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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of certification?

For members of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, there is no charge for certification. There is also no charge for non-profit organizations. For commercial organizations that wish to certify but don't want to become a CNCF member, the fee is the same as joining the CNCF.

What about community distributions?

A community distribution does not have a company behind it. For the purposes of certification, we treat community distributions/installers as non-profit organizations, so there is no charge. However, we do require an individual to complete the certification agreement so that we have an official contact (or multiple contacts) if your software falls out of compliance.

What versions of Kubernetes can be certified?

You can certify the currently released version and the two versions before that. The currently released version is the number at the top right of Already certified implementations remain certified as long as a newer version is certified at least once a year after the initial certification.

What is a distribution, hosted platform, and an installer?

From the bottom of the Kubernetes Distributions & Platforms spreadsheet:

  • A vendor is an organization providing a Kubernetes distribution, hosted platform, or installer.
  • A product is a distribution, hosted platform, or installer provided by a vendor.
  • A distribution is software based on Kubernetes that can be installed by an end user on to a public cloud or bare metal and includes patches to the upstream codebase.
  • A hosted platform is a Kubernetes service provided and managed by a vendor.
  • An installer downloads and then installs vanilla upstream Kubernetes.

What are the additional naming options for Certified Kubernetes?

Certified Kubernetes products may use the word Kubernetes in their product name. E.g., Acme Kubernetes Engine or Acme Kubernetes. See this section of the terms and conditions for the exact details.

Do I need to re-submit results if we rebrand our product?

No. If the software is the same, and just the name has changed, you just need to submit a revised Participation Form available at that includes the new name. Please also open a pull request to update the name in your PRODUCT.yaml file. We do ask that you send us the new Participation Form prior to announcing the name change. You can submit the pull request after the announcement, if necessary.

Is a participation form required per company or per product?

Per product. Each separate product (i.e., different product name) from your company requires a different participation form. We don't need a new form for new versions of an existing product.

Are there any limitations regarding the logo?

Yes. First, we need it in SVG, AI, or EPS format. If you don't have a product-specific logo, it is fine to reuse your company one. However, we have a set of requirements including that it incorporate the name of the product or company in English (it's fine to also include text in other languages) and that the logo not be reversed.

Second, your logo can't be derivative of or include portions of the Kubernetes logo, in order to preserve the value of the Kubernetes logo. In particular, please don't include all or part of the Kubernetes wheel. Of course, under the terms of the Certified Kubernetes agreement, you're welcome and encouraged to use Kubernetes in your product name.

Can I provide a link to the installation directions?

No. We need the Readme of your conformance submission to contain more detailed directions on how to install and configure your Kubernetes implementation. The reason is that we need your users to be able to replicate the installation so that they can re-run the tests in the same environment and confirm that they get the same conformance results. We're trying to minimize link rot (i.e., the installation directions moving or changing) and we're requesting that you include sufficient detail (particularly around flags and permissions) such that an informed user will be able to replicate your results.

How can I track issues that have been opened regarding certification?

When a product fails certification, the issue could be in the implementation or in the conformance tests. We use a tracking issue to record issues with the tests.

Can I certify my private cloud that will not be available outside of our company?

You can, but it requires membership in CNCF or else may require fees as described above. Instead, you may be able to accomplish your goal of ensuring conformance simply by running the conformance tests on your private cloud. As long as you pass, your implementation is conformant. It can't be certfied unless you complete the participation form, but certification (and the ability to use the Certified Kubernetes mark) is probably unnecessary for an internal-only product.

I still have questions. Can you help?

Yes. Please email us at