The lightweight, easy to install Kubernetes distribution is aimed at resource-constrained environments and low touch operations. Some use cases in which k3s really shines are edge, ARM, IoT, and CI, as per the company.
Rancher Labs has bundled k3s as a single binary which is about 40 megabytes in size, said Co-founder and Chief Architect Darren Shepherd.
k3s started as an embedded component of Rio. Rio is an experimental project that focuses on applications, serverless, and service mesh.
k3s is claimed to be “a fully certified Kubernetes distribution that runs in about one fourth the memory of vanilla Kubernetes.”
A single node v1.13.3 Kubernetes cluster with Docker uses a little over 1GiB of memory whereas the equivalent k3s setup takes a little over 260MiB of memory and that includes an ingress controller and service load balancer not present in the upstream cluster, Shepherd explained.
k3s is now available for x86_64, ARMv7 and ARM64.