Craig Weber

Exposing Kubernetes service to LAN

As πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ¦…πŸ†“ day approaches, I've been wanting to introduce my wife to the 1996 Will Smith film by the same name. I have the film on an external hard drive, hooked up to my Jellyfin media server which is accessible on my Tailscale VPN ("tailnet" in Tailscale parlance). However, neither our smart TVs nor our router support Tailscale, so I needed to figure out how to expose my media server (which is running as a Kubernetes service) to my LAN. This post will lay out my solution.

Other approaches

Before diving into my solution, there are some other ways to approach the problem that might be more convenient for readers.

  • Bridge LAN and Tailscale networks. If you have a router which supports static route assignments (unlike mine), you can designate a node in your network to be a bridge between the two networks. When a smart TV wants to talk to my media server running in my tailscale network, the router would direct it to the bridge node which would forward the traffic into my tailnet.

  • Install Tailscale on your router. This will effectively bridge the networks in the same way as (1) except the router will be the bridge. Unfortunately, most routers probably don't support tailscale, so this is mostly just here for sake of completeness.

  • If you aren't running your media server on Kubernetes in the first place, you should just be able to tell your media server to listen to all traffic on the host network regardless of which interface it is coming from. The rest of this guide won't apply to you. πŸ™ƒ

My approach

My approach was to create a new ingress controller using a modified ingress-nginx. The new ingress controller will run pods on each node in the cluster, and the pods will listen for traffic on the host network (on ports 80 and 443) and forward that traffic to the internal Kubernetes services based on the Ingress resources' configuration.

Configuring ingress-nginx

To make the new ingress controller, I started with the latest copy of the ingress-nginx manifests (v3.6.0 at the time of this writing) and made the following changes:

  • Replace the ingress-nginx-controller Deployment resource with a DaemonSet so there is a pod running on each node in the cluster.

  • Add hostNetwork: true to the ingress-nginx-controller DaemonSet's pod spec so each pod listens on the host network.

  • Delete the ingress-nginx-controller Service resource, which isn't necessary since the pods themselves are the entrypoint to the ingress.

Create media server ingress object

With the ingress controller configured to listen on LAN, I needed to create an Ingress object which told it to direct traffic from LAN into the media server service. In my case, I'm directing any port 80 or 443 traffic directly to the jellyfin service, but if I had DNS configured I would put a host filter on it (I may still put a path filter, so traffic has to have a /jellyfin prefix or similar).

To tell the ingress object to use the new ingress controller, we set the .spec.ingressClassName to match the ingress controller (in my case, the new ingress class is just called nginx).

kind: Ingress
  namespace: jellyfin
  name: nginx
  ingressClassName: nginx
  - http:
      - backend:
            name: jellyfin
              # Jellyfin listens on 8096 by default
              number: 8096
        path: /
        pathType: Prefix