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Rancher Azure Quick Start Guide

The following steps will quickly deploy a Rancher server on Azure in a single-node K3s Kubernetes cluster, with a single-node downstream Kubernetes cluster attached.


The intent of these guides is to quickly launch a sandbox that you can use to evaluate Rancher. These guides are not intended for production environments. For comprehensive setup instructions, see Installation.



Deploying to Microsoft Azure will incur charges.

Getting Started

  1. Clone Rancher Quickstart to a folder using git clone

  2. Go into the Azure folder containing the Terraform files by executing cd quickstart/rancher/azure.

  3. Rename the terraform.tfvars.example file to terraform.tfvars.

  4. Edit terraform.tfvars and customize the following variables:

    • azure_subscription_id - Microsoft Azure Subscription ID
    • azure_client_id - Microsoft Azure Client ID
    • azure_client_secret - Microsoft Azure Client Secret
    • azure_tenant_id - Microsoft Azure Tenant ID
    • rancher_server_admin_password - Admin password for created Rancher server. See Setting up the Bootstrap Password for password requirments.
  5. Optional: Modify optional variables within terraform.tfvars. See the Quickstart Readme and the Azure Quickstart Readme for more information. Suggestions include:

    • azure_location - Microsoft Azure region, choose the closest instead of the default (East US)
    • prefix - Prefix for all created resources
    • instance_type - Compute instance size used, minimum is Standard_DS2_v2 but Standard_DS2_v3 or Standard_DS3_v2 could be used if within budget
    • add_windows_node - If true, an additional Windows worker node is added to the workload cluster
    • windows_admin_password - The admin password of the windows worker node
  6. Run terraform init.

  7. To initiate the creation of the environment, run terraform apply --auto-approve. Then wait for output similar to the following:

    Apply complete! Resources: 16 added, 0 changed, 0 destroyed.


    rancher_node_ip = xx.xx.xx.xx
    rancher_server_url =
    workload_node_ip = yy.yy.yy.yy
  8. Paste the rancher_server_url from the output above into the browser. Log in when prompted (default username is admin, use the password set in rancher_server_admin_password).

  9. ssh to the Rancher Server using the id_rsa key generated in quickstart/rancher/azure.


Two Kubernetes clusters are deployed into your Azure account, one running Rancher Server and the other ready for experimentation deployments. Please note that while this setup is a great way to explore Rancher functionality, a production setup should follow our high availability setup guidelines. SSH keys for the VMs are auto-generated and stored in the module directory.

What's Next?

Use Rancher to create a deployment. For more information, see Creating Deployments.

Destroying the Environment

  1. From the quickstart/rancher/azure folder, execute terraform destroy --auto-approve.

  2. Wait for confirmation that all resources have been destroyed.