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Rancher Labs Releases Slim OS for Its Edge-Focused K3s Platform

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Rancher Labs has developed an operating system for its recently launched edge-specific k3s Kubernetes distribution designed for resource-constrained environments and easier management when deployed within the k3s environment.

Sheng Liang, CEO and co-founder of Rancher Labs, said the conveniently named k3OS uses the same declarative syntax as other Kubernetes resources. This allows a user to install and upgrade the k3s platform and the k3OS at the same time.

Users can also use the k3OS platform to model infrastructure-as-a-code, which allows for repeatable cluster deployments and should make the k3s clusters more secure when running in isolated environments. It also has a reduced attack surface that further bolsters its security posture.

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SDTimes on Rancher Labs

  • Rancher Labs combined Linux with Kubernetes in new OS platform

    Rancher Labs today released a new operating system built for its k3s Kubernetes distribution to simplify administration and make k3s clusters even more secure.

    Before k3OS, users of Rancher Labs’ k3s still had to manage the underlying Linux operating system separately, Sheng LIangi, CEO and co-founder of Rancher, told SD Times leading up to the announcement. “We’re combining Kubernetes and our own Linux distribution to manage Linux through Kubernetes,” Liang said. “We treat it as a whole thing. If nodes need to be rebooted, Kubernetes can orchestrate that.” This, he added, decreases the complexity of managing k3s Kubernetes clusters.

    k3OS is based on the Ubuntu kernel with tools from Alpine Linux, LIang explained. By combining Kubernetes and Linux, organizations that haven’t been updating the OS because they’re focused on Kubernetes won’t have to worry. “Even rebooting the operating system can cause an outage” in places where Kubernetes and the operating system are decoupled, Liang said. “Kubernetes clusters are supposed to fail one at a time; they’re not meant to be taken down all at once.”

K3OS: A Kubernetes OS Distro for Edge Computing

  • K3OS: A Kubernetes OS Distro for Edge Computing

    On the heels of its release of k3s, a lightweight Kubernetes distribution designed for the edge, Rancher Labs has announced an accompanying operating system called k3OS.

    The k3OS preview release is available with support for x86 and ARM64. With k3OS, Kubernetes cluster configuration and the underlying OS configuration are defined with the same declarative syntax as other Kubernetes resources, meaning both can be managed together.

    Rancher has been working with a number of customers including wind turbine company Goldwind Smart Energy on using Kubernetes in resource-constrained environments.

    “These customers view Kubernetes less as an application layer, more of a foundational layer,” said Sheng Liang, CEO and co-founder of Rancher Labs.

    “Some of them came from Linux, but many of them actually came from embedded Windows, like Windows XP. They’d have Windows XP running some of these applications sort of like an embedded sort of thing. Running in energy platforms and that sort of thing … If you walk up to an ATM machine or a subway station.

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