This is a short tutorial on how to setup multi-master HA Kubernetes in < 5 minutes. I think it has to be one of the easiest ways out there to get up and running.
Up until recently, the primary way to create multi-master Kubernetes clusters would have been through using
kubeadm: Creating Highly Available clusters with kubeadm. kubeadm is used by popular tools like kops as an alternative to managed Kubernetes.
So why may k3s be preferrable to kubeadm? It only uses 300MB RAM for a server and 50MB of RAM for an agent node. This makes it ideal for edge, but also great for local development or use for production workloads.
You'll need some VMs somewhere. You can get these however you like - from public cloud, via Vagrant, KVM, VirtualBox, or whatever you prefer.
Note: until these two upstream issues are fixed in k3s: #1155 and #1115, you won't be able to use a Raspberry Pi for a multi-master setup. A single-master works fine and is more than suitable for a homelab.
I decided to create three 10 USD/mo VMs on DigitalOcean in the London region with the
18.04.3 (LTS) x64 image. Each VM comes with 2GB RAM and 1 vCPU.
Make sure that you click
SSH keys and add your SSH key during this step. This is because
k3sup will automate the Kubernetes installation using
- Create three VMS by clicking the
- Get k3sup now:
k3sup is a tool I built to automate the creation of k3s clusters and to install apps with helm.
curl -sSLf https://k3sup.dev | sudo sh New version of k3sup installed to /usr/local/bin _ _____ | | _|___ / ___ _ _ _ __ | |/ / |_ \/ __| | | | '_ \ | < ___) \__ \ |_| | |_) | |_|\_\____/|___/\__,_| .__/ |_| Version: 0.6.7 Git Commit: 4de4848a7542d41e2dc828b2a6b2533ade1a71e1
You'll need at least version: 0.6.7.
Note: you can also run this without
sudoand then move over the binary to
Right now it's time to actually set up Kubernetes.
Get the IPs of your nodes.
Now create a bash script
bootstrap.sh as follows:
#!/bin/bash set -e export NODE_1="" export NODE_2="" export NODE_3="" export USER=root # The first server starts the cluster k3sup install \ --cluster \ --user $USER \ --ip $NODE_1 # The second node joins k3sup join \ --server \ --ip $NODE_2 \ --user $USER \ --server-user $USER \ --server-ip $NODE_1 # The third node joins k3sup join \ --server \ --ip $NODE_3 \ --user $USER \ --server-user $USER \ --server-ip $NODE_1
chmod +x bootstrap.sh and run the script:
kubeconfig file will be saved to your local directory, but you can customise this. Check
k3sup install --help for more options.
Check your nodes are up and running:
export KUBECONFIG=`pwd`/kubeconfig kubectl get node NAME STATUS ROLES AGE VERSION k3s-server-02 Ready master 47s v1.16.3-k3s.2 k3s-server-01 Ready master 64s v1.16.3-k3s.2 k3s-server-03 Ready master 14s v1.16.3-k3s.2
With k3s the masters are also able to run workloads. You can now install a helm chart using:
k3sup app install. Run
k3sup app install to find out what you want to try.
k3sup app install --help Install a Kubernetes app Usage: k3sup app install [flags] k3sup app install [command] Examples: k3sup app install [APP] k3sup app install openfaas --help k3sup app install inlets-operator --token-file $HOME/do k3sup app install --help Available Commands: cert-manager Install cert-manager chart Install the specified helm chart inlets-operator Install inlets-operator linkerd Install linkerd metrics-server Install metrics-server nginx-ingress Install nginx-ingress openfaas Install openfaas openfaas-ingress Install openfaas ingress with TLS tiller Install tiller Flags: -h, --help help for install --kubeconfig string Local path for your kubeconfig file (default "kubeconfig") Use "k3sup app install [command] --help" for more information about a command.
This is how
nginx-ingress would work if we wanted to use host-mode networking, where each node in the cluster serves traffic.
k3sup app install nginx-ingress --host-mode
curl against the hosts:
export NODE_1="" curl -i $NODE_1 <html> <head><title>404 Not Found</title></head> <body> <center><h1>404 Not Found</h1></center> <hr><center>openresty/22.214.171.124</center> </body> </html>
You can see the Nginx IngressController ready and waiting to serve requests. You just need to setup an Ingress record and you're all set.
Try out the other apps or feel free to suggest one if you think it's missing.
We created a 3-node HA Kubernetes cluster and it should have taken well under 5 minutes to complete. I'm excited by how easy this is compared to several years ago. Within a short period of time this should also be workable for your Raspberry Pi cluster too.
If k3s is new to you, I'd recommend watching Darren Shepherd's KubeCon session. It will help demystify the project and hopefully bust any myths that you may have heard about it: K3s Under the Hood: Building a Product-grade Lightweight Kubernetes Distro
Go and checkout k3sup on GitHub - it can do far more than just install Kubernetes, it can also install apps from helm charts making it even easier for new users to get started.
- Kubernetes Homelab with Raspberry Pi and k3sup - my hands-on tutorial and video for k3s
- Kubernetes on bare-metal in 10 minutes - an in-depth tutorial using
kubeadmfor a single master setup using bare metal compute
You may also like the KubeWeekly email newsletter curated by the CNCF.