There are times when you just need to quickly get access to a complete Kubernetes cluster for development and testing. However, you may not want to go through an entire setup process that will take a long time. Here comes K3s. A complete certified Kubernetes distribution that’s small, lightweight, and set up in seconds.
K3s is a certified distribution of Kubernetes that is lightweight (only 50-100MB in total size). All the components necessary to run it are packed in a very small single binary footprint. By default, it runs a single node that acts as the master node and the worker node. The low amount of resources to run the entire cluster is small enough (around 300MB memory) making it perfect for quick deployments and local development environments.
K3s is packed with everything you need to start your cluster including
What K3s is popularly used for:
Even with its small size, K3s still has all the capabilities of K8s, as it is fully compatible with CNCF's Kubernetes (K8s). So everything that runs on K8s will have no problems running in K3s. K3s is much more simplified making it easier and faster to deploy. Its small footprint ensures it requires fewer resources, in case these are a constraint.
K3s closely follow the same releases and updates from Kubernetes (K8s) with just a bit of difference in the version name. For example, for the v1.24 version in Kubernetes (K8s), the K3s version counterpart would be v1.24+k3s1, v1.23 being the K8s version and the k3s1 would be the additional releases for K3s.