Skip to content

Deprecating the KubeRun backend (since 0.4)

In version 0.4 ContainerSSH received a generalized Kubernetes backend and we are deprecating the kuberun backend from version 0.3.1 and earlier. We are adding this new backend because we are changing several default values to options which could cause security problems if the old configuration was used. Version 0.4 still includes support for the kuberun backend, but logs a warning when used:

You are using the kuberun backend deprecated since ContainerSSH 0.4. This backend will be removed in the future. Please switch to the new docker backend as soon as possible. See for details.

This page explains how to switch to the new backend.

Changing the configuration structure

The new configuration structure is very similar to the old kuberun structure. The most important change is the relocated and more detailed timeouts section:

    # Timeout for a container to start.
    podStart: 60s
    # Timeout for a container to stop.
    podStop: 60s
    # Timeout for a shell or command to start.
    commandStart: 60s
    # Timeout for HTTP calls
    http: 15s
    # Timeout for signal requests
    signal: 60s
    # Timeout for window change requests
    window: 60s

This replaces the old kubernetesconnectiontimeout option.

The configuration now also moves the kubernetespodnamespace option to the new metadata section, which is can now be fully customized with Kubernetes pod metadata. The podSpec option was renamed spec to align with Kubernetes:

      namespace: default
      generateName: myPodNamePrefix-
        foo: bar
  # Rename podSpec

Please run kubectl explain pod.metadata for the full list of options.

The new execution modes

The new kubernetes backend supports two execution modes: connection or session. The old kuberun backend worked identical to the session mode, where each command execution within an SSH connection would cause a new container to be started.

The new connection mode, on the other hand, starts a container with an idle command from the configuration and then uses the exec facility to launch commands.

In connection mode the pods are launched with the command specified in kubernetespodidleCommand as a command. The purpose of this command is to keep the pod alive and wait for a TERM signal. Any commands (shell, etc.) will be launched similar to how you would use kubectl exec to run an additional command in the pod. When a shell is requested the kubernetespodshellCommand parameter is used.


The connection execution mode means that the CMD and ENTRYPOINT settings from the container image or the configuration are ignored. If you are switching from the kuberun backend and used the CMD as a security measure it is strongly recommended that you configure the idleCommand and shellCommand options properly.

The guest agent

ContainerSSH 0.4 also includes support for the new ContainerSSH Guest Agent that enables several features the Kubernetes API does not support support. For example, the guest agent enables waiting for ContainerSSH to attach to the process in session mode before starting the desired program. It is strongly recommended to enable the guest agent for Kubernetes as the API misses several features required for proper operations.

The agent must be included into the guest image in order to work. When the agent is included it can be configured as follows:

    # Path to the new ContainerSSH Guest Agent.
    agentPath: "/usr/bin/containerssh-agent"
    # Disable the ContainerSSH guest agent.
    disableAgent: true


The agent is enabled by default, you should explicitly disable it if you want to run an image that doesn't have an integrated agent.

Removing the disableCommand option

The disableCommand option was added to ContainerSSH to prevent connecting users to run a custom application. This filled a similar role to the ForceCommand option in OpenSSH: it prevented connecting users to launch custom commands.

However, this command was separately implemented in the kuberun and in the dockerrun backend. This was not maintainable, so it was moved into the security module and can be configured as follows:

    mode: disable

Removing the insecure option

We are also removing the insecure option from the connection configuration and no longer support connecting a Kubernetes cluster without certificate verification. Using the insecure option represents the worst practices in terms of security. If you are using it, please set up a proper CA infrastructure.