clusterctl describe cluster

The clusterctl describe cluster command provides an “at a glance” view of a Cluster API cluster designed to help the user in quickly understanding if there are problems and where.

For example clusterctl describe cluster capi-quickstart will provide an output similar to:

The “at a glance” view is based on the idea that clusterctl should avoid overloading the user with information, but instead surface problems, if any.

In practice, if you look at the ControlPlane node, you might notice that the underlying machines are grouped together, because all of them have the same state (Ready equal to True), so it is not necessary to repeat the same information three times.

If this is not the case, and machines have different states, the visualization is going to use different lines:

You might also notice that the visualization does not represent the infrastructure machine or the bootstrap object linked to a machine, unless their state differs from the machine’s state.

Customizing the visualization

By default, the visualization generated by clusterctl describe cluster hides details for the sake of simplicity and shortness. However, if required, the user can ask for showing all the detail:

By using --grouping=false, the user can force the visualization to show all the machines on separated lines, no matter if they have the same state or not:

By using the --echo flag, the user can force the visualization to show infrastructure machines and bootstrap objects linked to machines, no matter if they have the same state or not:

It is also possible to force the visualization to show all the conditions for an object (instead of showing only the ready condition). e.g. with --show-conditions KubeadmControlPlane you get:

Please note that this option is flexible, and you can pass a comma separated list of kind or kind/name for which the command should show all the object’s conditions (use ‘all’ to show conditions for everything).