kURL with Replicated KOTS

Grant Miller

• 2019-12-11

kURL is an open source project from Replicated that allows anyone to create a custom Kubernetes distro. One of the primary use cases of kURL is for distributing Kubernetes with an application or Helm chart to an enterprise customer who doesn’t have an existing cluster. In this capacity, kURL creates a modern, multi-node, software appliance that can be installed onto a single Linux VM (or scaled out to many nodes), even in a fully airgapped network.

Using kURL for a KOTS application

The newest generation of Replicated’s vendor platform includes a sophisticated set of tools for delivering an application into a customer’s existing Kubernetes environment. kURL is an essential complement to this stack, allowing vendors to specify a custom Kubernetes distro to package with an application (aka “embedded Kubernetes”(https://kots.io/vendor/embedded-kubernetes/embedded-kubernetes/)) for customers without an existing cluster.

Managing a kURL Distro with Replicated

Each Replicated Release Channel provides two different installation instructions. The first is for existing clusters & the second is for embedding Kubernetes with the application:


This installation command can be run from a modern Linux VM, on which kURL will install Kubernetes and the specified system level components. The specifics of that Kubernetes installer is determined by the application vendor through a declarative manifest.


This manifest supports inclusion/exclusion and versioning of the various components as well as several advanced options that KOTS vendors can specify for their kURL distro. These kURL manifests are then managed via the standard Replicated Release Channels.


kURL with Kotsadm

When a kURL distro includes Kotsadm, an additional tab is available in the port :8800 admin console that provides some cluster management functionality. The add-node functionality provides an install script and the required tokens to join the cluster.


Additionally, any kURL installation that includes both Prometheus and Kotsadm will automatically configure Kotsadm to display CPU, Memory and Storage information from the cluster.


Replicated KOTS Paid Plans

Application vendors on paid Replicated plans are provided with the necessary tools, workflows and integrations to operationalize and scale the distribution of their commercial KOTS applications. Beyond tooling, these vendors also receive Tier 2 & 3 support for their on-prem application deployments (including support of the embedded (kURL-based) Kubernetes cluster).

To try the new Replicated KOTS platform in conjunction with kURL, sign up for an account and start integrating your Kubernetes application today or check out the KOTS vendor docs for technical details.