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InfoQ Homepage News Mirantis Announces k0s, a New Kubernetes Distribution

Mirantis Announces k0s, a New Kubernetes Distribution

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Mirantis, an open cloud company, recently announced k0s, a new open-source Kubernetes distro. The current release is 0.8, shipped with certified Kubernetes 1.19. K0s reduces the complexity of installing and running a fully compliant Kubernetes distribution, and it applies to any scale from local development to large scale production deployments.

Adam Parco, vice president of engineering at Mirantis, made this announcement in a blog post. Parco described the "zero" in k0s distribution as the company's aspiration to provide a Kubernetes distribution with zero friction, zero dependencies, zero overhead, zero cost, and zero downtime.

Interested readers can get started with k0s with "no special skills or expertise in Kubernetes".

$ #Download, install, and start a k0s server

$ curl -sSfL | sh

$ k0s server$ #Create and add a worker node

$ k0s token create --role=worker

$ k0s worker <TOKEN>$ #Or quickly try it out in a Docker container anywhere

$ docker run -d --hostname controller --privileged -v /var/lib/k0s -p 6443:6443 k0sproject/k0s

K0s packages a single binary for both amd64 and arm64 architectures. It does not require any host OS dependencies besides the kernel. The k0s binary size is around 165 MBs, which can be considered a self-extracting archive where all the needed Kubernetes binaries are embedded.

K0s is made by the same team which created Lens, an IDE for Kubernetes. Recently acquired by Mirantis, Lens provides full visualization and control of k0s clusters in a graphical interface.


K0s provides automated cluster lifecycle management to perform cluster upgrades while applications are running. Unlike most Kubernetes distros, where the control plane runs in containers and pods, k0s also provides a fully isolated control plane.

After this announcement, there was an active discussion within the tech community on Reddit and Twitter. This Reddit conversation had an interesting comparison between k3s and k0s, as one of the Reddit users commented, "...with k0s you have this functionality on any Linux distribution that you want to use." On Twitter, one of the users Luis Lazo tweeted, "At first it was k8s, then k3s, now k0s. Some numbers [are] still missing in between but very cool binary to get up and running with Kubernetes -".

Director of engineering at Mirantis, Miska Kaipiainen, also took to Twitter and explained the background of k0s distribution, "The k0s #Kubernetes by @k0sproject is inspired by projects like Pharos, K3S and Alpine Linux. We combined all the experience we have with all the best ideas in the ecosystem, to create a pure kube distro that is slim, modern & fresh while maximizing the dev happiness. #devops"

In another blog post, Kaipiainen summarized the k0s 0.8 release, inviting the readers to join the k0s Slack channel and follow the community blog.

One can get started with k0s on GitHub, and the demo is available here.

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