Kubernetes distribution headed down the tracks

Lokomotive: Production-ready Kubernetes distribution with Linux technologies

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock /Arcansel

A new open source Kubernetes distribution has been announced by the software consultancy Kinvolk. Lokomotiv is a full-stack Kubernetes distribution that aims to be secure and stable. It uses modified forked code from Typhoon and is built to run on top of Flatcar Linux., a software consultancy specializing in cloud tech for Linux, announced their Kubernetes distribution Lokomotive on May 17, 2019. Under an open source license, Lokomotiv aims towards production-ready performance and a secure, stable Kubernetes distribution.

According to Kinvolk, the fully supported release and commercial support with lokoctl and Lokomotive Components pulls into the station sometime this summer. For now, let us have a look at what’s under the hood and the project’s goals.

Kubernetes distribution

From the project announcement, here are the listed goals of Lokomotive:

Underneath Lokomotiv is the operating system, Flatcar Linux, which provides a solid foundation. Since Lokomotive is built on top of this, it delivers Linux 5.1, cgroup v2, Wireguard, bpftool, OCI hooks, and a lightweight container runtime called cri-o.

See more about the supported operating system and Flatcar Linux.

SEE ALSO: Buildah: Build containers fast and easy without Docker

Lokomotive features & components

Lokomotive contains forked code from Typhoon: a minimal, stable base Kubernetes upstream distribution.

However, the two are not identical. Lokomotive has a few modifications that distinguish it from Typhoon. This includes support for Packet and additional PSPs.

SEE ALSO: For security hygiene, scan your containers in build time

Features include:

  • Kubernetes v1.14.1
  • Worker pools: On AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Packet define additional groups of workers so that they may join a cluster.
  • Snippets customization
  • Single or multi-master, Calico or flannel networking
  • On-cluster etcd
  • Out-of-the box configuration
  • Terraform Module for supported OS and platforms

Lokomotive Components provide cluster elements necessary before deployment. According to the announcement blog, these include: “monitoring, ingress, logging, networking, storage, service mesh, authentication provider, etc.”.

Future plans & more

Check out the repo on GitHub as well as tutorials on how to create a cluster in AWS, Azure (currently in alpha – do not use for production), Bare-Metal, and Packet. (Additional platforms slated to arrive in the future.)

Read more about the architecture and its concepts.

More details about Lokomotiv will arrive as we inch closer towards the full availability period. According to kinvolk, Lokomotive will be used to demonstrate new ideas over the next few months. In the meantime, we will be sure to keep our eyes open for any forthcoming news or releases.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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