May 8, 2024

The Ultimate Guide: Kubernetes CreateContainerConfigError and CreateContainerError

Tania Duggal
Technical Writter

CreateContainerConfigError and CreateContainerError error messages play a crucial role in effective monitoring and troubleshooting. These errors provide valuable insights into container configuration issues and help ensure smooth container deployment. So, let's look at what CreateContainerConfigError and CreateContainerError mean, why they occur in Kubernetes, and how to resolve them.

What is CreateContainerConfigError?

CreateContainerConfigError is an error that occurs during the creation of the container because the configuration is incorrect or something is missing in the Pod's container configuration. As a result, Kubernetes is unable to produce the necessary configuration for a container.

When starting a new container, Kubernetes relies on the generateContainerConfig method to read the container's configuration data or pod metadata. This includes startup commands, references to ConfigMaps and Secrets, and storage resource definitions. Under normal conditions, Kubernetes locates these resources defined in the configuration and connects the container to them. If Kubernetes cannot find these resources, it triggers a CreateContainerConfigError event.

General Causes of CreateContainerConfigError in Kubernetes

CreateContainerConfigError often occurs when Kubernetes cannot find resources essential for a container's configuration, typically ConfigMaps or secrets.

Missing ConfigMaps

A ConfigMap is an API object used to store configuration data that can be accessed by containers running within pods. It provides a way to decouple configuration details from container images, allowing for more flexibility and easier management of configuration settings.

Let's look at how you define a ConfigMap and then reference it in a Pod configuration.

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: my-configmap
  config.json: |
        "key": "value"

Pod’s Configuration Referencing the ConfigMap:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: my-pod
  - name: my-container
    - name: config-volume
      mountPath: /etc/config
  - name: config-volume
      name: my-configmap

When creating a Pod, you have to reference the ConfigMap in your Pod’s configuration. If that ConfigMap exists, the Pod can access it. But if not, you’ll encounter the CreateContainerConfigError.

Missing Secrets

Secrets in Kubernetes are a way to securely store sensitive information that is used by applications running in a cluster.

Now, let's consider an example where a Pod is configured to use a Secret for storing sensitive information.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: my-secret
type: Opaque
  password: cGFzc3dvcmQ=  # Base64 encoded value of 'password'

Pod’s Configuration Referencing the Secret:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: my-pod
  - name: my-container
          name: my-secret
          key: password

The same error you get if you configure a container to use secrets that don’t exist.

So make sure to set up the ConfigMaps and secrets before launching the pod and referencing them in Pod’s configuration.

Troubleshooting CreateContainerConfigError:

To troubleshoot CreateContainerConfigError, start first looking at relevant logs and events to confirm it is an error due to a configuration mistake or missing something.

There are some steps that you can follow to troubleshoot the error:

  1. View Pod and logs: Use the kubectl logs command to check the logs of the affected Pod. Look for log messages indicating a CreateContainerConfigError.
~ kubectl get pods                                                                
  NAME    READY    STATUS                       RESTARTS     AGE
  my-pod   0/2     CreateContainerConfigError   1 (10s ago)  28s
  1. Check Kubectl Events: Run the kubectl get events command to identify any events related to CreateContainerConfigError. Look for events specifically mentioning this error.
~ kubectl get events
  1. Inspect Pods deeply: Use the kubectl describe pod pod-name command to inspect the Pod’s configuration. You can see here any missing or misconfigured resources.
~ kubectl describe pod my-pod
  Warning  Failed   56s (x6 over 1m45s)    
  kubelet   Error: configmap "my-configmap" not found
  1. Verify Permissions and Namespace Settings: If all the resources are properly configured but still encounter CreateContainerConfigError, check the permissions and namespace settings. Ensure that the resources are accessible to the pod and are in the same namespace.

Fixing CreateContainerConfigError:

To resolve CreateContainerConfigError, follow these best practices:

  1. Create Missing ConfigMaps and Secrets: If a referenced ConfigMap or Secret is missing, create it using the appropriate kubectl create command. Ensure that the resource is created in the same namespace as the pod.
~ kubectl create configmap my-configmap
  kubectl create secret generic my-secret
  1. Configure Permissions Properly: Verify that the permissions for the resources are correctly set, allowing the pod to access them. Adjust the permissions if necessary.
  2. Double-check Resource Configuration: Review the pod's configuration and ensure that all references to ConfigMaps and Secrets are accurate and properly spelled. Avoid typos that may cause the pod to look for resources in the wrong place.

