Introduction to kURL

The Kubernetes URL Creator is a framework for creating custom Kubernetes distributions. These distros can then be shared as URLs (to install via curl and bash) or as downloadable packages (to install in airgapped environments). kURL relies on kubeadm to bring up the Kubernetes control plane, but there are a variety of tasks a system administrator must perform both before and after running kubeadm init in order to have a production-ready Kubernetes cluster. kURL is open source, with a growing list of add-on components (including Rook, Flannel, Contour, Prometheus, and more) which is easily extensible by contributing additional add-ons.

kURL vs. Standard Distros

Production Grade Upstream Kubernetes

At its core, kURL is based on kubeadm, the cluster management tool built by the core Kubernetes team and owned by sig-cluster-lifecycle. This means it benefits from the latest Kubernetes updates, patches and security hot-fixes as they are shipped by Kubernetes maintainers. kURL is a framework for declaring the layers that exist before and after the services that kubeadm provides.


Compared to standard Kubernetes distributions, it's worth emphasizing that kURL is actually a flexible Kubernetes distribution creator. Most distributions make decisions about CRI, CNI, Storage, Ingress, etc. out of the box. Comparatively, allows you to choose your own providers and versions of these components.


The Kustomized-based, open source add-on model means anyone in the community can contribute additional add-ons via Kustomizations.

Airgap Enabled

kURL builds and hosts airgap bundles with no additional configuration. Because each add-on specifies its required Docker images in a manifest file, a single Installer yaml is all that's required to specify a tar.gz bundle that can install a full stack into an airgapped environment.

Designed for Embedding

kURL is both embeddable and swappable. It's designed to quickly and pragmatically get an application up-and-running in any environment that can provide a modern Linux server, including private cloud, vSphere, and traditional bare metal data centers.

Getting Started with kURL

There are a few ways to get started with kURL, the most common being creating a distro and then installing a cluster from your distro. From there, we'd love to see more add-ons created or core contributions.