Fully fledged (HA) Kubernetes Cluster using official kubeadm and Ansible. Tested on RHEL/CentOS/Ubuntu(debian based) with support of http_proxy, dashboard installed, ingress controller, heapster, which are installed using official helm charts
Clone or download


Update Status of the project: Stable

kubeadm-playboook ansible project's code is on Github

kubeadm based all in one kubernetes cluster installation (and addons) using Ansible

Tested on for all Centos/RHEL 7.2+ (ideally 7.4/7.5) and Ubuntu 16.04 (both with overlay2 and automatic docker_setup).
Optionally, when docker_setup: True, this project will also setup the docker on the host if does not exist.


Kubeadm simplifies drastically the installation, so for BYO (vms,desktops,baremetal), complex projects like kubespray/kops are not required any longer. This project targets to get a fully working environment in matter of minutes on any hw: baremetal, vms (vsphere, virtualbox), etc.
Major difference from other projects: it uses kubeadm for all activities, and kubernetes is running in containers.
The project is for those who want to create&recreate k8s cluster using the official method (kubeadm), with all production features:

  • Ingresses (via helm chart)
  • Persistent storage (ceph or vsphere)
  • dashboard (via helm chart)
  • heapster (via helm chart)
  • support proxy
  • modular, clean code, supporting multiple activies by using ansible tags (e.g. add/reset a subgroup of nodes).
  • suppoer multi master


  • quick (3-7 min) full cluster installation
  • all in one shop for a cluster which you can start working right away, without mastering the details
  • applies fixes for quite few issues currently k8s installers have
  • deploys plugins to all creation of dynamical persistent volumes via: vsphere, rook or self deployed NFS
  • kubeadm is the only official tool specialized to install k8s


  • during deployment requires internet access. Changes can be done to support situations when there is no internet. Should anyone be interested, I can give suggestions how (also see gluster project for hints).


  • ansible min. 2.3 (but higher is recommeneded. Tested on current 2.5)
  • For a perfect experience, one should at least define a wildcard dns subdomain, to easily access the ingresses. The wildcard can pointed to the master (as it's quaranteed to exists).
    Note: dashboard will by default use the master machine, but also deploy under the provided domain (in parallel, only additional ingress rule)
  • if docker_setup is True, it will also attempt to define your docker and set it up with overlay2 storage driver (one needs CentOS 7.4+)
  • it will set required kernel modules (if desired)
  • if one needs ceph(rook) persistent storage, disks or folders should be prepared and properly sized (e.g. /storage/rook)

This playbook will:

  • pre-sanity: docker sanity
  • kernel modules (load & setup for every restart)
  • Install ntp (to keep time in sync within cluster) (control via group_vars/all)
  • Install the kubeadm repo
  • Install kubeadm, kubelet, kubernetes-cni, and kubectl
  • If desired, manipulate SELinux setting (control via group_vars/all)
  • Set kubelet --cgroup-driver=systemd , swap-off, and many other settings required by kubelet to work (control via group_vars/all)
  • Reset activities (like kubeadm reset, unmount of /var/lib/kubelet/* mounts, ip link delete cbr0, cni0 , etc.) - important for reinstallations.
  • Initialize the cluster on master with kubeadm init
  • Install user specified pod network from group_vars/all (flannel, calico, weave, etc)
  • Join the nodes to the cluster with 'kubeadm join' and full set of params.
  • Install helm
  • Install nginx ingress controller via helm (control via group_vars/all)
  • Install kubernetes dashboard (via helm)
  • Installs any listed helm charts in the config (via helm)
  • Installs any yaml listed in the config
  • Planned: Install prometheus via Helm (control via group_vars/all) -> prometheus operator helm chart is expected soon,
  • Sanity: checks if nodes are ready and if all pods are running, and provides details of the cluster.
  • when enabled, it will create ceph storage cluster using rook operator
  • when enabled, it will create vsphere persistent storage class and all required setup. Please fill in vcenter u/p/url,etc group_vars/all, and follow all initial steps there.
  • it will define a set of handy aliases

NOTE: It does support http_proxy configuration cases. Simply update the your proxy in the group_vars/all.
This has been tested with RHEL&CentOS 7.3-7.5 and Ubuntu 16.04 and Kubernetes v1.6.1 - v1.11.3
In general, keep the kube* tools at the same minor version with the desired k8s cluster. (e.g. For installing k8s v1.7 one must also use kubeadm 1.7 (kubeadm limitation).)
FYI, higher kube* are usually supported with 1 minor version older cluster (e.g. kube[adm/ctl/let] 1.8.* accepts kubernetes cluster 1.7.*).

