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Deploy a Production Ready Kubernetes Cluster
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Kubernetes Logo

Deploy a Production Ready Kubernetes Cluster

If you have questions, check the documentation and join us on the kubernetes slack, channel #kubespray. You can get your invite here

  • Can be deployed on AWS, GCE, Azure, OpenStack, vSphere, Packet (bare metal), Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (Experimental), or Baremetal
  • Highly available cluster
  • Composable (Choice of the network plugin for instance)
  • Supports most popular Linux distributions
  • Continuous integration tests

Quick Start

To deploy the cluster you can use :



# Install dependencies from ``requirements.txt``
sudo pip install -r requirements.txt

# Copy ``inventory/sample`` as ``inventory/mycluster``
cp -rfp inventory/sample inventory/mycluster

# Update Ansible inventory file with inventory builder
declare -a IPS=(
CONFIG_FILE=inventory/mycluster/hosts.yml python3 contrib/inventory_builder/ ${IPS[@]}

# Review and change parameters under ``inventory/mycluster/group_vars``
cat inventory/mycluster/group_vars/all/all.yml
cat inventory/mycluster/group_vars/k8s-cluster/k8s-cluster.yml

# Deploy Kubespray with Ansible Playbook - run the playbook as root
# The option `--become` is required, as for example writing SSL keys in /etc/,
# installing packages and interacting with various systemd daemons.
# Without --become the playbook will fail to run!
ansible-playbook -i inventory/mycluster/hosts.yml --become --become-user=root cluster.yml

Note: When Ansible is already installed via system packages on the control machine, other python packages installed via sudo pip install -r requirements.txt will go to a different directory tree (e.g. /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages on Ubuntu) from Ansible's (e.g. /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/ansible still on Ubuntu). As a consequence, ansible-playbook command will fail with:

ERROR! no action detected in task. This often indicates a misspelled module name, or incorrect module path.

probably pointing on a task depending on a module present in requirements.txt (i.e. "unseal vault").

One way of solving this would be to uninstall the Ansible package and then, to install it via pip but it is not always possible. A workaround consists of setting ANSIBLE_LIBRARY and ANSIBLE_MODULE_UTILS environment variables respectively to the ansible/modules and ansible/module_utils subdirectories of pip packages installation location, which can be found in the Location field of the output of pip show [package] before executing ansible-playbook.


For Vagrant we need to install python dependencies for provisioning tasks. Check if Python and pip are installed:

python -V && pip -V

If this returns the version of the software, you're good to go. If not, download and install Python from here Install the necessary requirements

sudo pip install -r requirements.txt
vagrant up


Supported Linux Distributions

  • Container Linux by CoreOS
  • Debian Buster, Jessie, Stretch, Wheezy
  • Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04
  • CentOS/RHEL 7
  • Fedora 28
  • Fedora/CentOS Atomic
  • openSUSE Leap 42.3/Tumbleweed
  • Oracle Linux 7

Note: Upstart/SysV init based OS types are not supported.

Supported Components

Note: The list of validated docker versions was updated to 1.11.1, 1.12.1, 1.13.1, 17.03, 17.06, 17.09, 18.06. kubeadm now properly recognizes Docker 18.09.0 and newer, but still treats 18.06 as the default supported version. The kubelet might break on docker's non-standard version numbering (it no longer uses semantic versioning). To ensure auto-updates don't break your cluster look into e.g. yum versionlock plugin or apt pin).


  • Minimum required version of Kubernetes is v1.14
  • Ansible v2.7.8 (or newer, but not 2.8.x) and python-netaddr is installed on the machine that will run Ansible commands
  • Jinja 2.9 (or newer) is required to run the Ansible Playbooks
  • The target servers must have access to the Internet in order to pull docker images. Otherwise, additional configuration is required (See Offline Environment)
  • The target servers are configured to allow IPv4 forwarding.
  • Your ssh key must be copied to all the servers part of your inventory.
  • The firewalls are not managed, you'll need to implement your own rules the way you used to. in order to avoid any issue during deployment you should disable your firewall.
  • If kubespray is ran from non-root user account, correct privilege escalation method should be configured in the target servers. Then the ansible_become flag or command parameters --become or -b should be specified.

Hardware: These limits are safe guarded by Kubespray. Actual requirements for your workload can differ. For a sizing guide go to the Building Large Clusters guide.

  • Master
    • Memory: 1500 MB
  • Node
    • Memory: 1024 MB

Network Plugins

You can choose between 10 network plugins. (default: calico, except Vagrant uses flannel)

  • flannel: gre/vxlan (layer 2) networking.

  • calico: bgp (layer 3) networking.

  • canal: a composition of calico and flannel plugins.

  • cilium: layer 3/4 networking (as well as layer 7 to protect and secure application protocols), supports dynamic insertion of BPF bytecode into the Linux kernel to implement security services, networking and visibility logic.

  • contiv: supports vlan, vxlan, bgp and Cisco SDN networking. This plugin is able to apply firewall policies, segregate containers in multiple network and bridging pods onto physical networks.

  • weave: Weave is a lightweight container overlay network that doesn't require an external K/V database cluster. (Please refer to weave troubleshooting documentation).

  • kube-ovn: Kube-OVN integrates the OVN-based Network Virtualization with Kubernetes. It offers an advanced Container Network Fabric for Enterprises.

  • kube-router: Kube-router is a L3 CNI for Kubernetes networking aiming to provide operational simplicity and high performance: it uses IPVS to provide Kube Services Proxy (if setup to replace kube-proxy), iptables for network policies, and BGP for ods L3 networking (with optionally BGP peering with out-of-cluster BGP peers). It can also optionally advertise routes to Kubernetes cluster Pods CIDRs, ClusterIPs, ExternalIPs and LoadBalancerIPs.

  • macvlan: Macvlan is a Linux network driver. Pods have their own unique Mac and Ip address, connected directly the physical (layer 2) network.

  • multus: Multus is a meta CNI plugin that provides multiple network interface support to pods. For each interface Multus delegates CNI calls to secondary CNI plugins such as Calico, macvlan, etc.

The choice is defined with the variable kube_network_plugin. There is also an option to leverage built-in cloud provider networking instead. See also Network checker.

Community docs and resources

Tools and projects on top of Kubespray

CI Tests

Build graphs

CI/end-to-end tests sponsored by Google (GCE) See the test matrix for details.

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