The Problem

You have a (headless) background worker process that needs to communicate its readiness to kubernetes.

The Solution

ASP.NET Core provides a decent approach to performing a series of agnostic health checks. There are hundreds of health probes available such as Network, Elasticsearch, Kafka and NpgSql.

However being part of ASP.NET Core, does mean that some of these dependencies, such as Microsoft.AspNetCore.Diagnostics.HealthChecks package, will bleed into the worker as a needed dependency. The plus side is that you can avoid reinventing the wheel.

First we need to create a IHealthCheckPublisher that will publish the health of the worker application, in this case by writing a file out to disk:

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Threading;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using api.Models;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Diagnostics.HealthChecks;

namespace worker.Health
    // Touches a file to indicate liveness state of the pod
    // Deletes the file to indicate unhealthy
    public class HealthCheckPublisher : IHealthCheckPublisher
        private readonly string _fileName;
        private HealthStatus _prevStatus = HealthStatus.Unhealthy;

        public HealthCheckPublisher(CoolAppOptions coolAppOptions)
            _fileName = coolAppOptions.HealthCheckFilePath;

        public Task PublishAsync(HealthReport report, CancellationToken cancellationToken)
            var fileExists = _prevStatus == HealthStatus.Healthy;

            if (report.Status == HealthStatus.Healthy)
                using var _ = File.Create(_fileName);
            else if (fileExists)

            _prevStatus = report.Status;
            return Task.CompletedTask;

When bootstrapping the worker in Program.cs first up register the individual health checks needed (see snippet below which does postgres, rabbitmq and elasticsearch checks), followed by dependency injecting the custom IHealthCheckPublisher implementation prior to launching the worker service itself:

namespace worker
    public class Program
        public static void Main(string[] args)

        public static IHostBuilder CreateHostBuilder(string[] args) =>
            .ConfigureServices((hostContext, services) =>
                    IConfiguration configuration = hostContext.Configuration;
                    CoolAppOptions coolAppOptions = configuration.GetSection("dam").Get<CoolAppOptions>();

                    var rabbitConnectionFactory = services.BuildServiceProvider().GetService<ConnectionFactory>();
                        .AddRabbitMQ(_ => rabbitConnectionFactory)

                    services.AddSingleton<IHealthCheckPublisher, HealthCheckPublisher>(_ => new HealthCheckPublisher(coolAppOptions));
                    services.Configure<HealthCheckPublisherOptions>(options =>
                        options.Delay = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(5);
                        options.Period = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(20);


The worker will now emit a file e.g. /app/health to indicate its up and running and can connect to everything it needs to.

Finally setup kubernetes readiness and liveness probes to look for this file. Using find -mmin -1 will only return 0 if a health file less than a minute old exists.

            - find
            - /app/health
            - -mmin
            - "-1"
    initialDelaySeconds: 5
    periodSeconds: 10