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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.

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.

What versions of Kubernetes can be certified?

You can certify the currently released version and the version 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.

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

You can, but it requires membership in CNCF. 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.

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, additional software, or both.
  • 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.

I still have questions. Can you help?

Yes. Please email us at