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While debugging issues in Kubernetes, there are times when I need to install a pod, exec into it and poke around the cluster. This can be done pretty easily with a command like kubectl run my-shell --rm -i --tty --image ubuntu -- bash.

However, Ubuntu doesn't come out of the box with even basic tooling like ping or nmap. Typically the problems I'm solving are network-related so I end up installing those a lot.

Is there a distribution I can use instead that is basically Ubuntu with commonly used tooling?

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    Can't you add the dependencies needed in a VM startup script? For example put apt install -y nmap in such a script. This way the pacckages have already been installed when you first log in. – knb Jan 4 at 9:14
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You probably want Red Hat Linux or its free version, Centos OS. For instance: Kubernetes&CentOS_install.

I just read that you want a Ubuntu variant. That would be Ubuntu server?

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