A workaround of adding custom container to KubeDB managed Databases

Add custom containers in KubeDB managed Database

Let’s assume you have a KubeDB managed Database deployed in your Kubernetes environment. Now, You want to inject a sidecar container in the database StatefulSet in order to extend and enhance the functionality of existing containers. Currently, KubeDB doesn’t have support for custom container insertion yet. We will discuss a workaround to run a custom container along with the managed-containers.

Suppose, you are running a KubeDB-managed MySQL database, and you need to monitor the general query logs. When you enable the mySQL query logs, it will write those logs in the var/lib/mysql directory in {pod-name}.log file. In order to export those logs to some remote monitoring solution (such as, Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kafka or Redis) will need a tool like Filebeat . Filebeat is used to ship logs and files from devices, cloud, containers and hosts. So, it is required to run Filebeat as a sidecar container along with the KubeDB-managed MySQL database. Here’s a quick demonstration on how to accomplish it.

Firstly, We are going to deploy a sample MySQL cluster in demo namespace using the following YAML.

apiVersion: kubedb.com/v1alpha2
kind: MySQL
  name: mysql-cluster
  namespace: demo
  replicas: 3
  version: "8.0.29"
  storageType: Durable
    storageClassName: "standard"
    - ReadWriteOnce
        storage: 1Gi
  terminationPolicy: WipeOut

On deployment of the MySQL CR, the operator will create the necessary k8s resources. It will create a StatefulSet named mysql-cluster as well. The StatefulSet will eventually create three pods named mysql-cluster-0, mysql-cluster-1 and mysql-cluster-2. As our aim is to retrieve MySQL query logs, we are going to inject a filebeat container into the operator-generated mysql-cluster StatefulSet.

Prepare the sidecar container

At first, we will prepare a filebeat.yml file with required configurations.

  - type: log
    - /var/lib/mysql/*.log
  pretty: true

The MySQL query log directory is mounted in a Persistent Volume (PV) along with its data. Filebeat is going to fetch the log data from that directory. We are going to configure filebeat to harvest lines from all log files that match the specified glob patterns. MySQL log file names are generated after the DB instance/pod name. Specific log file paths can also be provided as Filebeat input paths. Use the following command to view all the log files available in mysql-cluster-0 pod.

$ kubectl exec -it mysql-cluster-0 -n demo -c mysql -- bash -c "cd /var/lib/mysql && ls | grep *.log"


For this demonstration, we are going to we are going to forward the logs to console. The console output writes events in JSON format to stdout. The filebeat.yml file can also be configured to forward the outputs to Elasticsearch , Logstash , Kafka , redis etc. instead of console stdout.

Since we cannot add additional volumes in the KubeDB managed statefulSets, we are going to customize the filebeat docker image with the config file instead.

FROM elastic/filebeat:7.17.1
COPY filebeat.yml /usr/share/filebeat
USER root
RUN chmod go-w /usr/share/filebeat/filebeat.yml
USER filebeat

Now Let’s create a Dockerfile in the same directory. The base image will be set to the required filebeat version. For this demo, we are using Filebeat 7.17.1. We are going to override the existing configuration with our filebeat.yml file.

The working directory should be structured like this:

tree .
├── Dockerfile
└── filebeat.yml

Let’s Use the following command to create the docker image and push to your docker repository.

$ docker build -t repository_name/custom_filebeat:latest .
$ docker push repository_name/custom_filebeat:latest

Patch the sidecar container

The operator generated StatefulSet can be viewed via the following command.

$ kubectl get sts mysql-cluster -n demo -oyaml

In order to add the custom container using the custom_filebeat image, let’s use a YAML file named mysql-patch.yaml using the following spec. The log file is mounted in the persistent volume. We will mount that PV with readOnly: true in this new container so that it can access the log files. We will set the securityContext.runAsUser to MySQL user ID so that the mysql owned log files can be read by filebeat.

      - image: repository_name/custom_filebeat:latest
        name: filebeat
        - mountPath: /var/lib/mysql
          name: data
          readOnly: true
        runAsUser: 999

Finally, Patch this YAML to our existing StatefulSet using the following command.

$ kubectl patch sts mysql-cluster -n demo --patch-file mysql-patch.yaml


Get the mysql-cluster StatefulSet YAML to confirm that the changes has been patched. In order to reflect the changes made in the StatefulSet to the Pods, we need to restart them.

Restart the DB instance/Pods

We can use MySQLOpsRequest of type Restart to restart the Pods safely. Let’s Apply the following YAML to make an OpsRequest to mysql-cluster MySQL database.

apiVersion: ops.kubedb.com/v1alpha1
kind: MySQLOpsRequest
  name: mysql-cluster-restart
  namespace: demo
  type: Restart
    name: mysql-cluster

After the OpsRequest is being successfully executed, the pods are restarted with newly appended sidecar containers.

Enable MySQL Query Logs

We are going to enable the general query log in the MySQL database (if already not enabled).

Login to MySQL DB using the following commands.

$ kubectl exec -it mysql-cluster-0 -n demo -c mysql -- bash
$ mysql -uroot -p$MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD

Enable general_log:

$ mysql> set global general_log=ON;

Let’s fetch the logs shipped to filebeat console output. The outputs will be generated in json format.

$ kubectl logs -f -n demo pod/mysql-cluster-0 -c filebeat

We will find the query logs in filebeat console output. Sample output:

  "@timestamp": "2022-06-24T12:30:16.283Z",
  "@metadata": {
    "beat": "filebeat",
    "type": "_doc",
    "version": "7.17.1"
  "host": {
    "name": "mysql-quickstart-0"
  "agent": {
    "type": "filebeat",
    "version": "7.17.1",
    "hostname": "mysql-quickstart-0",
    "ephemeral_id": "3edf8d82-41dd-4f7c-9eb6-0553ed60195a",
    "id": "b811faf5-99cf-4e61-ac62-a308a0f30f94",
    "name": "mysql-quickstart-0"
  "message": "2022-06-24T12:30:15.266769Z\t 2989 Query\tshow databases",
  "log": {
    "offset": 182138,
    "file": {
      "path": "/var/lib/mysql/mysql-quickstart-0.log"
  "input": {
    "type": "log"
  "ecs": {
    "version": "1.12.0"


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