The operator installs the 2.5.0 version of Apache Kafka, and can run on Minikube v0.33.1+ and Kubernetes 1.15.0+.

The operator supports Kafka 2.0+

Prerequisites 🔗︎

We believe in the separation of concerns principle, thus the Kafka operator does not install nor manage Zookeeper or cert-manager. If you would like to have a fully automated and managed experience of Apache Kafka on Kubernetes, try Banzai Cloud Supertubes.

Install Kafka operator and all requirements using Supertubes 🔗︎

This method uses a command-line tool of the commercial Banzai Cloud Supertubes product to install the Kafka operator and its prerequisites. If you’d prefer to install these components manually, see Install Kafka operator and the requirements independently.

  1. Register for an evaluation version of Supertubes.

  2. Install the Supertubes CLI tool for your environment by running the following command:

    Evaluation downloads are temporarily suspended. Contact us to discuss your needs and requirements, and organize a live demo.

  3. Run the following command:

    supertubes install -a

Install Kafka operator and the requirements independently 🔗︎

Install cert-manager 🔗︎

The Kafka operator uses cert-manager for issuing certificates to clients and brokers. Deploy and configure cert-manager if you haven’t already done so.


  • Kafka operator 0.8.x and newer supports cert-manager 0.15.x
  • Kafka operator 0.7.x supports cert-manager 0.10.x

Install cert-manager and the CustomResourceDefinitions using one of the following methods:

  • Directly:

    # Install the CustomResourceDefinitions and cert-manager itself
    kubectl apply -f
  • Using Helm:

    # Add the jetstack helm repo
    helm repo add jetstack
    helm repo update
    # Install cert-manager into the cluster
    # Using helm3
    helm install cert-manager --namespace cert-manager --create-namespace --version v0.15.2 jetstack/cert-manager
    # Install the CustomResourceDefinitions
    kubectl apply --validate=false -f

Verify that the cert-manager pods have been created:

kubectl get pods -n cert-manager

Expected output:

NAME                                      READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
cert-manager-7747db9d88-vgggn             1/1     Running   0          29m
cert-manager-cainjector-87c85c6ff-q945h   1/1     Running   1          29m
cert-manager-webhook-64dc9fff44-2p6tx     1/1     Running   0          29m

Install Zookeeper 🔗︎

Kafka requires Zookeeper. Deploy a Zookeeper cluster if you don’t already have one.

Note: You are recommended to create a separate Zookeeper deployment for each Kafka cluster. If you want to share the same Zookeeper cluster across multiple Kafka cluster instances, use a unique zk path in the KafkaCluster CR to avoid conflicts (even with previous defunct KafkaCluster instances).

  1. Install Zookeeper using the Pravega’s Zookeeper Operator.

    helm repo add pravega
    helm repo update
    helm install zookeeper-operator --namespace=zookeeper --create-namespace pravega/zookeeper-operator
  2. Create a Zookeeper cluster.

    kubectl create --namespace zookeeper -f - <<EOF
    kind: ZookeeperCluster
        name: zookeeper
        namespace: zookeeper
        replicas: 3
  3. Verify that Zookeeper has beeb deployed.

    kubectl get pods -n zookeeper

    Expected output:

    NAME                                  READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    zookeeper-0                           1/1     Running   0          27m
    zookeeper-operator-54444dbd9d-2tccj   1/1     Running   0          28m

Install Prometheus-operator 🔗︎

Install the Prometheus operator and its CustomResourceDefinitions to the default namespace.

  • Directly:

    kubectl apply -n default -f
  • Using Helm:

    Add the prometheus repository to Helm:

    helm repo add prometheus-community
    helm repo update

    Install only the Prometheus-operator:

    helm install prometheus --namespace default prometheus-community/kube-prometheus-stack \
    --set prometheusOperator.createCustomResource=true \
    --set defaultRules.enabled=false \
    --set alertmanager.enabled=false \
    --set grafana.enabled=false \
    --set kubeApiServer.enabled=false \
    --set kubelet.enabled=false \
    --set kubeControllerManager.enabled=false \
    --set coreDNS.enabled=false \
    --set kubeEtcd.enabled=false \
    --set kubeScheduler.enabled=false \
    --set kubeProxy.enabled=false \
    --set kubeStateMetrics.enabled=false \
    --set nodeExporter.enabled=false \
    --set prometheus.enabled=false

Install the Kafka operator with Helm 🔗︎

You can deploy the Kafka operator using a Helm chart. Complete the following steps.

  1. Install the kafka-operator CustomResourceDefinition resources (adjust the version number to the Kafka operator release you want to install). This is performed in a separate step to allow you to easily uninstall and reinstall kafka-operator without deleting your installed custom resources.

    kubectl create --validate=false -f
  2. Add the Banzai Cloud repository to Helm.

    helm repo add banzaicloud-stable
    helm repo update
  3. Install the Kafka operator into the kafka namespace:

    helm install kafka-operator --namespace=kafka --create-namespace banzaicloud-stable/kafka-operator
  4. Create the Kafka cluster using the KafkaCluster custom resource. You can find various examples for the custom resource in the Kafka operator repository.


    After the cluster is created, you cannot change the way the listeners are configured without an outage. If a cluster is created with unencrypted (plain text) listener and you want to switch to SSL encrypted listeners (or the way around), you must manually delete each broker pod. The operator will restart the pods with the new listener configuration.
    • To create a sample Kafka cluster that allows unencrypted client connections, run the following command:

      kubectl create -n kafka -f
    • To create a sample Kafka cluster that allows TLS-encrypted client connections, run the following command. For details on the configuration parameters related to SSL, see Enable SSL encryption in Kafka.

      kubectl create -n kafka -f
  5. If you have installed the Prometheus operator, create the ServiceMonitors. Prometheus will be installed and configured properly for the Kafka operator.

    kubectl create -n kafka -f
  6. Verify that the Kafka cluster has been created.

    kubectl get pods -n kafka

    Expected output:

    NAME                                      READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    kafka-0-nvx8c                             1/1     Running   0          16m
    kafka-1-swps9                             1/1     Running   0          15m
    kafka-2-lppzr                             1/1     Running   0          15m
    kafka-cruisecontrol-fb659b84b-7cwpn       1/1     Running   0          15m
    kafka-operator-operator-8bb75c7fb-7w4lh   2/2     Running   0          17m
    prometheus-kafka-prometheus-0             2/2     Running   1          16m

Test your deployment 🔗︎