Images

The default images for Kops clusters are based on Debian 9 (Stretch). These images are built by the kubernetes-sigs/image-builder project for each Kubernetes release and are available for any other use under the kope.io account.

You can choose a different image for an instance group by editing it with kops edit ig nodes. You should see an image field in one of the following formats:

  • ami-abcdef - specifies an AMI by id directly
  • <owner>/<name> specifies an AMI by its owner's account ID and name properties
  • <alias>/<name> specifies an AMI by its owner's alias and name properties

Using the AMI id is precise, but ids vary by region. It is often more convenient to use the <owner/alias>/<name>, if equivalent images have been copied to various regions with the same name.

Kops supports owner aliases for the official accounts of supported distros:

  • kope.io => 383156758163
  • amazon => 137112412989
  • centos => 679593333241
  • debian9 => 379101102735
  • debian10 => 136693071363
  • flatcar => 075585003325
  • redhat => 309956199498
  • ubuntu => 099720109477

For example, to use Ubuntu 20.04, you could specify:

image: ami-00579fbb15b954340

or

image: 099720109477/ubuntu/images/hvm-ssd/ubuntu-focal-20.04-amd64-server-20200423

or

image: ubuntu/ubuntu/images/hvm-ssd/ubuntu-focal-20.04-amd64-server-20200423

You can find the name for an image using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --image-id ami-00579fbb15b954340

Distro Support

The following table provides the support status for various distros with regards to Kops version:

Distro Experimental Stable Deprecated Removed
Amazon Linux 2 1.10 1.18 - -
CentOS 7 - 1.5 - -
CentOS 8 1.15 - - -
CoreOS 1.6 1.9 1.17 1.18
Debian 8 - 1.5 1.17 1.18
Debian 9 1.8 1.10 - -
Debian 10 1.13 1.17 - -
Flatcar 1.15.1 1.17 - -
RHEL 7 - 1.5 - -
RHEL 8 1.15 1.18 - -
Ubuntu 16.04 1.5 1.10 1.17 1.20
Ubuntu 18.04 1.10 1.16 - -
Ubuntu 20.04 1.16.2 1.18 - -

Kope.io

The default images from kope.io are based on Debian 9 (Stretch). These images include all the necessary files and packages to run Kubernetes, making node startup faster. Other than that, the changes to the official Debian images are minimal.

The latest image names are kept in the stable channel manifest, but all available images can be listed using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --output table \
  --owners 383156758163 \
  --query "sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[*].[CreationDate,Name,ImageId]" \
  --filters "Name=name,Values=*-debian-stretch-*"

Debian 9 (Stretch)

Debian 9 is based on Kernel version 4.9 which has number of known bugs that affect it and may be noticed with larger clusters:

Available images can be listed using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --output table \
  --owners 379101102735 \
  --query "sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[*].[CreationDate,Name,ImageId]" \
  --filters "Name=name,Values=debian-stretch-hvm-x86_64-gp2-*"

Debian 10 (Buster)

Debian 10 is based on Kernel version 4.19 which fixes some of the bugs present in Debian 9 and effects are less visible.

One notable change is the addition of iptables NFT, which is by default. This is not yet supported by most CNI plugins and seems to be slower than the legacy version. It is recommended to switch to iptables legacy by using the following script in additionalUserData for each instance group:

additionalUserData:
  - name: busterfix.sh
    type: text/x-shellscript
    content: |
      #!/bin/sh
      update-alternatives --set iptables /usr/sbin/iptables-legacy
      update-alternatives --set ip6tables /usr/sbin/ip6tables-legacy
      update-alternatives --set arptables /usr/sbin/arptables-legacy
      update-alternatives --set ebtables /usr/sbin/ebtables-legacy

Available images can be listed using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --output table \
  --owners 136693071363 \
  --query "sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[*].[CreationDate,Name,ImageId]" \
  --filters "Name=name,Values=debian-10-amd64-*"

Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic)

Ubuntu 18.04 is based on Kernel version 4.15 which has number of known bugs that affect it and may be noticed with larger clusters:

Available images can be listed using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --output table \
  --owners 099720109477 \
  --query "sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[*].[CreationDate,Name,ImageId]" \
  --filters "Name=name,Values=ubuntu/images/hvm-ssd/ubuntu-bionic-18.04-amd64-*"

Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal)

Ubuntu 20.04 is based on Kernel version 5.4 which fixes all the known major Kernel bugs.

Available images can be listed using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --output table \
  --owners 099720109477 \
  --query "sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[*].[CreationDate,Name,ImageId]" \
  --filters "Name=name,Values=ubuntu/images/hvm-ssd/ubuntu-focal-20.04-amd64-*"

CentOS 7

CentOS 7 is based on Kernel version 3.10 which has a considerable number of known bugs that affect it and may be noticed in production clusters:

Before using CentOS images you must accept the agreement at https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp?sku=aw0evgkw8e5c1q413zgy5pjce.

The minimum supported version is 7.4. Available images can be listed using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --output table \
  --owners 679593333241 \
  --query "sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[*].[CreationDate,Name,ImageId]" \
  --filters "Name=product-code,Values=aw0evgkw8e5c1q413zgy5pjce" "Name=name,Values=CentOS*"

RHEL 7

RHEL 7 is based on Kernel version 3.10 which has a considerable number of known bugs that affect it and may be noticed in production clusters:

The minimum supported version is 7.4. Available images can be listed using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --output table \
  --owners 309956199498 \
  --query "sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[*].[CreationDate,Name,ImageId]" \
  --filters "Name=name,Values=RHEL-7.*x86_64*"

CentOS 8

The CentOS Project doesn't provide any official images in AWS at the moment. Please report any changes.

RHEL 8

RHEL 8 is based on Kernel version 4.18 which fixes some of the bugs present in RHEL/CentOS 7 and effects are less visible.

One notable change is the addition of iptables NFT, which is the only iptables backend available. This is not yet supported by most CNI plugins and should be used with care.

Available images can be listed using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --output table \
  --owners 309956199498 \
  --query "sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[*].[CreationDate,Name,ImageId]" \
  --filters "Name=name,Values=RHEL-8.*x86_64*"

Amazon Linux 2

Amazon Linux 2 is based on Kernel version 4.19 which fixes some of the bugs present in RHEL/CentOS 7 and effects are less visible.

Available images can be listed using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --output table \
  --owners 137112412989 \
  --query "sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[*].[CreationDate,Name,ImageId]" \
  --filters "Name=name,Values=amzn2-ami-hvm-2*-x86_64-gp2"

Flatcar

Flatcar is a friendly fork of CoreOS and as such, compatible with it.

Available images can be listed using:

aws ec2 describe-images --region us-east-1 --output table \
  --owners 075585003325 \
  --query "sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[*].[CreationDate,Name,ImageId]" \
  --filters "Name=name,Values=Flatcar-stable-*-hvm"

CoreOS

Support for CoreOS is deprecated and will be removed in Kops 1.18.

You should consider using Flatcar as a replacement.

Debian 8 (Jessie)

Support for Debian 8 (Jessie) is deprecated and will be removed in Kops 1.18.

Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial)

Support for Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) is deprecated and will be removed in Kops 1.20.