Does anyone use Kubernetes for their docker homelab setup?


Nov 29, 2016
Im managing my docker environment via the command line and while it works absolutely fine and has taught me alot, I feel like a more robust orchestration engine would be fun to try. However Portainer seems to be the only one best suited for small deployments and I know in the past I had been left wanting a little bit more.

So, beyond Portainer I know there is Rancher, Swarm, and then of course the always mentioned Kubernetes. The latter I'd actually really like to try but does it scale DOWN very well? Is it absolute overkill if I dont have a multi-node setup? Everything I read about it involves managing/orchestrating large clusters and for a home lab setup that isn't really the reality :D I believe there is a smaller version called kubeadm or something along those lines but is that a web based management console? Kubernetes seems pretty complex and has alot of moving pieces but at the same time an interesting learning challenge.

Just looking for some thoughts from some more experienced folks out there. Thanks!

Patrik Dufresne

New Member
Oct 19, 2016
Because I cannot find alot of resources related to kubernetes on STH, I want to revive this post and provide my feedback.

I also feel kubernetes is overkill for home lab.Still, If you only have a single node (a master) it's very to start a new kubernetes instance with minikube. It can also be used to create a VM for you with everything installed if you are using Windows. While minikube is very good for testing on your own laptop of your development server, it cannot be used to install a production ready kubernetes. For this, you will need to install kubernetes differently the hard way.

As for kubeadm, it does ease the pain to install a kubernetes server, but at time of writing it doesn't support installation of a multi master configuration. For that reason, I do not consider this installation approach production ready.

During mu evaluation process, I also had a look to OpenShift Origin. Depending of your need, OpenShift provide an additional layer that really worth it: default RBAC, user auth, build from Dockerfile, build from git source, installation with ansible, a usable Web UI, etc. For me, OpenShift better fit our need. Similar to kubernetes, you may try it with minishift or simply with "oc cluster up" on any linux server with docker installed.
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Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
Can download and play with the IBM cloud private community version on kubernetes, not bad as a place to learn how things work and it’s less of a nightmare to install as in it tends to more just work out if the box.
May be overkill for a home lab but it’s all about learning right.

At least these environments using docker and kubernetes and other containers are light weight compared to say full openstack running apps in VM’s.


Jun 18, 2015
Canolonical and rancher just had a release today for a kubernetes supported environment.

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Jan 26, 2011
Canolonical and rancher just had a release today for a kubernetes supported environment.

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Not surprising since Kubecon is on this week. Id expect more announcements coming.

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New Member
Nov 29, 2017
What specifically are you looking for ? K8s setup hints or comparison / pros/cons w/ other choices ?