Acorn facilitates the deployment of apps in Kubernetes

Smart Assistant

Advanced Features

The Acorn capabilities described up to this point have been more about the basic properties of containers, but that doesn't mean more complex setups and container environments are impossible with Acorn. Its authors obviously assume that after working with Acorn for a while, you will acquire better skills and want to use advanced features.

Acorn certainly takes this into account by supporting various more complex Kubernetes functions. At all times the developers achieve their goal of making Acorn more than simply a configuration shovel – a tool that converts configuration directives from one syntax to another without reducing their complexity. On the contrary, even with complex tasks and configurations in the Acornfile, you can always assume that these are known from Docker.

For example, if an Acorn app does not work as you expect, its logfiles can be viewed with acorn logs; also, acorn exec lets you execute commands directly in the running containers of an Acorn app (Figure 4), and acorn update even makes it possible to exchange the containers of a running stack if a new variant of the application container becomes available.

Figure 4: The acorn command-line tool turns out to be a useful jack-of-all-trades. It combines the functions of kubectl and docker under one hood, but always relates to apps rolled out with Acorn.

Conclusions: Solid Work

Acorn is one of those tools that seem a bit confusing at the beginning, but you learn to appreciate it very quickly as a developer or administrator. If you have not been using Kubernetes for years, unlike some die-hard Kubernauts, you might find yourself completely overwhelmed at first with the technical complexity of running applications in Kubernetes. Acorn rushes to the rescue and manages to hide a significant portion of Kubernetes' complexity from the end user. At the same time, Acorn manages the feat of leveraging more complex Kubernetes features without becoming as complex and complicated as Kubernetes itself.

The tool is therefore a great choice for both experienced Kubernetes administrators and admins who are still finding their feet in the Kubernetes world. Both will benefit from Acorn's skills. Primarily, though, Acorn is a signal to those who might have already tried Kubernetes and fallen flat on their face. Although K8s is no less complex with Acorn, you face far less initial complexity (Figure 5). If you want to get started with Kubernetes, or restart where you left off, you will definitely want to take a closer look at Acorn.

Figure 5: The bird's eye view of the Acorn architecture makes one thing clear: The program aims to shield the user from complexity, acting as a proxy between K8s and the user. © Acorn


  1. Kubernetes distributions and Acorn:
  2. Authoring Acornfiles:

The Author

Freelance journalist Martin Gerhard Loschwitz focuses primarily on topics such as OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Chef.

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