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KWOK (Kubernetes WithOut Kubelet)

KWOK is pronounced as /kwɔk/.

KWOK is a toolkit that enables setting up a cluster of thousands of Nodes in seconds. Under the scene, all Nodes are simulated to behave like real ones, so the overall approach employs a pretty low resource footprint that you can easily play around on your laptop.

What is KWOK?

KWOK stands for Kubernetes WithOut Kubelet. So far, it provides two tools:

  • kwok is the cornerstone of this project, responsible for simulating the lifecycle of fake nodes, pods, and other Kubernetes API resources.
  • kwokctl is a CLI tool designed to streamline the creation and management of clusters, with nodes simulated by kwok.

Please see our website for more in-depth information.


  • Lightweight: You can simulate thousands of nodes on your laptop without significant consumption of CPU or memory resources. Currently, KWOK can reliably maintain 1k nodes and 100k pods easily.
  • Fast: You can create and delete clusters and nodes almost instantly, without waiting for boot or provisioning. Currently, KWOK can create 20 nodes or pods per second.
  • Compatibility: KWOK works with any tools or clients that are compliant with Kubernetes APIs, such as kubectl, helm, kui, etc.
  • Portability: KWOK has no specific hardware or software requirements. You can run it using pre-built images, once Docker or Nerdctl is installed. Alternatively, binaries are also available for all platforms and can be easily installed.
  • Flexibility: You can configure different node types, labels, taints, capacities, conditions, etc., and you can configure different pod behaviors, status, etc. to test different scenarios and edge cases.


See our own contributor guide and the Kubernetes community page.

Getting Involved

If you're interested in participating in future discussions or development related to KWOK, there are several ways to get involved:

Code of conduct

Participation in the Kubernetes community is governed by the Kubernetes Code of Conduct.