Mirantis Launches k0s - The Smallest, Simplest Kubernetes Distro


Mirantis, the California-based Open Source cloud computing software, and services company, recently launched k0s, a new Kubernetes distro. With k0s, the complexity of installing and running a fully-compliant Kubernetes distribution is considerably reduced. It is also scalable and can be used in local developments as well as large scale product developments.

It is called zeros because it offers zero friction, zero cost, zero dependencies, zero overhead, and zero downtime.

The control panel does not run any containers, eliminating the need to have a container runtime like Docker
The control panel does not run any containers, eliminating the need to have a container runtime like Docker
Key Facts
  1. 1

    You can install k0s on any Linux distribution with a single command with absolutely no dependency on the host.

  2. 2

    It is one of the lightweight Kubernetes distribution available today with a 160 MB footprint. K0s-based Kubernetes clusters can be easily upgraded without any downtime to other apps.

  3. 3

    K0s can be deployed on a developer laptop, public cloud environments, bare metal servers, and even edge computing devices. The installation process is simple and straightforward.

  4. 4

    According to Miska Kaipiainen, Director of engineering at Mirantis, k0s is inspired by projects like Pharos, K3S, and Alpine Linux.

  5. 5

    K0s already has many advanced features built-in, and many still in the works, like support for both Intel x86 and ARM processors. Also in the works is support for joining Microsoft Windows Server 2019-based worker nodes on Linux’s control plane.


There are two components in Kubernetes - the control plane, which manages the entire cluster, and worker nodes that run the applications. K0s isolates the control plane, adding an extra level of security. The control panel does not run any containers, eliminating the need to have a container runtime like Docker. However, you may configure the k0s control panel and worker nodes on the same host.

K0s faces competition from two other lightweight Kubernetes distributions- Microk8s from Canonical and K3s from Rancher.

For both amd64 and arm64 architectures, K0s packages a single binary. It does not need 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.

The team that created Lens, an IDE for Kubernetes, is the same team behind k0s. Lens was recently acquired by Mirantis and provides full visualization and control of k0s clusters in a graphical interface.

K0s makes it very simple to run the same Kubernetes distro as a simple single-node cluster on your own laptop, as you run in production in the cloud.
Natanael Copa
Founder of Alpine Linux and Engineer, Mirantis

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