K0s Is To Kubernetes What Dockers Is To Containers

K0s (pronounced kzeros.) is a brand-new open source Kubernetes distribution, developed by the creators of Lens, the most popular Kubernetes ID. It’s the spiritual successor to the Kontena Pharos Kubernetes distribution. The team borrowed the best ideas from Pharos, Docker and Mirantis to create this very modern 100% upstream Kubernetes distribution.

The distribution is targeting basically everyone: developers, operators, massive production scale clusters, local development… “It’s kind of the one distribution to rule them all,” said Adam Parco, Vice President Of Engineering, Mirantis. “The name ‘zero’ has a very special meaning to us. It’s zero friction, zero cost, zero overhead. It’s the lightest, smallest distribution there is.”

Secure by design

K0s is built and packaged as a single binary. It’s 100% upstream Kubernetes designed and packaged to be flexible, configurable, and highly secure.

Because of it being a single binary, developers have complete control over the libraries that K0s uses, thus making it extremely secure. The future plans for K0s include the possibility of swapping out cryptography in certain components and replacing it with FIPS validated cryptography, creating a very secure Kubernetes distribution that can be deployed on any Linux kernel that can anywhere, bringing great security with it.

K0s use cases

“Our goal is for K0s to become the de-facto Kubernetes distribution,” said Parco. It can easily run on your local developer desktop with a single command to download, install, and run. It can run in Docker with a single command. You don’t need expertise in Kubernetes to get started with it. 

“It’s applicable to massive scale production clusters, all the way to edge IoT use cases, public cloud, hybrid cloud, bare metal wherever and however you want to use it, it works,” said Parco. Since it’s the same Kubernetes distribution so your code runs and works the same all the way through your cycle from developing to testing to production. 

K0s is your typical open-source project under a permissive license. Anyone can pick and start using it. Other players, both partners, and competitors can take it and integrate with their own offerings. Those who need day 2 support, additional security, additional services around it and production SLAs can get commercial support from Mirantis.“K0s does for Kubernetes what Docker did for containers. Dockers didn’t create containers, but they certainly made it simple and easy to use,” said Parco. “Kubernetes is very complex and large. It is hard to set-up and runs It can be scary. With K0s as a single binary, one command to download, install, and run it offers zero friction to use. It’s a great developer experience.

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