Using trace tcp

    The trace tcp gadget can be used to monitor tcp connections, as it shows connect, accept and close events related to TCP connections.

    How to use it?

    First, we need to create one pod:

    $ kubectl run busybox --image busybox:latest sleep inf
    pod/busybox created

    You can now use the gadget, but output will be empty:

    $ kubectl gadget trace tcp
    NODE             NAMESPACE        POD              CONTAINER        T PID    COMM             IP  SADDR            DADDR            SPORT   DPORT

    Indeed, it is waiting for TCP connection to be established in the default namespace (you can use -A to monitor all namespaces and then be sure to not miss any event). So, in another terminal, exec a container and run this wget:

    $ kubectl exec -ti busybox -- wget
    Connecting to (
    wget: note: TLS certificate validation not implemented
    saving to 'index.html'
    index.html           100% |*************************************************************************************************| 42627  0:00:00 ETA
    'index.html' saved

    Go back to the first terminal and see:

    NODE             NAMESPACE        POD              CONTAINER        T PID    COMM             IP  SADDR            DADDR            SPORT   DPORT
    minikube         <>               <>               <>               C 16266  wget             4     34878   443

    The printed lines correspond to TCP connection established with the socket. Here is the full legend of all the fields:

    • T: How the TCP connection was established, it can be one of the following values:
      • C: The TCP connection was established after a connect() system call.
      • A: The TCP connection was established after an accept() system call.
      • X: The TCP connection was closed following the close() system call.
      • U: The TCP connection was either established or closed following an unknown reason.
    • PID: The PID which established the TCP connection.
    • COMM: The command corresponding to the PID.
    • IP: The IP version (either 4 or 6).
    • SADDR: The source IP address.
    • DADDR: The destination IP address.
    • SPORT: The source port.
    • DPORT: The destination port.

    So, the above line should be read like this: “Command wget, with PID 19981, established a TCP connection through IP version 4, using the connect() system call, from address and port 16266 towards address and port 433”

    Note that, IP corresponds to while port 443 is the port generally used for HTTPS.

    Only print some information

    You can restrict the information printed using -o custom-columns=column0,...,columnN. This command will only show the PID and command:

    $ kubectl gadget trace tcp -A -o custom-columns=pid,comm
    PID    COMM
    28489  wget

    The following command is the same as default printing:

    $ kubectl gadget trace tcp -A -o custom-columns=node,namespace,container,pod,t,pid,comm,ip,saddr,daddr,sport,dport
    NODE             NAMESPACE        CONTAINER        POD              T PID    COMM             IP  SADDR            DADDR            SPORT   DPORT
    minikube         <>               <>               <>               C 16266  wget             4     34878   443

    Use JSON output

    This gadget supports JSON output, for this simply use -o json:

    $ kubectl gadget trace tcp -o json
    # You can use jq to make the output easier to read:
    $ kubectl gadget trace tcp -o json | jq
      "type": "normal",
      "node": "minikube",
      "namespace": "<>",
      "pod": "<>",
      "container": "<>",
      "pid": 16734,
      "comm": "wget",
      "ipversion": 4,
      "saddr": "",
      "daddr": "",
      "sport": 35186,
      "dport": 443,
      "operation": "connect"

    Clean everything

    Congratulations! You reached the end of this guide! You can now delete the resource we created:

    $ kubectl delete pod busybox
    pod "busybox" deleted