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Team Lens proudly presents

From pets to cattle: declaratively manage hosted k0s control planes, workers, clusters, and underlying infrastructure through the Kubernetes API.

Experience unparalleled isolation, scalability, and resource efficiency for your Kubernetes control planes with k0smotron - the ultimate Kubernetes management solution. It’s designed for k0s



k0smotron lets you easily create and manage hosted control planes in an existing Kubernetes cluster. This permits unparalleled scalability and flexibility when working with many clusters, easing the burden of multi-cluster operations and maintenance.

True control and worker plane separation

Using k0smotron the clusters controlplane and workerplane are truly separated. The controlplane, running on an existing cluster has no direct networking connection to the workerplane. This is a similar pattern to how all the major cloud providers separate the control and worker planes on the managed clusters.

Bring your own workers

With k0smotron you can connect worker nodes from ANY infrastructure to your cluster control plane. This allows you to manage all control planes in a shared infrastructure, and in a homogenous way, but connect each cluster’s workers from separate remote infrastructures.

Cluster API

k0smotron is NOT limited to only managing hosted k0s control planes. It has now evolved into a full Cluster API provider for k0s.

k0smotron operates as:

  • ControlPlane provider

  • Bootstrap provider

  • Infrastructure provider (with k0smotron RemoteMachine)

k0smotron RemoteMachine

k0smotron RemoteMachine functions as a Cluster API compliant infrastructure provider enabling cluster provisioning on remote machines using SSH connections. This opens up new possibilities for managing remote machines seamlessly in your Kubernetes clusters. Perfect for diverse infrastructure setups, bare metal and for environments which have no existing Cluster API support.

How does it work

You install k0smotron operator into an existing Kubernetes cluster. k0smotron operator will create and manage k0s control planes in that cluster. It leverages the natural pattern of working with custom resources to manage the lifecycle of the k0s control planes. k0smotron will automatically create all the needed Kubernetes lower level constructs, such as pods, configmaps etc., to

k0smotron is an Kubernetes operator designed to manage the lifecycle of k0s control planes in a Kubernetes (any distro) cluster. By running the control plane on a k8s cluster we can enjoy and leverage the high availability and auto-healing functionalities of the underlying cluster, a.k.a Mothership.


Use cases


Often when running integration and end-to-end testing for your software running in Kubernetes you need somewhat temporary clusters in CI. Why not leverage the true flexibility and create those clusters on-demand using k0smotron. Creating a controlplane is as easy as creating a custom resource, so is the deletion of it. No more long living snowflake clusters for CI purposes.


Running Kubernetes on the network edge usually means running in low resource infrastructure. What this often means is that setting up the controlplane is either a challenge or a mission impossible. Running the controlplane on an existing cluster, on a separate dedicated infrastructure, removes that challenge and lets you focus on the real edge.

Running on the edge often also means a large number of clusters to manage. Do you really want to dedicate nodes for each cluster controlplane and manage all the infrastructure for those?


With k0smotron, you can distribute hosted or conventional Kubernetes control planes and workers across one or multiple infrastructures. Aggregate control planes in a ‘mothership’ cluster on public cloud, and put workers (and workloads) on another public cloud, on-premises cloud, or on bare metal machines from datacenter to edge. Explore novel cluster configurations to enhance reliability, security, performance, and to control costs.

Getting started

Getting started with k0smotron is easy. Simply install the controller into existing cluster:

kubectl apply -f https://docs.k0smotron.io/stable/install.yaml

Then create a k0s control plane:

kubectl apply -f - <<EOF 
apiVersion: k0smotron.io/v1beta1 
kind: Cluster 
name: my-k0smotron 
spec: {} 

And that's it. You now have a k0s control plane running in your cluster. For further details how to work with the created cluster control plane check out the documentation.


What is the relation of k0smotron with Cluster API
k0smotron is a Cluster API provider for k0s. It is a fully compliant Cluster API provider and can be used with any Cluster API compatible tooling. k0smotron is also a Cluster API infrastructure provider, allowing you to provision clusters on remote machines using SSH connections.
How is k0smotron different from typical multi-cluster management solutions such as Tanzu, Rancher etc.?
Most of the existing multi-cluster management solutions provision specific infrastructure for the control planes, in most cases VMs. In all of the cases we've looked at the worker plane infrastructure is also provisioned in the same infrastructure with the control plane and thus not allowing you to fully utilize the capabilities of the management cluster.
What do we mean with pet vs. cattle?
As the controlplanes for clusters are pretty static, it means they are usually managed as "pets". Using an operator like k0smotron to manage k0s control planes within an existing Kubernetes cluster is a "cattle" approach that allows for a more scalable and flexible management of clusters. This approach makes it easier to maintain a consistent and homogeneous setup across all clusters, while also taking advantage of the high availability and auto-healing features of Kubernetes.
How is this different for managed Kubernetes providers?
  • Control and Flexibility:
    k0smotron gives you full control over your cluster configurations within your existing Kubernetes cluster, offering unparalleled flexibility.
  • Bring Your Own Workers:
    Unlike managed Kubernetes providers, k0smotron allows you to connect worker nodes from any infrastructure, providing greater freedom and compatibility.
  • Cost Efficiency:
    By leveraging your existing Kubernetes cluster, k0smotron helps reduce costs associated with managing separate clusters or paying for additional resources.
  • Homogeneous Setup:
    k0smotron ensures a consistent configuration across clusters, simplifying maintenance and management tasks.