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How to Install Kubernetes on Windows? The Complete Guide

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8th Feb, 2023
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How to Install Kubernetes on Windows? The Complete Guide

Kubernetes has become the de facto standard when it comes to deploying and managing containers in production. However, many enterprises today still run their container services on-premises using virtual machines or private clouds. 

If you’re wondering how to install Kubernetes on windows 10, you’re in just the right place. This tutorial will show how to install the Kubernetes master with three nodes on Windows computers (as an alternative to Linux). We will walk you through the step-by-step process of setting up Kubernetes on Windows. To do so, we’ll use a pre-configured virtual machine equipped with all the necessary components for installing and running Kubernetes. This is not a tutorial on how to use Kubernetes or its features but merely a guide on how to get it up and running on your Windows computer.

So, let’s get started!

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source system for managing containerised applications across multiple hosts. It groups containers that make up an application into logical units for easy management and discovery. Kubernetes uses containers to enable portability, ease of debugging and consistency across environments. Containers are always consistent because they are self-contained and always run the same way. Kubernetes makes it easy to run a distributed system on a single computer. Kubernetes clusters on Windows handle things like load balancing, failover, and scalability. In order to manage Kubernetes clusters, ensure you can Kubectl download for Windows.

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What are some alternatives to Kubernetes?

Some of the alternatives and additional tools that are available for Kubernetes include: 

  • Docker Swarm – Swarm, is a native clustering solution for Docker. It allows you to pool the CPUs and RAM of multiple computers to run containers as one large cluster. This is a native clustering solution, but it uses a separate Swarm manager to handle container orchestration, discovery and scheduling across computers. This makes it more complex, less flexible and harder to manage. 
  • Kubo – Kubo is another open-source orchestrator for Kubernetes (Kubernetes for Windows). It works like Swarm but is less flexible and supports only Kubernetes. 
  • Helm – Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes. It allows you to install pre-configured applications and services, such as a database or a monitoring tool, with the click of a button. With Swarm, you need to configure and install everything from scratch. With Kubernetes, Helm comes pre-installed.

Some key features and benefits of Kubernetes

The reasons why the Kubernetes cluster on windows has grown so much in popularity and usage over time are plenty. But some of the most striking reasons include the following:

  • Easy To Scale: Kubernetes makes it easy to scale your application. You can easily add new nodes to your application, and Kubernetes will automatically distribute your app across all the nodes. 
  • Easy To Manage: Kubernetes gives you control over your containers while they are running. You can access the logs, kill the process, or even restart the container. Kubernetes also helps you manage your containers when they are not running. It makes it easy to schedule the containers and run them at the right time. 
  • Easy To Deploy: Kubernetes simplifies your application’s deployment process. You can deploy the app from your local computer or from a central server. 
  • Fault Tolerance: Kubernetes helps you handle the fault tolerance of your application. It helps you identify any failures or downtime of your application and take action, proving all the reasons behind teh popularity of Kubernetes cluster on windows.

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Installing Kubernetes on Windows

Before you install Kubernetes on Windows, you need to make sure that you meet all the system requirements. The following are the minimum requirements for installing Kubernetes on Windows computers – 

  • Two or more Windows 10 computers with Intel or AMD x86-64 processors and at least 4GB RAM per node. 
  • The computers must be on the same LAN and be able to access the internet. 
  • One computer must have administrator rights, and all the computers in the cluster must have TCP/IP port 5989 open. 

Once you confirm that your system meets these requirements, follow the steps below to answer the question – how to install Kubernetes on windows 10

Step 1: Download and Run the VM with Kubernetes

To install Kubernetes on Windows, you will first need to download the pre-configured VM with Kubernetes pre-installed. You can download the VM from here.

Once you download the VM, open VirtualBox and click on New to create a new VM. Once you have selected a name for the VM and chosen your operating system, select the downloaded file and click on Import to select the VM. Once the VM is imported, click on Start to start the VM and click on Console to open a terminal.

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Step 2: Install Kubelet, Kube-controller and Kube-proxy

Once the VM has booted up, install Kubelet, Kube-controller and Kube-proxy on all three nodes. Kubelet is a container that runs inside every Kubernetes node and acts like a mini-container orchestration engine. Kube-proxy is a network Proxy that makes routing decisions for the pods. Kube-controller is a service that runs on each node and is responsible for managing the pods and their lifecycle. Kubectl download for Windows is also recommended if you’re managing clusters. 

Step 3: Install Core Services (Etcd, API Server and Controller Manager)

Once you have installed the Kubelet, Kube-proxy and Kube-controller, install Etcd, API Server and Controller Manager. Etcd is a distributed storage that is responsible for storing data, such as configuration and metadata. API Server is the server that hosts the Kubernetes API. The Controller Manager is responsible for controlling the pods and their lifecycle.

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Step 4: Install Kubernetes Dashboard

With the core services in place, now is the time to install the main part – the Kubernetes dashboard. The dashboard is a user interface that enables an easy and intuitive way to manage your Kubernetes cluster. It is like the GUI of Kubernetes that allows you to easily edit the cluster’s configuration by clicking on buttons instead of editing the configuration files.

Conclusion

Kubernetes is the de facto standard for container orchestration. It has become a must-have for enterprises that want to move to containers. While Kubernetes is usually installed on Linux-based computers, it can also be installed on Windows 10 computers. To install Kubernetes on Windows, you must download and run a VM with pre-installed Kubernetes. You can then install Kubelet, Kube-proxy, Kube-controller, Etcd, API Server, and Controller Manager on all three nodes to complete the installation. Finally, install the Kubernetes dashboard to manage your Kubernetes cluster.

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We hope you now understand how to install Kubernetes on Windows 10. Following these list of steps after confirming that you meet the prerequisites will help you easily install Kubernetes on your system. Once that is done, all you need to do is get hands-on experience working with the tool. Mastering Kubernetes is one of the sure-shot ways of getting well-paying jobs in the field of DevOps. While DevOps is a broad field and goes beyond just Kubernetes, learning Kubernetes is definitely one of the first stepping stones to success. 

At upGrad, we understand the importance of understanding practical tools and applications when it comes to solving real-life problems, which reflects in all of the courses and training we offer. 

Check out our Advanced Certificate Programme in DevOps, offered in collaboration with IIIT-B. This ~8-month course is designed to give both beginners as well as experienced professionals a proper dive into the world of DevOps using different industry projects that concern real-life applications. Go through the course material, and get yourself enrolled soon!

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Pavan Vadapalli

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Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Can Kubernetes be installed on Windows?

Kubernetes can be easily installed on Windows once you’ve ensured that you meet the prerequisites and follow the steps described in the article above.

2What is the CPU limit in Kubernetes?

Each container in Kubernetes has a limit of 0.5 CPU and 128MiB of memory.

3How many nodes can Kubernetes have?

Kubernetes is designed to accommodate configurations that have no more than 110 pods per node. Not more than 5000 nodes. And not more than 150k total pods.