How to Install a Kubernetes Cluster on RHEL 8

  1. Three servers running RHEL8 –1 Master Node and 2 Worker Nodes.
  2. It is recommended that your nodes should have at least 2 CPUs with 2GB RAM or more per machine. This is not a strict requirement but is largely driven by the needs of the application you intend to run.
  3. Internet connectivity on all your nodes. We will be fetching Kubernetes and docker packages from the repository. Equally, you will need to make sure that the DNF package manager is installed by default and can fetch packages remotely.
  4. All your nodes should also be able to connect to one another, either on a private or public network, whichever is available.
  5. You will also need access to an account with sudo or root privileges. In this tutorial, I will be using my root account.

Our installation is designed to have the Master-Node controlling the Worker Nodes. At the end of this installation, our logical architecture will look something like this.

Master Node — This machine generally acts as the control plane and runs the cluster database and the API server (which the kubectl CLI communicates with).

Our 3-node Kubernetes Cluster will look something like this:

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Installation of Kubernetes Cluster on Master-Node

For Kubernetes to work, you will need a containerization engine. As mentioned, we will be using Docker-CE.

The following institutions will be performed on RHEL 8 Master-Node.

You will need to add the Docker repository first as it is no longer in the default package list using the following dnf config-manager command.

dnf config-manager --add-repo=

Also install package which is available as a daemon that manages the complete container lifecycle of its host system, from image transfer and storage to container execution and supervision to low-level storage to network attachments and beyond.

dnf install

Now install the latest version of a docker-ce package.

 dnf install docker-ce

You can now enable and start the docker service.

systemctl enable dockersystemctl start docker

Next, you will need to add Kubernetes repositories manually as they do not come installed by default on RHEL 8.

cat <<EOF > /etc/yum.repos.d/kubernetes.repo

Kubeadm helps you bootstrap a minimum viable Kubernetes cluster that conforms to best practices. With kubeadm, your cluster should pass the Kubernetes Conformance tests.

Kubeadm also supports other cluster lifecycle functions, such as upgrades, downgrade, and managing bootstrap tokens. Kubeadm is also integration-friendly with other orchestration tools like Ansible and Terraform.

With the package repo now ready, you can go ahead and install kubeadm package.

dnf install kubeadm -y

When the installation completes successfully, enable and start the service.

systemctl enable kubeletsystemctl start kubelet

The Kubernetes master which acts as the control plane for the cluster runs a few critical services necessary for the cluster. As such, the initialization process will do a series of prechecks to ensure that the machine is ready to run Kubernetes. These prechecks expose warnings and exit on errors. kubeadm init then downloads and installs the cluster control plane components.

Now it’s time to initialize Kubernetes master, but before that, you must disable swap in order to run “kubeadm init“ command.

# swapoff -a

Initializing Kubernetes master is a completely automated process that is controlled by the “kubeadm init“ command as shown.

# kubeadm init
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Initialize Kubernetes Master

Next, copy the following command and store it somewhere, as we required to run this command on the worker nodes later.

kubeadm join --token nu06lu.xrsux0ss0ixtnms5  \ --discovery-token-ca-cert-hash ha256:f996ea35r4353d342fdea2997a1cf8caeddafd6d4360d606dbc82314683478hjmf7

Tip: Sometimes the above command might throw errors about the arguments passed, so to avoid errors, you need to remove the ‘\’ character and your final command will look like this.

kubeadm join --token nu06lu.xrsux0ss0ixtnms5 –discovery token-ca-cert-hash sha256:f996ea35r4353d342fdea2997a1cf8caeddafd6d4360d606dbc82314683478hjmf7

Once Kubernetes initialized successfully, you must enable your user to start using the cluster. In our scenario, we will be using the root user. You can also start the cluster using sudo user as shown.

To use root, run

mkdir -p $HOME/.kube
cp -i /etc/kubernetes/admin.conf $HOME/.kube/config
chown $(id -u):$(id -g) $HOME/.kube/config

Now confirm that the kubectl command is activated.

# kubectl get nodes
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Check Status of Nodes

At this moment, you will see the status of the master-node is ‘NotReady’. This is because we are yet to deploy the pod network to the cluster.

The pod Network is the overlay network for the cluster, that is deployed on top of the present node network. It is designed to allow connectivity across the pod.

Deploying the network cluster is a highly flexible process depending on your needs and there are many options available. Since we want to keep our installation as simple as possible, we will use Weavenet plugin which does not require any configuration or extra code and it provides one IP address per pod which is great for us. If you want to see more options, please check here.

These commands will be important to get the pod network setup.

export kubever=$(kubectl version | base64 | tr -d '\n')kubectl apply -f "$kubever

Now if you check the status of your master-node, it should be ‘Ready’.

kubectl get nodes
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Check Status of Master Nodes

Next, we add the worker nodes to the cluster.

Adding Worker Nodes to Kubernetes Cluster

The following instructions will be performed on each worker node when joining the Kubernetes cluster.

First set the hostname on your worker-node-1 and worker-node-2, and then add the host entries to the /etc/hosts file.

hostnamectl set-hostname 'node-1'cat <<EOF>> /etc/hosts master-node node-1 worker-node-1 node-2 worker-node-2

Next, ping your master node from your worker nodes to confirm that your updated host file is working fine using the ping command.


Next, disable SElinux and update your firewall rules.

# setenforce 0
# sed -i --follow-symlinks 's/SELINUX=enforcing/SELINUX=disabled/g' /etc/sysconfig/selinux
# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=6783/tcp
# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=10250/tcp
# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=10255/tcp
# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=30000-32767/tcp
# firewall-cmd --reload
# echo '1' > /proc/sys/net/bridge/bridge-nf-call-iptables

Add the Docker repository first using DNF config-manager.

# dnf config-manager --add-repo=

Next, add the package.

# dnf install

With these two packages installed, install the latest version of docker-ce.

# dnf install docker-ce

Enable and start the docker service.

# systemctl enable docker
# systemctl start docker

You will need to add Kubernetes repositories manually as they do not come pre-installed on REDHAT 8.

# cat <<EOF > /etc/yum.repos.d/kubernetes.repo

With the package repo now ready, you can go ahead and install kubeadm.

# dnf install kubeadm -y

Start and enable the service.

# systemctl enable kubelet
# systemctl start kubelet

We now require the token that kubeadm init generated, to join the cluster. You can copy and paste it to your node-1 and node-2 if you had copied it somewhere.

# kubeadm join --token nu06lu.xrsux0ss0ixtnms5  --discovery-token-ca-cert-hash sha256:f996ea35r4353d342fdea2997a1cf8caeddafd6d4360d606dbc82314683478hjmf78

As suggested on the last line, go back to your master-node and verify if worker node-1 and worker node-2 have joined the cluster using the following command.

# kubectl get nodes
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Check All Nodes Status in Kubernetes Cluster

If all the steps run successfully, then, you should see node-1 and node-2 in ready status on the master-node. At this point, you have now successfully deployed a Kubernetes cluster on RHEL 8.

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