Plugin System Overview

Krustlet partially implements support for CSI and device plugins. For CSI plugins support, Krustlet partially implements the plugin discovery system used by the mainline Kubelet. Upon investigation/ reverse engineering, we determined that CSI and device plugins use different APIs, the plugin registration and device plugin APIs, respectively. CSI plugins use the auto plugin discovery method implemented here. You can see other evidence of this in the csi-common code and the Node Driver Registrar documentation. Instead of watching for plugins as done by the CSI pluginwatcher package in the kubelet, the kubelet devicemanager hosts a registration service for device plugins, as described in the device plugin documentation.

CSI Plugins

Registration: How does it work?

The plugin registration system has an event driven loop for discovering and registering plugins:

  1. Kubelet using a file system watcher to watch the given directory
  2. Plugins wishing to register themselves with Kubelet must open a Unix domain socket (henceforth referred to as just “socket”) in the watched directory
  3. When Kubelet detects a new socket, it connects to the discovered socket and attempts to do a GetInfo gRPC call.
  4. Using the info returned from the GetInfo call, Kubelet performs validation to make sure it supports the correct version of the API requested by the plugin and that the plugin is not already registered. If it is a CSIPlugin type, the info will also contain another path to a socket where the CSI driver is listening
  5. If validation succeeds, Kubelet makes a NotifyRegistrationStatus gRPC call on the originally discovered socket to inform the plugin that it has successfully registered

Additional information

In normal Kubernetes land, most CSI plugins register themselves with the kubelet using the Node Driver Registrar sidecar container that runs with the actual CSI driver. It has the responsibility for creating the socket that the kubelet discovers.

Device Plugins

Krustlet supports Kubernetes device plugins, which enable Kubernetes workloads to request extended resources, such as hardware, advertised by device plugins. Krustlet implements the Kubernetes device manager in the kubelet’s resources module. It implements the device plugin framework’s Registration gRPC service.

Flow from registering device plugin (DP) to running a Pod requesting an DP extended resource:

  1. The kubelet’s DeviceManager hosts the device plugin framework’s Registration gRPC service on the Kubernetes default /var/lib/kubelet/device-plugins/kubelet.sock.
  2. DP registers itself with the kubelet through this gRPC service. This allows the DP to advertise a resource such as system hardware to kubelet.
  3. The kubelet creates a PluginConnection for marshalling requests to the DP. It calls the DP’s ListAndWatch service, creating a bi-directional streaming connection. The device plugin updates the kubelet about the device health across this connection.
  4. Each time the PluginConnection receives device updates across the ListAndWatch connection. It updates the map of all devices (DeviceMap) shared between the DeviceManager, PluginConnections and NodePatcher and notifies the NodePatcher to update the NodeStatus of the node with appropriate allocatable and capacity entries.
  5. Once a Pod is applied that requests the resource advertized by the DP (say Then the K8s scheduler can schedule the Pod to this node, since the requested resource is allocatable in the NodeSpec. During the Resources state, if a DP resource is requested, the PluginConnection calls Allocate on the DP, requesting use of the resource.
  6. If the Pod is terminated, in order to free up the DP resource, the DeviceManager contains a PodDevices structure that queries K8s Api for currently running Pods before each allocate call. It then will update it’s map of allocated devices to remove terminated Pods.
  7. If the DP dies and the connection is dropped, the devices are removed from the DeviceMap and the NodePatcher zeros capacity and allocatable for the resource in the NodeSpec.

What is not supported?

The current implementation does not support the following:

  1. Calls to a device plugin’s GetPreferredAllocation endpoint in order to make more informed Allocate calls.
  2. Each ContainerAllocateResponse contains environment variables, mounts, device specs, and annotations that should be set in Pods that request the resource. Currently, Krustlet only supports environment variables and a subset of Mounts, namely host_path mounts as volumes.
  3. Does not consider Device::TopologyInfo, as the Topology Manager has not been implemented in Krustlet.