• brendandburns
  • erictune
  • mikedanese title: Picking the Right Solution redirect_from:
  • "/docs/getting-started-guides/index/"
  • "/docs/getting-started-guides/index.html"

Kubernetes can run on a range of platforms, from your laptop, to VMs on a cloud provider, to rack of bare metal servers. The effort required to set up a cluster varies from running a single command to crafting your own customized cluster. We'll guide you in picking a solution that fits for your needs.

If you just want to "kick the tires" on Kubernetes, we recommend the local Docker-based solution using MiniKube.

When you are ready to scale up to more machines and higher availability, a Hosted solution is the easiest to create and maintain.

Turn-key cloud solutions require only a few commands to create and cover a wider range of cloud providers.

Custom solutions require more effort to setup but cover and even they vary from step-by-step instructions to general advice for setting up a Kubernetes cluster from scratch.

  • TOC {:toc}

Local-machine Solutions

Minikube is the recommended method for you to create a single node kubernetes cluster locally for purposes of development and testing. Setup is completely automated and doesn't require a cloud provider account.

Use the Minikube getting started guide to try it out.

Ubuntu on LXD - Ubuntu supports a 9-instance deployment on localhost via LXD.

Hosted Solutions

Google Container Engine offers managed Kubernetes clusters.

Azure Container Service can easily deploy Kubernetes clusters.

Stackpoint.io provides Kubernetes infrastructure automation and management for multiple public clouds.

AppsCode.com provides managed Kubernetes clusters for various public clouds (including AWS and Google Cloud Platform).

KCluster.io provides highly available and scalable managed Kubernetes clusters for AWS.

KUBE2GO.io get started with highly available Kubernetes clusters on multiple public clouds along with useful tools for development, debugging, monitoring.

Madcore.Ai CLI tool to deploy Kubernetes infrastructure in AWS with focus on devops. Master, auto-scaling-group nodes with spot-instances, ingress-ssl-lego, Heapster, Grafana. Based on latest containers.

Platform9 offers managed Kubernetes on-premises or any public cloud, and provides 24/7 health monitoring and alerting.

OpenShift Dedicated offers managed Kubernetes clusters powered by OpenShift and OpenShift Online provides free hosted access for Kubernetes applications.

Turn-key Cloud Solutions

These solutions allow you to create Kubernetes clusters on a range of Cloud IaaS providers with only a few commands, and have active community support.

Custom Solutions

Kubernetes can run on a wide range of Cloud providers and bare-metal environments, and with many base operating systems.

If you can find a guide below that matches your needs, use it. It may be a little out of date, but it will be easier than starting from scratch. If you do want to start from scratch because you have special requirements or just because you want to understand what is underneath a Kubernetes cluster, try the Getting Started from Scratch guide.

If you are interested in supporting Kubernetes on a new platform, check out our advice for writing a new solution.


These solutions are combinations of cloud provider and OS not covered by the above solutions.

On-Premises VMs

Bare Metal


These solutions provide integration with 3rd party schedulers, resource managers, and/or lower level platforms.

  • Kubernetes on Mesos
  • Instructions specify GCE, but are generic enough to be adapted to most existing Mesos clusters
  • Kubernetes on DCOS
  • Community Edition DCOS uses AWS
  • Enterprise Edition DCOS supports cloud hosting, on-premise VMs, and bare metal

Table of Solutions

Here are all the solutions mentioned above in table form.

IaaS Provider Config. Mgmt OS Networking Docs Support Level
GKE GCE docs Commercial
Stackpoint.io multi-support multi-support docs Commercial
AppsCode.com Saltstack Debian multi-support docs Commercial
KCluster.io multi-support multi-support docs Commercial
KUBE2GO.io multi-support multi-support docs Commercial
Madcore.Ai Jenkins DSL Ubuntu flannel docs Community (@madcore-ai)
Platform9 multi-support multi-support docs Commercial
GCE Saltstack Debian GCE docs Project
Azure Container Service Ubuntu Azure docs Commercial
Azure (IaaS) Ubuntu Azure docs Community (Microsoft)
Docker Single Node custom N/A local docs Project (@brendandburns)
Docker Multi Node custom N/A flannel docs Project (@brendandburns)
Bare-metal Ansible Fedora flannel docs Project
Bare-metal custom Fedora none docs Project
Bare-metal custom Fedora flannel docs Community (@aveshagarwal)
libvirt custom Fedora flannel docs Community (@aveshagarwal)
KVM custom Fedora flannel docs Community (@aveshagarwal)
Mesos/Docker custom Ubuntu Docker docs Community (Kubernetes-Mesos Authors)
Mesos/GCE docs Community (Kubernetes-Mesos Authors)
DCOS Marathon CoreOS/Alpine custom docs Community (Kubernetes-Mesos Authors)
AWS CoreOS CoreOS flannel docs Community
GCE CoreOS CoreOS flannel docs Community (@pires)
Vagrant CoreOS CoreOS flannel docs Community (@pires, @AntonioMeireles)
Bare-metal (Offline) CoreOS CoreOS flannel docs Community (@jeffbean)
CloudStack Ansible CoreOS flannel docs Community (@runseb)
Vmware vSphere Saltstack Debian OVS docs Community (@imkin)
Vmware Photon Saltstack Debian OVS docs Community (@alainroy)
Bare-metal custom CentOS none docs Community (@coolsvap)
AWS Juju Ubuntu flannel docs Commercial and Community ( @matt, @chuck )
GCE Juju Ubuntu flannel docs Commercial and Community ( @matt, @chuck )
Bare Metal Juju Ubuntu flannel docs Commercial and Community ( @matt, @chuck )
Rackspace Juju Ubuntu flannel docs Commercial and Community ( @matt, @chuck )
Vmware vSphere Juju Ubuntu flannel docs Commercial and Community ( @matt, @chuck )
AWS Saltstack Debian AWS docs Community (@justinsb)
AWS kops Debian AWS docs Community (@justinsb)
Bare-metal custom Ubuntu flannel docs Community (@resouer, @WIZARD-CXY)
libvirt/KVM CoreOS CoreOS libvirt/KVM docs Community (@lhuard1A)
oVirt docs Community (@simon3z)
OpenStack Heat Saltstack CentOS Neutron + flannel hostgw docs Community (@FujitsuEnablingSoftwareTechnologyGmbH)
Rackspace CoreOS CoreOS flannel docs Community (@doublerr)
any any any any docs Community (@erictune)

Note: The above table is ordered by version test/used in notes followed by support level.

Definition of columns

  • IaaS Provider is who/what provides the virtual or physical machines (nodes) that Kubernetes runs on.
  • OS is the base operating system of the nodes.
  • Config. Mgmt is the configuration management system that helps install and maintain Kubernetes software on the nodes.
  • Networking is what implements the networking model. Those with networking type none may not support more than one node, or may support multiple VM nodes only in the same physical node.
  • Conformance indicates whether a cluster created with this configuration has passed the project's conformance tests for supporting the API and base features of Kubernetes v1.0.0.
  • Support Levels
  • Project: Kubernetes Committers regularly use this configuration, so it usually works with the latest release of Kubernetes.
  • Commercial: A commercial offering with its own support arrangements.
  • Community: Actively supported by community contributions. May not work with more recent releases of Kubernetes.
  • Inactive: No active maintainer. Not recommended for first-time Kubernetes users, and may be deleted soon.
  • Notes is relevant information such as the version of Kubernetes used.