kube-vip works on K3s environments similar to most others with the exception of how it gets deployed. Because K3s is able to bootstrap a single server (control plane node) without the availability of the load balancer fronting it, kube-vip can be installed as a DaemonSet.

Prerequisites (on Equinix Metal)

In order to make ARP work on Equinix Metal, follow the metal-gateway guide to have public VLAN subnet which can be used for the load balancer IP.

Clean Environment

This step is optional but recommended if a K3s installation previously existed.

1rm -rf /var/lib/rancher /etc/rancher ~/.kube/*; \ 
2ip addr flush dev lo; \
3ip addr add dev lo; 

Step 1: Create Manifests Folder

K3s has an optional manifests directory that will be searched to auto-deploy any manifests found within. Create this directory first in order to later place the kube-vip resources inside.

1mkdir -p /var/lib/rancher/k3s/server/manifests/

Step 2: Upload kube-vip RBAC Manifest

As kube-vip runs as a DaemonSet under K3s and not a static Pod, we will need to ensure that the required permissions exist for it to communicate with the API server. RBAC resources are needed to ensure a ServiceAccount exists with those permissions and bound appropriately.

Get the RBAC manifest and place in the auto-deploy directory:

1curl https://kube-vip.io/manifests/rbac.yaml > /var/lib/rancher/k3s/server/manifests/kube-vip-rbac.yaml

Step 3: Generate a kube-vip DaemonSet Manifest

Refer to the DaemonSet manifest generation documentation for the process to complete this step.

Either store this generated manifest separately in the /var/lib/rancher/k3s/server/manifests/ directory, or append to the existing RBAC manifest called kube-vip-rbac.yaml. As a general best practice, it is a cleaner approach to place all related resources into a single YAML file.

Note: Remember to include YAML document delimiters (---) when composing multiple documents.

Step 4: Install a HA K3s Cluster

There are multiple ways to install K3s including k3sup or running the binary locally. Whichever method you choose, the --tls-san flag must be passed with the same IP when generating the kube-vip DaemonSet manifest when installing the first server (control plane) instance. This is so that K3s generates an API server certificate with the kube-vip virtual IP address.

Once the cluster is installed, you should be able to edit the kubeconfig file generated from the process and use the kube-vip VIP address to access the control plane.

Step 5: Service Load Balancing

If wanting to use the kube-vip cloud controller, pass the --disable servicelb flag so K3s will not attempt to render Kubernetes Service resources of type LoadBalancer. If building with k3sup, the flag should be given as an argument to the --k3s-extra-args flag itself: --k3s-extra-args "--disable servicelb". To install the kube-vip cloud controller, follow the additional steps in the cloud controller guide.