This section lists the different ways to set up and run Kubernetes. When you install Kubernetes, choose an installation type based on: ease of maintenance, security, control, available resources, and expertise required to operate and manage a cluster.

You can download Kubernetes to deploy a Kubernetes cluster on a local machine, into the cloud, or for your own datacenter.

Several Kubernetes components such as kube-apiserver or kube-proxy can also be deployed as container images within the cluster.

It is recommended to run Kubernetes components as container images wherever that is possible, and to have Kubernetes manage those components. Components that run containers - notably, the kubelet - can't be included in this category.

If you don't want to manage a Kubernetes cluster yourself, you could pick a managed service, including certified platforms. There are also other standardized and custom solutions across a wide range of cloud and bare metal environments.

Learning environment

If you're learning Kubernetes, use the tools supported by the Kubernetes community, or tools in the ecosystem to set up a Kubernetes cluster on a local machine. See Install tools.

Production environment

When evaluating a solution for a production environment, consider which aspects of operating a Kubernetes cluster (or abstractions) you want to manage yourself and which you prefer to hand off to a provider.

For a cluster you're managing yourself, the officially supported tool for deploying Kubernetes is kubeadm.

What's next

Kubernetes is designed for its control plane to run on Linux. Within your cluster you can run applications on Linux or other operating systems, including Windows.

Last modified November 23, 2022 at 3:06 PM PST: Added glossary tooltip to kube-apiserver and kube-prox (c430d9a72c)