Getting Started

Kontena Pharos is designed to work on any infrastructure: private datacenters, public cloud, hybrid or edge. It works on any environment that will meet the minimum system requirements and allows you to bootstrap and manage Kubernetes clusters super easily.

Get started with Kontena Pharos by following these steps:

  1. Setup Kontena Pharos CLI Toolchain
  2. Prepare the Nodes for the Kubernetes Cluster
  3. Creating the Cluster Configuration File
  4. Bootstrapping Kubernetes Cluster Using Pharos
  5. Interacting with your Kubernetes Cluster

Setup Kontena Pharos CLI Toolchain

Follow these easy steps to setup Kontena Pharos CLI toolchain. For more detailed instructions and installation options, see full documentation.

First we need to download and install chpharos - the Kontena Pharos version switcher tool:

$ curl -s | bash

Once the download and install is complete, login with your Kontena Account. This account is required for authenticating access to pharos CLI tool binaries.

$ chpharos login
Log in using your Kontena Account credentials
Visit to register a new account.
Username: adam
Logged in.

Once logged in, you can install pharos CLI tool binaries. Install the latest version of Kontena Pharos like this:

$ chpharos install latest --use

NOTE! By using the latest tag, you'll automatically install Kontena Pharos PRO version. If you want to use Kontena Pharos OSS version instead, use chpharos install latest+oss --use instead. If you can't decide which version to use, compare editions.

Prepare Nodes for Kubernetes Cluster

Most of the Kubernetes cluster components are launched using containers (Docker or CRI-O) on a Linux distro. You can use most common Linux distros, we support many of them.

Tip: In our GitHub repo, there's ready made examples for setting up the cluster using Vagrant boxes. This is an easy way to get started if you do not have any other infrastructure available to play with. See

Create the Cluster Configuration File

With Pharos, the cluster is configured using a yaml file. In this example we setup simple 1+1 cluster, one node acts as the control plane and one as pure worker node.

So open up your favourite editor, and type something similar as in the example below. Once done, save the file as cluster.yml. Naturally you need to adjust the example to match your infrastructure at hand.

  - address:
    user: vagrant
    role: master
    ssh_key_path: ~/.ssh/my_key
  - address:
    user: vagrant
    role: worker
    ssh_key_path: ~/.ssh/my_key
network: {} # Use Weave networking with default config
    enabled: true # Enable Nginx ingress controller

For more complex cases, there's huge amount of configuration options and addons available.

Bootstrap your First Pharos Kubernetes Cluster

Once the cluster definition is ready, we can fire up the cluster.

In the same directory where you created the cluster.yml file, run:

$ pharos up

Pharos connects to the infrastructure you've configured with SSH connections and configures everything needed on the hosts. Within few minutes you should have your cluster up-and-running.

Interact with the Cluster

To interact with the cluster, we need to get the kubeconfig file to access it as an administrator. Pharos tooling makes this super easy for you. Again, in the same directory with the cluster.yml file run:

$ pharos kubeconfig > kubeconfig

Then to apply it for Kubernetes tooling, run:

export KUBECONFIG="${PWD}/kubeconfig"

To verify everything worked, run:

$ kubectl get nodes

Now you're ready to work with the cluster, go ahead and use your favourite tools to deploy applications.

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