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$15/month kubernetes cluster

This is how I deploy Kubernetes to DigitalOcean. This aims to be generic enough to also deploy your infrastructure but there might be some specifics. The biggest limitation right now is that all servers are both master and minion which is discouraged for any larger infrastructure.

While it's possible that this will become a generic way to setup any kind of Kubernetes infrastructures, it's not a top priority. If interested in a deployment on AWS, have a look at kops which is more active developed.


Terraform deploys the infrastructure by setting up network, spinning up servers with an image build by Packer.

This repository contains packer and terraform configuration. The directory config contains configuration that is shared between the image and terraform templates. See the individual directories for details.

The infrastructure is designed to be immutable. All state is intended to be kept on DigitalOcean volumes and all change to the host require a new image and replacement of all instances.

Deploying a new stack

First you might want to edit config/env to customize:

  • REGION: The DigitalOcean region your cluster should run in
  • DOMAIN: The Domain used for the cluster (see tf for details)
  • SERVERS: Number of servers
  • SERVER_SIZE: Size of servers
  • IP_INT_PREFIX: Prefix to use for internal private network (tinc)
  • CA_FILE: The full path (on the servers) for your TLS CA cert file

You might also want to edit config/ca/ca-csr.json.

Then run mk_credentials to create TLS CA and keys in config/generated/.

Now the image can be build by running make -C packer. After finishing, it should print image id which is used in the next step.

Enter the tf/ directory and save a ssh public key to This key will be allowed to ssh into the servers.

A DigitalOcean API token is required for running Packer and Terraform as well as for attaching the DigitalOcean Volumes. This scripts expect it in ~/.do-token.

Now the stack can be spun up by running:

./terraform apply -var cluster_state=new -var image=image-id-from-last-step

Updating a stack

Since the servers are immutable, configuration shouldn't be changed on the systems directly. Instead a new image should be built. Once the build finished, the stack can be updated by running this in tf/:

./upgrade apply -var image=image-id-from-build

This is a small wrapper around terraform to apply changes to the cluster one server at a time. It removes a server from the cluster gracefully and waits for a replacement to come up and successfully join the cluster.


DEPRECATED: Use as reference but better use kubeadm/bootkube for cluster setup!






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