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How to install K3S

K3s is a lightweight Kubernetes distribution designed for resource-constrained environments, making it ideal for running Kubernetes on a VPS.
With K3s, you can easily deploy and manage containerized applications in a production-ready Kubernetes cluster. This guide will walk you through the process of installing K3s on a VPS.


  • a VPS
  • an OnetSolutions account


Installation Steps

Follow these steps to install K3s on your VPS:
  1. 1.
    Connect to your VPS via SSH using an SSH client (e.g., OpenSSH, PuTTY). Log in with your VPS username and password.
  2. 2.
    Download and install K3s by running the following command:
    curl -sfL | sh -
    This command will download and execute the K3s installation script.
  3. 3.
    Wait for the installation process to complete. It may take a few minutes.
  4. 4.
    Once the installation is finished, the K3s server will be up and running on your VPS.
  5. 5.
    To configure kubectl (the Kubernetes command-line tool) to communicate with your K3s cluster, run the following command:
    sudo cp /etc/rancher/k3s/k3s.yaml ~/.kube/config
    This command copies the K3s configuration file to the appropriate location for kubectl.
  6. 6.
    Verify that K3s is running by executing the following command:
    kubectl get nodes
    You should see the VPS listed as a node in the K3s cluster.
Congratulations! You have successfully installed K3s on your VPS. You now have a lightweight Kubernetes cluster running on your VPS.

Deploying Applications

With K3s installed, you can now deploy applications to your Kubernetes cluster. To deploy an application, follow these steps:
  1. 1.
    Write a Kubernetes manifest file (e.g., my-app.yaml) that describes your application's desired state, including deployment, services, and any other necessary resources.
  2. 2.
    Use the kubectl apply command to apply the manifest file and deploy your application:
    kubectl apply -f my-app.yaml
    This command will create the necessary resources and start running your application on the K3s cluster.
  3. 3.
    Monitor the deployment and check the status of your application using various kubectl commands, such as kubectl get pods, kubectl get services, etc.
  4. 4.
    Access your application by using the appropriate service or ingress configuration, depending on your application's networking requirements.
Repeat these steps to deploy additional applications to your K3s cluster.

Scaling and Managing the Cluster

K3s provides tools and commands to manage and scale your Kubernetes cluster. For example:
  • To scale the number of worker nodes in your K3s cluster, you can add or remove nodes as needed.
  • To manage the cluster's resources, you can use the kubectl command to create, update, or delete resources such as deployments, services, and persistent volumes.
  • To monitor the health and performance of your cluster, you can use the Kubernetes dashboard or other monitoring tools compatible with K3s.
  • To upgrade K3s to a newer version, you can follow the upgrade instructions provided by the K3s documentation.
For more detailed information on managing and operating your K3s cluster, refer to the official K3s documentation. The documentation provides comprehensive guides and reference materials for various tasks, including managing resources, configuring networking, and troubleshooting common issues.
Remember to regularly update K3s and its components to ensure you have the latest features, bug fixes, and security patches. Check the K3s release notes for each version to understand any specific considerations or changes that may be involved in the upgrade process.
Enjoy harnessing the power of Kubernetes with K3s on your VPS. K3s provides a simplified and lightweight Kubernetes experience, enabling you to run and manage containerized applications efficiently.
If you encounter any issues or have specific questions about K3s, consult the K3s documentation or seek support from the K3s community channels for assistance. They are valuable resources for getting help and connecting with other K3s users.
Happy Kubernetes deployment with K3s on your VPS!