kind VS k3s

Compare kind vs k3s and see what are their differences.


Kubernetes IN Docker - local clusters for testing Kubernetes (by kubernetes-sigs)


Lightweight Kubernetes (by k3s-io)
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kind k3s
52 112
8,861 18,515
2.0% 1.6%
9.2 9.6
9 days ago 5 days ago
Go Go
Apache License 2.0 Apache License 2.0
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of kind. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2021-11-20.


Posts with mentions or reviews of k3s. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2021-12-05.
  • Settings up k8s cluster on single vm
    1 project | | 6 Dec 2021
    Great example. Just to elaborate a little more. is kubernetes but packed into a binary. It works across multiple platforms and even raspberry pis. It's footprint in compared to k8s is significant. K3s 0.25cpu and 512mb ram. It almost contains everything k8s, but missing some alpha and advanced CRD capability.
  • Kubernetes at Home with K3s
    5 projects | | 5 Dec 2021
    That's a false statement as far as the technical aspects are concerned (Swarm is still usable and supported), but is a true statement when you look at the social aspects (Kubernetes won the container wars and now even Nomad is uncommon to run into).

    Right now the company i'm in uses Swarm in a lot of places due to its simplicity (Compose file support) and low resource usage - Swarm hits the sweet spot when it comes to getting started with container orchestration and doing so without needing multiple people to wrangle the technical complexity of Kubernetes, or large VMs to deal with its resource usage, at least in on prem environments.

    In combination with Portainer ( it's perhaps one of the best ways to get things done, when you expect everything to just work and aren't doing something too advanced (think along the lines of 10 servers, rather than 100, which is probably most of the deployments out there).

    I actually wrote about some of its advantages in my blog post, "Docker Swarm over Kubernetes":

    That said, if there are any good options to replace Swarm, it has to either be Hashicorp Nomad ( which is a really nice platform, especially when coupled with Consul (, as long as you can get past the weirdness of HCL. Alternatively, it has to be K3s (, which gives you Kubernetes without the insane bloat and hardware usage.

    I actually benchmarked K3s against Docker Swarm in similar app deployments: 1 leader server, 2 follower servers, running a Ruby on Rails app and an ingress, while they're under load testing by K6 ( I was attempting to see whether COVID contract tracking with GPS would be viable as far as the system load goes in languages with high abstraction level, here's more info about that:

    Honestly, the results were pretty close - on the follower servers, the overhead of the orchestrator agents were a few percent (K3s being heavier, but a few dozen MB here or there not being too relevant), whereas the bigger differences were in the leader components, where K3s was heavier almost by a factor of two, which isn't too much when you consider how lightweight Swarm is (there was a difference of a few hundred MB) and the CPU usage was reasonably close in both of the cases as well. Sadly, the text of the paper is in Latvian, so it's probably of no use to anyone, but i advise you to do your own benchmarks! Being a student, i couldn't afford many servers then, so it's probably a good idea to benchmark those with more servers.

    Of note, on those VPSes (4 GB of RAM, single core), the full Kubernetes wouldn't even start, whereas at work, trying to get the resources for also running Rancher on top of a "full" Kubernetes cluster (e.g. RKE) can also take needlessly long due to the backlash from ops. Also, personally i find the Compose syntax to be far easier to deal with, rather than the amalgamation that Kubernetes uses, Helm probably shouldn't even be a thing if the deployment descriptors weren't so bloated. Just look at this:

    In short:

      - Docker Swarm is pretty good when you're starting out with containers and is reasonably stable and easy to use
  • [Recap] The API Hangout #31
    2 projects | | 30 Nov 2021
    K3s - a lightweight, highly available, certified Kubernetes distribution designed for production workloads in unattended, resource-constrained, remote locations or inside IoT appliances.
  • Building a bare-metal Kubernetes cluster on Raspberry Pi
    8 projects | | 26 Nov 2021
    Lucky for us, there’s K3s, a lightweight Kubernetes distribution, optimized for ARM and packaged as a single 40MB binary. It also features a simplified install and update process, which is very welcome.
  • Switching server machines on demand?
    3 projects | | 24 Nov 2021
    You can using a docker image. Setup the proper networking and you got it. Though the only question really remains on if the technical debt is worth it. I say it is if you use K3s.
  • RaspberryPI’s in a lab…
    1 project | | 11 Nov 2021
    ...or plan to do: -
  • 27 open-source tools that can make your Kubernetes workflow easier 🚀🥳
    26 projects | | 9 Nov 2021
  • How to Secure Your Kubernetes Cluster with OpenID Connect and RBAC
    7 projects | | 9 Nov 2021
    A Kubernetes cluster. I'm using k3d to run a local k3s cluster. You can use any Kubernetes distribution, including managed PaaS like Amazon EKS, AKS, and GKE, and so on.
  • Nodejs App From Code To Kubernetes Cluster
    2 projects | | 1 Nov 2021
    For the Kubernetes cluster, I will be using a GKE (Google Kubernetes Engine) I have set up, but you can use local clusters directly from your laptops, such as K3s or Minikube.
  • Building a "complete" cluster locally
    24 projects | | 31 Oct 2021
    That is a pretty decent list. Keep in mind, that you'll need a decent machine to run all of this. If you are more interested in things running on kubernetes, than cluster management, you might want to look into k3s/k3d. k3s does not have etcd, but uses a lot fewer resources.

What are some alternatives?

When comparing kind and k3s you can also consider the following projects:

k0s - k0s - The Zero Friction Kubernetes by Team Lens

Nomad - Nomad is an easy-to-use, flexible, and performant workload orchestrator that can deploy a mix of microservice, batch, containerized, and non-containerized applications. Nomad is easy to operate and scale and has native Consul and Vault integrations.

k3d - Little helper to run Rancher Lab's k3s in Docker

Portainer - Making Docker and Kubernetes management easy.

Docker Compose - Define and run multi-container applications with Docker

nerdctl - contaiNERD CTL - Docker-compatible CLI for containerd, with support for Compose, Rootless, eStargz, OCIcrypt, IPFS, ...

k3s-pihole-wireguard - How to deploy pihole and wireguard on kubernetes using a recursive dns

Caddy - Fast, multi-platform web server with automatic HTTPS

longhorn - Cloud-Native distributed storage built on and for Kubernetes

rancher - Complete container management platform

kops - Kubernetes Operations (kops) - Production Grade K8s Installation, Upgrades, and Management

vcluster - vcluster - Create fully functional virtual Kubernetes clusters - Each vcluster runs inside a namespace of the underlying k8s cluster. It's cheaper than creating separate full-blown clusters and it offers better multi-tenancy and isolation than regular namespaces.