Telepresence Quick Start


In this guide we'll give you everything you need in a preconfigured demo cluster: the Telepresence CLI, a config file for connecting to your demo cluster, and code to run a cluster service locally.

1. Download the demo cluster archive

  1. Sign in to Ambassador Cloud to download your demo cluster archive. The archive contains all the tools and configurations you need to complete this guide.
  2. Extract the archive file, open the ambassador-demo-cluster folder, and run the installer script (the commands below might vary based on where your browser saves downloaded files).

    cd ~/Downloads
    unzip -d ambassador-demo-cluster
    cd ambassador-demo-cluster
  3. The demo cluster we provided already has a demo app running. List the app's services: kubectl get services

    $ kubectl get services
    kubernetes ClusterIP <none> 443/TCP 14h
    dataprocessingservice ClusterIP <none> 3000/TCP 14h
    verylargejavaservice ClusterIP <none> 8080/TCP 14h
    verylargedatastore ClusterIP <none> 8080/TCP 14h
  4. Confirm that the Telepresence CLI is now installed, we expect to see that the daemons are not yet running: telepresence status

    $ telepresence status
    Root Daemon: Not running
    User Daemon: Not running

2. Test Telepresence

Telepresence connects your local workstation to a remote Kubernetes cluster.

  1. Connect to the cluster (this requires root privileges and will ask for your password): telepresence connect

    $ telepresence connect
    Launching Telepresence Daemon
    Connected to context default (https://<cluster-public-IP>)
  2. Test that Telepresence is working properly by connecting to the Kubernetes API server: curl -ik https://kubernetes.default

    $ curl -ik https://kubernetes.default
    HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
    Cache-Control: no-cache, private
    Content-Type: application/json

3. Check out the sample application

Your local workstation may not have the compute or memory resources necessary to run all the services in a multi-service application. In this example, we’ll show you how Telepresence can give you a fast development loop, even in this situation.

We'll use a sample app that is already installed in your demo cluster. Let's take a quick look at it's architecture before continuing.

  1. Use kubectl get pods to check the status of your pods:

    $ kubectl get pods
    verylargedatastore-855c8b8789-z8nhs 1/1 Running 0 78s
    verylargejavaservice-7dfddbc95c-696br 1/1 Running 0 78s
    dataprocessingservice-5f6bfdcf7b-qvd27 1/1 Running 0 79s
  2. Since you’ve already connected Telepresence to your cluster, you can access the frontend service in your browser at http://verylargejavaservice.default:8080.

  3. You should see the EdgyCorp WebApp with a green title and green pod in the diagram.

4. Run a service on your laptop

Now start up the DataProcessingService service on your laptop. This version of the code has the UI color set to blue instead of green.

  1. In a new terminal window, go the demo application directory in the extracted archive folder: cd edgey-corp-nodejs/DataProcessingService

  2. Start the application: npm start

    $ npm start
    Welcome to the DataProcessingService!
    { _: [] }
    Server running on port 3000
  3. Back in your previous terminal window, curl the service running locally to confirm it’s set to blue: curl localhost:3000/color

    $ curl localhost:3000/color

5. Intercept all traffic to the service

Next, we’ll create an intercept. An intercept is a rule that tells Telepresence where to send traffic. In this example, we will send all traffic destined for the DataProcessingService to the version of the DataProcessingService running locally instead:

  1. Start the intercept with the intercept command, setting the service name and port: telepresence intercept dataprocessingservice --port 3000

    $ telepresence intercept dataprocessingservice --port 3000
    Using deployment dataprocessingservice
    Intercept name: dataprocessingservice
    State : ACTIVE
  2. Go to the frontend service again in your browser at http://verylargejavaservice:8080. You will now see the blue elements in the app.

6. Make a code change

We’ve now set up a local development environment for the DataProcessingService, and we’ve created an intercept that sends traffic in the cluster to our local environment. We can now combine these two concepts to show how we can quickly make and test changes.

  1. Open edgey-corp-nodejs/DataProcessingService/app.js in your editor and change line 6 from blue to orange. Save the file and the Node server will auto reload.

  2. Now visit http://verylargejavaservice:8080 again in your browser. You will now see the orange elements in the application. The frontend verylargejavaservice is still running on the cluster, but it's request to the DataProcessingService for retrieve the color to show is being proxied by Telepresence to your laptop.

7. Create a Preview URL

Create preview URLs to do selective intercepts, meaning only traffic coming from the preview URL will be intercepted, so you can easily share the services you’re working on with your teammates.

  1. Clean up your previous intercept by removing it: telepresence leave dataprocessingservice

  2. Login to Ambassador Cloud, a web interface for managing and sharing preview URLs: telepresence login

    This opens your browser; login with your preferred identity provider and choose your org.

    $ telepresence login
    Launching browser authentication flow...
    <browser opens, login>
    Login successful.
  3. Start the intercept again: telepresence intercept dataprocessingservice --port 3000

    You will be asked for your ingress layer 3 address; specify the front end service: verylargejavaservice.default Then when asked for the port, type 8080, for "use TLS", type n. The default for the fourth value is correct so hit enter to accept it

    $ telepresence intercept dataprocessingservice --port 3000
    To create a preview URL, telepresence needs to know how cluster
    ingress works for this service. Please Select the ingress to use.
    1/4: What's your ingress' layer 3 (IP) address?
    You may use an IP address or a DNS name (this is usually a
    "service.namespace" DNS name).
    [no default]: verylargejavaservice.default
    2/4: What's your ingress' layer 4 address (TCP port number)?
    [no default]: 8080
    3/4: Does that TCP port on your ingress use TLS (as opposed to cleartext)?
    [default: n]: n
    4/4: If required by your ingress, specify a different layer 5 hostname
    (TLS-SNI, HTTP "Host" header) to access this service.
    [default: verylargejavaservice.default]:
    Using deployment dataprocessingservice
    Intercept name : dataprocessingservice
    State : ACTIVE
    Destination :
    Intercepting : HTTP requests that match all of:
    header("x-telepresence-intercept-id") ~= regexp("86cb4a70-c7e1-1138-89c2-d8fed7a46cae:dataprocessingservice")
    Preview URL : https://<random-subdomain>
    Layer 5 Hostname: verylargejavaservice.default
  4. Wait a moment for the intercept to start; it will also output a preview URL. Go to this URL in your browser, it will be the orange version of the app.

  5. Now go again to http://verylargejavaservice:8080, it’s still green.

Normal traffic coming to your app gets the green cluster service, but traffic coming from the preview URL goes to your laptop and gets the orange local service!

What's Next?


Use preview URLS to collaborate with your colleagues and others outside of your organization.

Outbound Sessions

While connected to the cluster, your laptop can interact with services as if it was another pod in the cluster.


Learn more about uses cases and the technical implementation of Telepresence.