9 min • read

Telepresence Quick Start - Python (Flask)



You’ll need kubectl or oc installed and set up (Linux / macOS / Windows) to use a Kubernetes cluster, preferably an empty test cluster. This document uses kubectl in all example commands, but OpenShift users should have no problem substituting in the oc command instead.

If you have used Telepresence previously, please first reset your Telepresence deployment with: telepresence uninstall --everything.

1. Install the Telepresence CLI

# 1. Download the latest binary (~50 MB):
sudo curl -fL https://app.getambassador.io/download/tel2/linux/amd64/latest/telepresence -o /usr/local/bin/telepresence
# 2. Make the binary executable:
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/telepresence
# Intel Macs
# Install via brew:
brew install datawire/blackbird/telepresence
# OR install manually:
# 1. Download the latest binary (~60 MB):
sudo curl -fL https://app.getambassador.io/download/tel2/darwin/amd64/latest/telepresence -o /usr/local/bin/telepresence
# 2. Make the binary executable:
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/telepresence
# Apple silicon Macs
# Install via brew:
brew install datawire/blackbird/telepresence-arm64
# OR Install manually:
# 1. Download the latest binary (~60 MB):
sudo curl -fL https://app.getambassador.io/download/tel2/darwin/arm64/latest/telepresence -o /usr/local/bin/telepresence
# 2. Make the binary executable:
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/telepresence
# To install Telepresence, run the following commands
# from PowerShell as Administrator.
# 1. Download the latest windows zip containing telepresence.exe and its dependencies (~50 MB):
Invoke-WebRequest https://app.getambassador.io/download/tel2/windows/amd64/latest/telepresence.zip -OutFile telepresence.zip
# 2. Unzip the telepresence.zip file to the desired directory, then remove the zip file:
Expand-Archive -Path telepresence.zip -DestinationPath telepresenceInstaller/telepresence
Remove-Item 'telepresence.zip'
cd telepresenceInstaller/telepresence
# 3. Run the install-telepresence.ps1 to install telepresence's dependencies. It will install telepresence to
# C:\telepresence by default, but you can specify a custom path by passing in -Path C:\my\custom\path
powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy bypass -c " . '.\install-telepresence.ps1';"
# 4. Remove the unzipped directory:
cd ../..
Remove-Item telepresenceInstaller -Recurse -Confirm:$false -Force
# 5. Telepresence is now installed and you can use telepresence commands in PowerShell.

2. Test Telepresence

Telepresence connects your local workstation to a remote Kubernetes cluster.

  1. Connect to the cluster: telepresence connect

    $ telepresence connect
    Launching Telepresence Daemon
    Connected to context default (https://<cluster-public-IP>)
  2. Test that Telepresence is working properly by connecting to the Kubernetes API server: curl -ik https://kubernetes.default

    $ curl -ik https://kubernetes.default
    HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
    Cache-Control: no-cache, private
    Content-Type: application/json
    Www-Authenticate: Basic realm="kubernetes-master"
    Date: Tue, 09 Feb 2021 23:21:51 GMT
    Content-Length: 165
    "kind": "Status",
    "apiVersion": "v1",
    "metadata": {
    "status": "Failure",
    "message": "Unauthorized",
    "reason": "Unauthorized",
    "code": 401

3. Install a sample Python application

Your local workstation may not have the compute or memory resources necessary to run all the services in a multi-service application. In this example, we’ll show you how Telepresence can give you a fast development loop, even in this situation.

  1. Start by installing a sample application that consists of multiple services: kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/datawire/edgey-corp-python/master/k8s-config/edgey-corp-web-app-no-mapping.yaml

    $ kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/datawire/edgey-corp-python/master/k8s-config/edgey-corp-web-app-no-mapping.yaml
    deployment.apps/dataprocessingservice created
    service/dataprocessingservice created
  2. Give your cluster a few moments to deploy the sample application.

    Use kubectl get pods to check the status of your pods:

    $ kubectl get pods
    verylargedatastore-855c8b8789-z8nhs 1/1 Running 0 78s
    verylargejavaservice-7dfddbc95c-696br 1/1 Running 0 78s
    dataprocessingservice-5f6bfdcf7b-qvd27 1/1 Running 0 79s
  3. Once all the pods are in a Running state, go to the frontend service in your browser at http://verylargejavaservice.default:8080.

  4. You should see the EdgyCorp WebApp with a green title and green pod in the diagram.

4. Set up a local development environment

You will now download the repo containing the services' code and run the DataProcessingService service locally. This version of the code has the UI color set to blue instead of green.

