How to Enable kubectl Autocompletion in Bash?

Hi all,

I am just getting started with Kubernetes and the kubectl command specifically.

As there are so many flags and arguments, is there a way to enable autocompletion just like in git?

So for example when I type kubectl get no[TAB] it would autocomplete nodes.

Thank you!

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Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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April 20, 2021
Accepted Answer

Hi there,

Yes, this is doable. What you would need to do is to first to make sure that you have the bash-completion package installed. If not, you could install it with the following command:

sudo apt-get install -y bash-completion

After that, you could generate the required kubectl completion rules with the kubectl completion bash command, and then store the rules in your .bashrc file. You could use the following command to do that:

echo "source <(kubectl completion bash)" >> ~/.bashrc

Note: Make sure to run this only once so that you don’t get duplicated rules.

After that, use the source command to activate the new rules:

source ~/.bashrc

Finally, if you were not now run kubectl get no[TAB] it will be autocompleted.

This is indeed quite handy! Hope that this helps. Regards, Bobby

I would look at this page

Essentially for:


source <(kubectl completion bash) # set up autocomplete in bash into the current shell, bash-completion package should be installed first.
echo "source <(kubectl completion bash)" >> ~/.bashrc # add autocomplete permanently to your bash shell

You could use it for aliases as I usually use k instead of the full kubectl command it is usefull

alias k=kubectl
complete -o default -F __start_kubectl k


(kubectl completion zsh)  # set up autocomplete in zsh into the current shell
echo '[[ $commands[kubectl] ]] && source <(kubectl completion zsh)' >> ~/.zshrc # add autocomplete permanently to your zsh shell

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