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PHP Applications on Kubernetes: A Beginner’s Guide

Published: at 09:26 PM


As a senior backend engineer, I often find myself working with PHP applications. It’s always exciting to explore new ways to optimize their performance and reliability. One of the emerging technologies I’ve found incredibly useful for these purposes is Kubernetes. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the benefits of using Kubernetes to deploy PHP applications and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to get started.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. By harnessing the power of Kubernetes, developers can easily deploy and manage applications across clusters of servers, thereby improving performance and fault tolerance.

Why Use Kubernetes for PHP Applications?

There are several reasons why Kubernetes is an excellent choice for PHP applications:

  1. Scalability: It allows you to scale your PHP applications horizontally, enabling them to handle increased traffic with ease.
  2. Improved resource utilization: you can ensure optimal resource usage by fine-tuning the allocation of CPU, memory, and storage.
  3. High availability: By distributing your applications across multiple nodes, you can ensure high availability and fault tolerance.
  4. Simplified deployment and management: Kubernetes simplifies the deployment process and manages your application throughout its lifecycle, reducing the need for manual intervention.

Getting Started with PHP and Kubernetes

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of using Kubernetes for PHP applications, let’s walk through the process of deploying a simple application on a cluster.


Step 1: Dockerize your PHP application

Before deploying your application on Kubernetes, you need to containerize it using Docker. Create a Dockerfile in the root directory of your application with the following content.

FROM php:8.2-apache
COPY . /var/www/html/

This Dockerfile uses the official PHP 8.2 Apache image, copies your application’s source code to the container’s /var/www/html/ directory, and exposes port 80.

Now, let’s build the Docker image:

docker build -t your-dockerhub-username/php-kubernetes-demo .

Push the Docker image to Docker Hub:

docker push your-dockerhub-username/php-kubernetes-demo

Step 2: Create Kubernetes deployment and service

Create a file named php-kubernetes-deployment.yaml with the following content.

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: php-kubernetes-demo
  replicas: 3
      app: php-kubernetes-demo
        app: php-kubernetes-demo
        - name: php-kubernetes-demo
          image: your-dockerhub-username/php-kubernetes-demo
            - containerPort: 80

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: php-kubernetes-demo
    app: php-kubernetes-demo
    - protocol: TCP
      port: 80
      targetPort: 80
  type: LoadBalancer

This YAML file defines a Kubernetes deployment with three replicas and a load-balanced service that exposes your PHP application on port 80.

Step 3: Deploy your PHP application on Kubernetes

Apply the YAML file to create the deployment and service.

kubectl apply -f php-kubernetes-deployment.yaml

Step 4: Access your PHP application

Now that your PHP application is deployed on Kubernetes, you can access it through the load balancer service. To find the external IP address assigned to the service, run the following command:

kubectl get svc php-kubernetes-demo

This will display the details of the php-kubernetes-demo service, including the external IP address. Look for the value under the EXTERNAL-IP column.

Finally, open your web browser and enter the external IP address followed by the port number (in this case, 80) in the address bar:


You should now see your PHP application running on Kubernetes, ready to handle increased traffic and provide high availability.


In this blog post, we’ve covered the benefits of using Kubernetes for deploying PHP applications and provided a step-by-step guide on how to get started. By leveraging the power of Kubernetes, you can enhance the performance, scalability, and fault tolerance of your PHP applications, making it easier to manage and maintain them in the long run. I hope you find this information valuable and consider incorporating Kubernetes into your own PHP projects.