  1. Clone the web app’s GitHub repo: git clone https://github.com/datawire/edgey-corp-python.git

    $ git clone https://github.com/datawire/edgey-corp-python.git
    Cloning into 'edgey-corp-python'...
    remote: Enumerating objects: 441, done.
  2. Change into the repo directory, then into DataProcessingService: cd edgey-corp-python/DataProcessingService/

  3. Install the dependencies and start the Python server. Python 2.x: pip install fastapi uvicorn requests && python app.py Python 3.x: pip3 install fastapi uvicorn requests && python3 app.py

    $ pip install flask requests && python app.py
    Collecting flask
    Welcome to the DataServiceProcessingPythonService!
  4. In a new terminal window, curl the service running locally to confirm it’s set to blue: curl localhost:3000/color

    $ curl localhost:3000/color

5. Intercept all traffic to the service

Next, we’ll create an intercept. An intercept is a rule that tells Telepresence where to send traffic. In this example, we will send all traffic destined for the DataProcessingService to the version of the DataProcessingService running locally instead:

  1. Start the intercept with the intercept command, setting the service name and port: telepresence intercept dataprocessingservice --port 3000

    $ telepresence intercept dataprocessingservice --port 3000
    Using Deployment dataprocessingservice
    Intercept name: dataprocessingservice
    State : ACTIVE
    Workload kind : Deployment
    Destination :
    Intercepting : all TCP connections
  2. Go to the frontend service again in your browser. Since the service is now intercepted it can be reached directly by its service name at http://verylargejavaservice:8080. You will now see the blue elements in the app.

6. Make a code change

We’ve now set up a local development environment for the DataProcessingService, and we’ve created an intercept that sends traffic in the cluster to our local environment. We can now combine these two concepts to show how we can quickly make and test changes.

  1. Open edgey-corp-python/DataProcessingService/app.py in your editor and change DEFAULT_COLOR on line 15 from blue to orange. Save the file and the python server will auto reload.

  2. Now, visit http://verylargejavaservice:8080 again in your browser. You will now see the orange elements in the application.

7. Create a Preview URL

Create a personal intercept with a preview URL; meaning that only traffic coming from the preview URL will be intercepted, so you can easily share the services you’re working on with your teammates.

  1. Clean up your previous intercept by removing it: telepresence leave dataprocessingservice

  2. Log in to Ambassador Cloud, a web interface for managing and sharing preview URLs:

    $ telepresence login
    Launching browser authentication flow...
    <web browser opens, log in and choose your organization>
    Login successful.

    If you are in an environment where Telepresence cannot launch a local browser for you to interact with, you will need to pass the --apikey flag to telepresence login.

  3. Start the intercept again: telepresence intercept dataprocessingservice --port 3000 You will be asked for your ingress layer 3 address; specify the front end service: verylargejavaservice.default Then when asked for the port, type 8080, for "use TLS", type n and finally confirm the layer 5 hostname.

    $ telepresence intercept dataprocessingservice --port 3000
    To create a preview URL, telepresence needs to know how requests enter
    your cluster. Please Select the ingress to use.
    1/4: What's your ingress' IP address?
    You may use an IP address or a DNS name (this is usually a
    "service.namespace" DNS name).
    [default: dataprocessingservice.default]: verylargejavaservice.default
    2/4: What's your ingress' TCP port number?
    [default: 80]: 8080
    3/4: Does that TCP port on your ingress use TLS (as opposed to cleartext)?
    [default: n]:
    4/4: If required by your ingress, specify a different hostname
    (TLS-SNI, HTTP "Host" header) to be used in requests.
    [default: verylargejavaservice.default]:
    Using Deployment dataprocessingservice
    Intercept name : dataprocessingservice
    State : ACTIVE
    Workload kind : Deployment
    Destination :
    Intercepting : HTTP requests that match all of:
    header("x-telepresence-intercept-id") ~= regexp("86cb4a70-c7e1-1138-89c2-d8fed7a46cae:dataprocessingservice")
    Preview URL : https://<random-subdomain>.preview.edgestack.me
    Layer 5 Hostname: verylargejavaservice.default
  4. Wait a moment for the intercept to start; it will also output a preview URL. Go to this URL in your browser, it will be the orange version of the app.

  5. Now go again to http://verylargejavaservice:8080, it’s still green.

Normal traffic coming to your app gets the green cluster service, but traffic coming from the preview URL goes to your laptop and gets the orange local service!

What's Next?


Use preview URLS to collaborate with your colleagues and others outside of your organization.

Outbound Sessions

While connected to the cluster, your laptop can interact with services as if it was another pod in the cluster.


Learn more about uses cases and the technical implementation of Telepresence.