What is CreateContainerError?

CreateContainerError is an error that occurs when Kubernetes fails to create a container within a pod. It indicates failure in the containerization process. It means the issue is related to the container’s creation itself.

General Causes of CreateContainerError in Kubernetes:

The following problems are typically responsible for causing CreateContainerError events:

  1. Image Issues: One of the common causes is an issue with the container image. It could be an invalid or non-existent image, missing a default entrypoint, and no manual entrypoint specified in the application configuration.
  2. Resource Constraints: Insufficient resources, such as CPU or memory, can lead to a CreateContainerError. If the requested resources exceed the available capacity, the container creation process fails.
  3. Incorrect Volume Mounts: If the container's volume mounts are misconfigured or reference non-existent storage resources, the container creation process can fail. This can happen if the specified storage volumes or persistent volume claims (PVCs) do not exist or are not accessible.
  4. Container Runtime Problems: Container runtimes are responsible for managing and executing containers within a Kubernetes cluster. If the container runtime is buggy or lacks sufficient resources to operate normally, it can result in unexpected behavior and errors like CreateContainerError.

Troubleshooting CreateContainerError:

The steps for troubleshooting are quite similar to CreateConatinerConfigError; let’s have a look:

  1. Check Pod Status and logs: By kubectl get pods command, view the status of available Pods and if your Pod failed due to CreateContainerError, you’ll see the CreateContainerError in the STATUS field of output.
~ kubectl get pods                                                                
  NAME    READY    STATUS                 RESTARTS     AGE
  my-pod   0/2     CreateContainerError   1 (17s ago)  30s
  1. Inspect Pods deeply: Use kubectl describe pod pod-name to inspect the pod and you can see here detailed information about a specific Pod.
  2. Check Kubectl Events: Run the kubectl get events command to identify any events related to CreateContainerError. Look for events specifically mentioning this error.
  Type    Reason                Age                From            Message           
  ----    ------                -------            ----            ----                                           

  Warning CreateContainerError  10s (x12 over 3m)  kubelet, node01 Pod is in the CreateContainerError state
  1. Check Pod’s Manifests: See if your Pod’s configuration is correctly configured, make sure your Pod can access the volume if you reference it in the configuration, and additionally, verify that the container's image is valid and includes a properly defined entrypoint.

Fixing CreateContainerError:

Fixing CreateContainerError depends upon the cause of the problem:

  1. Missing Entrypoint: You can fix this issue by selecting the right image or by defining the manual entrypoint in the application configuration.
  2. Storage Problems: Make sure your Pod can access the volumes you’ve configured and Pod’s configuration properly references them.
  3. Container Runtime Problem: The container runtime is up to date and compatible with the underlying system components. Additionally, allocating sufficient resources to the container runtime and monitoring its performance can help prevent runtime-related errors. Regular maintenance, updates, and troubleshooting can help resolve container runtime problems and ensure smooth container operations in Kubernetes.

Navigating through CreateContainerConfigError and CreateContainerError in Kubernetes can be challenging, but understanding their causes and knowing how to troubleshoot these issues effectively can significantly enhance your container management and deployment processes. By following these outlined steps and best practices, you can mitigate these errors, ensuring a more stable and efficient Kubernetes environment.

Troubleshoot Kubernetes Errors with PerfectScale

The journey of managing Kubernetes environments is fraught with challenges, particularly when it comes to troubleshooting and resolving errors efficiently. Enter PerfectScale, a revolutionary platform designed to transform the Kubernetes world.
If you are using PerfectScale Platform for your cluster visibility, you can just go to the alerts tab and monitor the things or errors concerning your Kubernetes resources/workloads. 

You can see various types of alerts in the dashboard and acknowledge or unacknowledge the specific alert, also integrate your alerts with Slack or Microsoft Teams and get alert notifications in your integrated application. 

Also, PerfectScale offers features like when we observed the errors related to your Kubernetes resources. For example, the last seen and first seen of the Kubernetes workload.

If you are interested in checking out Perfectscale, use this link to sign up for a Trial.

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CreateContainerConfigError and CreateContainerError getting you down? Get clarity on these error messages' meanings and how to troubleshoot them with examples.
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