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Version: v2.0-v2.4

Kubernetes Installation Using Helm 2

After Helm 3 was released, the Rancher installation instructions were updated to use Helm 3.

If you are using Helm 2, we recommend migrating to Helm 3 because it is simpler to use and more secure than Helm 2.

This section provides a copy of the older high-availability Kubernetes Rancher installation instructions that used Helm 2, and it is intended to be used if upgrading to Helm 3 is not feasible.

For production environments, we recommend installing Rancher in a high-availability configuration so that your user base can always access Rancher Server. When installed in a Kubernetes cluster, Rancher will integrate with the cluster's etcd database and take advantage of Kubernetes scheduling for high-availability.

This procedure walks you through setting up a 3-node cluster with Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) and installing the Rancher chart with the Helm package manager.

Important: The Rancher management server can only be run on an RKE-managed Kubernetes cluster. Use of Rancher on hosted Kubernetes or other providers is not supported.

Important: For the best performance, we recommend a dedicated Kubernetes cluster for the Rancher management server. Running user workloads on this cluster is not advised. After deploying Rancher, you can create or import clusters for running your workloads.

  • DNS for Rancher should resolve to a Layer 4 load balancer (TCP)
  • The Load Balancer should forward port TCP/80 and TCP/443 to all 3 nodes in the Kubernetes cluster.
  • The Ingress controller will redirect HTTP to HTTPS and terminate SSL/TLS on port TCP/443.
  • The Ingress controller will forward traffic to port TCP/80 on the pod in the Rancher deployment.
Kubernetes Rancher install with layer 4 load balancer, depicting SSL termination at ingress controllers

High-availability Kubernetes Install

Kubernetes Rancher install with Layer 4 load balancer (TCP), depicting SSL termination at ingress controllers

Required Tools

The following CLI tools are required for this install. Please make sure these tools are installed and available in your $PATH

  • kubectl - Kubernetes command-line tool.
  • rke - Rancher Kubernetes Engine, cli for building Kubernetes clusters.
  • helm - Package management for Kubernetes. Refer to the Helm version requirements to choose a version of Helm to install Rancher.

Installation Outline

Additional Install Options

Previous Methods

RKE add-on install

Important: RKE add-on install is only supported up to Rancher v2.0.8

Please use the Rancher Helm chart to install Rancher on a Kubernetes cluster. For details, see the Kubernetes Install .

If you are currently using the RKE add-on install method, see Migrating from a Kubernetes Install with an RKE Add-on for details on how to move to using the Helm chart.