I have several files named out1, out2, ... in my Kubernetes container. I want to copy them to my local computer. I am using:

$ kubectl cp pod:/path/out* .

But I am getting an error:

tar: Removing leading `/' from member names
tar: /path/out*: Cannot stat: No such file or directory tar: Exiting with failure status due to previous errors
error: path/out* no such file or directory

How can I use kubectl cp with wildcards?

5 Answers 5


Wildcard support was added to kubectl cp in the #72641 pull request.

It is merged but only available in Kubernetes v1.14.0. Take a look at the ChangeLog:

Notable Features:
• kubectl supports copying files with wild card (#72641, @dixudx)

However, as stated on the issue #78854 the PR was made without proper tests and the feature is actually broken. The PR to fix the problem (#78928) is open since June, and it's not merged yet.

Although the PR to fix the feature exists, they are also considering removing the support to wildcard copy.

  • Does it actually work? It seems like a lot of people are saying it doesn't. Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 16:58
  • 1
    @XiongChiamiov the feature is broken and it's was not fixed yet (see #78854) Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 23:46
  • it seems still not fixed in 2022.... everyone keeps trying to reopen the issue
    – K.S.
    Commented Oct 7, 2022 at 23:05

You can do that using this command:

kubectl cp -n [NAMESPACE] [POD_NAME]:/[POD_DIRECTORY]/. .
  • This is not a solution that uses wildcards to copy files. kubectl cp with wildcards was introduced on Kubernetes v1.14. Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 22:01
  • I see, I misunderstood the question, your answer is correct. @EduardoBaitello Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 22:02
  • 1
    And yet, this solved my problem. Upvoted (note that the other answer with more votes is still the one that should be accepted). Ideally this tidbit would have been included in that answer, but that's unreasonable to ask. Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 17:47

As there is no wildcard support, a workaround is to do a 2-step process to achieve the same:

  • kubectl exec ... to do make a new tmp directory and wildcard copy/move your desired transfer files into that dir on the container
  • use the cmd from @cookiedough above to copy all files from that dir on the container to your local


export TARGET_POD="myapp-mypod1234" && \
-- sh -c "mkdir -p /tmp/outfiles && cp /path/out* /tmp/outfiles/" && \
kubectl cp "sites/$TARGET_POD:/tmp/outfiles/." .

I had a similar requirement and finally settled on:

mkdir /my/dest/dir
kubectl  exec $TARGET_POD -n MYNAMESPACE -- tar -zcvf - -C /my/src/directory . | tar -zxvf - -C /my/dest/dir

This depends on 'tar' being available inside the container. Similar can be done with any archive command (zip/unzip or cpio) that can deal with stdin/stdout as long as the command is in both the container and the host.

Also note that '*' is not native to tar, but depends on shell expansion (in my experience...), so if you want to match only certain files in a directory on the container I include 'bash' in the call and cd to the directory first:

kubectl  exec $TARGET_POD -n MYNAMESPACE -- bash -c "cd /my/src/directory;tar -zcvf - *.log" | tar -zxvf - -C /my/dest/dir

Again, bash or some other shell supporting * expansion must be present in the container.

Finally, this works in the other direction as well sending multiple files to a container:

cd /my/src/dir
tar -zcvf - *.log | kubectl exec $TARGET_POD -n MYNAMESPACE --stdin -- tar -zxvf - -C /my/dest/dir

And "bash" is your friend if the target directory does not exist:

tar -zcvf - *.log | kubectl exec $TARGET_POD -n MYNAMESPACE --stdin -- bash -c "mkdir -p /my/dest/dir;tar -zxvf - -C /my/dest/dir"

For everyone's benefit, I am pasting working code as suggested by heyjared user on https://github.com/kubernetes/kubernetes/issues/78854

Use find with xargs as a workaround:

find . | xargs -i{} kubectl cp {} namespace/pod:path

It worked for me. I replaced "." with my needed source path.


find <source_path> | xargs -i{} kubectl cp {} namespace/pod:<path_inside_pod>


find /var/tmp/data/ | xargs -i{} kubectl cp {} namespace/pod:/tmp/

This will copy all contents inside local /var/tmp/data/ directory and store it under /tmp/ inside pod.

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