If for any reason anyone needs to relax RBAC, they can do: kubectl create -f https://github.com/ReSearchITEng/kubeadm-playbook/blob/master/allow-all-all-rbac.yml

How To Use:

Full cluster installation

git clone https://github.com/ReSearchITEng/kubeadm-playbook.git
cd kubeadm-playbook/
cp hosts.example hosts
vi hosts <add hosts>
# Setul vars in group_vars
vi group_vars/all/* <modify vars as needed>
ansible-playbook -i hosts site.yml [--skip-tags "docker,prepull_images,kubelet"]

If there are any issues, you may want to run only some of the steps, by choosing the appropriate tags to run. Read the site.yml. Here are also some explanations of important steps:

  • reset any previous cluster, delete etcd, cleanup network, etc. (role/tag: reset)
  • common section which prepares all machines (e.g. docker if required, kernel modules, etc) (role: common)
  • install etcd (role/tag: etcd) (requried only when you have HA only)
  • install master (role/tag: master)
  • install nodes (role/tag: node)
  • install network, helm, ingresses, (role/tag: post_deploy)

Add manage (add/reinstall) only one node (or set of nodes):

  • modify inventory (hosts file), and leave the master intact, but for nodes, keep ONLY the nodes to be managed (added/reset)
  • ansible-playbook -i hosts site.yml --tags node

To remove a specific node (drain and afterwards kube reset, etc)

  • modify inventory (hosts file), and leave the master intact, but for nodes, keep ONLY the nodes to be removed
  • ansible-playbook -i hosts site.yml --tags node_reset

Other activities possible:

There are other operations possible against the cluster, look at the file: site.yml and decide. Few more examples of useful tags:

  • "--tags reset" -> which resets the cluster in a safe matter (first removes all helm chars, then cleans all PVs/NFS, drains nodes, etc.)
  • "--tags helm_reset" -> which removes all helm charts, and resets the helm.
  • "--tags cluster_sanity" -> which does, of course, cluster_sanity and prints cluster details (no changes performed)

Check the installation of dashboard

The output should have already presented the required info (or run again: ansible-playbook -i hosts site.yml --tags cluster_sanity). The Dashboard is set on the master host, and, additionally, if it was set, also at something like: http://dashboard.cloud.corp.example.com (depending on the configured selected domain entry), and if the wildcard DNS was properly set up *.k8s.cloud.corp.example.com pointing to master machine public IP).

e.g. curl -SLk 'http://k8s-master.example.com/#!/overview?namespace=_all' | grep browsehappy

For testing the Persistent volume, one may use/tune the files in the demo folder.

kubectl exec -it demo-pod -- bash -c "echo Hello TEST >> /usr/share/nginx/html/index.html "

and check the http://pv.cloud.corp.example.com page.


For LB, one may want to check also:


Installation demo k8s 1.7.8 on CentOS 7.4: kubeadm ansible playbook install demo asciinema video


For using vagrant on one or multiple machines with bridged interface (public_network and ports accessible) all machines must have 1st interface as the bridged interface (so k8s processes will bind automatically to it). For this, use this script: vagrant_bridged_demo.sh.

Steps to start Vagrant deployment:

  1. edit ./Vagrant file and set desired number of machines, sizing, etc.
  2. run:
./vagrant_bridged_demo.sh --full [ --bridged_adapter <desired host interface|auto>  ] # bridged_adapter defaults to ip route | grep default | head -1 

After preparations (edit group_vars/all, etc.), run the ansible installation normally.

Using vagrant keeping NAT as 1st interface (usually with only one machine) was not tested and the Vagrantfile may requires some changes. There was no focus on this option as it's more complicated to use afterwards: one must export the ports manually to access ingresses like dashboard from the browser, and usually does not support more than one machine.


While Kubeadm does not make multimaster (aka HA) setup easy (yet), thanks the comunity there we have it! Starting our playbook for v1.11, we support master HA ! Kubeadm will support ha OOB later -> as per https://github.com/kubernetes/kubeadm/issues/546; For now we do it using some work-arounds. Our HA work is based on projects like: https://github.com/mbert/kubeadm2ha ( and https://github.com/sv01a/ansible-kubeadm-ha-cluster and/or github.com/cookeem/kubeadm-ha ).

How does it compare to other projects:

Kubeadm -> the official k8s installer (yet to be GA).

With kubeadm-playbook we are focus only kubeadm. Pros:

  • as it's the official k8s installation tool
  • kubeadm is released with every k8s release, and you have a guarantee to be in sync with the official code.
  • self hosted deployment, making upgrades very smooth ; Here is a KubeCon talk presenting even more reasons to go with self-hosted k8s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIZ8NaR7msI


  • currenlty in beta (to be GA expected soon)
  • no HA yet (expected in next release v1.10)

Other k8s installers

Similar k8s install on physical/vagrant/vms (byo - on premises) projects you may want to check, but all below are without kubeadm (as opposed to this project)

PRs are accepted and welcome.

PS: work inspired from: @sjenning - and the master ha part from @mbert. PRs & suggestions from: @carlosedp - Thanks. URL page of kubeadm-playboook ansible project kubeadm-playboook ansible project's code is on Github

License: Public Domain