How to resolve CreateContainerConfigError in Kubernetes

How to resolve CreateContainerConfigError in Kubernetes

Kubernetes is the defacto container orchestration for deploying microservices in 2024. However, still, troubleshooting is not as easy as sshing to a machine and getting the output logs. In this article, we focus on how to resolve CreateContainerConfigError in Kubernetes.

What is CreateContainerConfigError

The error occurs when Kubernetes cannot create a configuration because there’s a misconfiguration. Whether is a secret or a deployment configuration. The main difficulty is to find what configuration is the culprit and what is the exact misconfiguration.

In the next section, we go through some approaches to narrowing down the issue.

How to detect what is causing CreateContainerConfigError

There are several approaches to narrowing down the root cause of the problem. Here are address the three most effective ones.

Getting the pod logs

The first thing that you need to do when you encounter CreateContainerConfigError is to try and get the failing pod logs. For that run,

$ kubectl -n [namespace] logs -f [pod_name]

If you encounter the container is waiting to start: CreateContainerConfigError error message, don’t worry. That means that the pod creation is failing. Therefore, you cannot get any logs related to the configuration error.

Check the ConfigMaps and Secrets

If getting the pod logs doesn’t work, you can check the namespace configuration maps and secrets for misconfigurations. For that, run:

$ kubectl -n [namespace] get configmaps
$ kubectl -n [namespace] get secrets

Describe the pod

The last approach is to get the pod’s description. That usually gives some useful information about the different stages of the pod and may pinpoint exactly where the problem lies. To get the pod description run,

$ kubectl -n [namespace] describe pod podname


In this article, we described the three most effective approaches to resolve CreateContainerConfigError in Kubernetes.

The first approach is to get the logs of the failing pod. However, that doesn’t always work. Sometimes, the pod is failing as the creation stage and therefore, there are no logs available.

The second approach is to double-check the configuration and secret.

If that doesn’t work, the last and most effective approach is to get the pod description. That should provide enough information about the pod and give clues as to where the actual misconfiguration is.

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