Hello World - Shell

A simple web app that executes a shell script. The shell script reads an env variable TARGET and prints Hello ${TARGET}!. If the TARGET environment variable is not specified, the script uses World.

Follow the steps below to create the sample code and then deploy the app to your cluster. You can also download a working copy of the sample, by running the following commands:

git clone -b "release-0.8" https://github.com/knative/docs knative-docs
cd knative-docs/docs/serving/samples/hello-world/helloworld-shell

Before you begin

  • A Kubernetes cluster with Knative installed. Follow the installation instructions if you need to create one.
  • Docker installed and running on your local machine, and a Docker Hub account configured (we’ll use it for a container registry).

Recreating the sample code

  1. Create a new file named script.sh and paste the following script:
   echo Hello ${TARGET:=World}!
  1. Create a new file named invoke.go and paste the following code. We use a basic web server written in Go to execute the shell script:
   package main

   import (

   func handler(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
      cmd := exec.CommandContext(r.Context(), "/bin/sh", "script.sh")
      cmd.Stderr = os.Stderr
      out, err := cmd.Output()
      if err != nil {

   func main() {
      http.HandleFunc("/", handler)

      port := os.Getenv("PORT")
      if port == "" {
          port = "8080"

      log.Fatal(http.ListenAndServe(fmt.Sprintf(":%s", port), nil))
  1. Create a new file named Dockerfile and copy the code block below into it.
   FROM golang:1.11

   WORKDIR /go/src/invoke

   COPY invoke.go .
   RUN go install -v

   COPY . .

   CMD ["invoke"]
  1. Create a new file, service.yaml and copy the following service definition into the file. Make sure to replace {username} with your Docker Hub username.
   apiVersion: serving.knative.dev/v1alpha1
   kind: Service
     name: helloworld-shell
     namespace: default
           - image: docker.io/{username}/helloworld-shell
               - name: TARGET
                 value: "Shell Sample v1"

Building and deploying the sample

Once you have recreated the sample code files (or used the files in the sample folder) you’re ready to build and deploy the sample app.

  1. Use Docker to build the sample code into a container. To build and push with Docker Hub, run these commands replacing {username} with your Docker Hub username:
   # Build the container on your local machine
   docker build -t {username}/helloworld-shell .

   # Push the container to docker registry
   docker push {username}/helloworld-shell
  1. After the build has completed and the container is pushed to docker hub, you can deploy the app into your cluster. Ensure that the container image value in service.yaml matches the container you built in the previous step. Apply the configuration using kubectl:
   kubectl apply --filename service.yaml
  1. Now that your service is created, Knative performs the following steps:

    • Create a new immutable revision for this version of the app.
    • Network programming to create a route, ingress, service, and load balance for your app.
    • Automatically scale your pods up and down (including to zero active pods).
  2. Run the following command to find the external IP address for your service. The ingress IP for your cluster is returned. If you just created your cluster, you might need to wait and rerun the command until your service gets asssigned an external IP address.

   kubectl get svc knative-ingressgateway --namespace istio-system


   NAME                     TYPE           CLUSTER-IP     EXTERNAL-IP      PORT(S)                                      AGE
   knative-ingressgateway   LoadBalancer   80:32380/TCP,443:32390/TCP,32400:32400/TCP   2d
  1. Run the following command to find the domain URL for your service:
   kubectl get ksvc helloworld-shell  --output=custom-columns=NAME:.metadata.name,URL:.status.url


   NAME                URL
   helloworld-shell    http://helloworld-shell.default.example.com
  1. Test your app by sending it a request. Use the following curl command with the domain URL helloworld-shell.default.example.com and EXTERNAL-IP address that you retrieved in the previous steps:
   curl -H "Host: helloworld-shell.default.example.com" http://{EXTERNAL_IP_ADDRESS}


   curl -H "Host: helloworld-shell.default.example.com"
   Hello Shell Sample v1!

Note: Add -v option to get more detail if the curl command failed.

Removing the sample app deployment

To remove the sample app from your cluster, delete the service record:

kubectl delete --filename service.yaml