version

The rollout restart sub-command was added in Kubernetes 1.15 and mentions the following in the Kubernetes v1.15 release notes:

  • Created a new kubectl rollout restart command that does a rolling restart of a deployment. (#76062, @apelisse)
  • kubectl rollout restart now works for DaemonSets and StatefulSets. (#77423, @apelisse)

The kubectl command is supposed to be backward-compatible (to a high degree anyway) and can/should be able to communicate with clusters running on a different version. After I installed and tested the current release (1.29.1), the command worked:

ck@mint ~ $ kubectl version | head -n 1
Client Version: v1.29.1

ck@mint ~ $ kubectl rollout restart deployment rancher -n cattle-system
deployment.apps/rancher restarted

The pods of the rancher deployment correctly restarted after this rollout, one after another:

ck@mint ~ $ kubectl get pod -n cattle-system
NAME                               READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
rancher-54c8bdb5fc-czmxb           0/1     Running   0          6s
rancher-54c8bdb5fc-k79xs           0/1     Running   0          6s

rancher-5f4c59dcb8-8qr5r           1/1     Running   1          357d
rancher-5f4c59dcb8-vn7gr           1/1     Running   4          357d
rancher-webhook-6fb7fddc84-mrpvp   1/1     Running   0          29m

... until all pods were restarted and deemed running (and the old pods automatically deleted):

ck@mint ~ $ kubectl get pod -n cattle-system
NAME                               READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
rancher-54c8bdb5fc-czmxb           1/1     Running   0          30m
rancher-54c8bdb5fc-k79xs           1/1     Running   0          30m
rancher-54c8bdb5fc-l45tl           1/1     Running   0          30m

rancher-webhook-6fb7fddc84-mrpvp   1/1     Running   0          59m


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