What is Talos?

Talos is a modern OS designed to be secure, immutable, and minimal. Its purpose is to host Kubernetes clusters, so it is tightly integrated with Kubernetes.

Talos is based on the Linux kernel, and supports most cloud platforms, bare metal, and most virtualization platforms. All system management is done via an API, and there is no shell or interactive console.

It takes about 3 minutes to launch a small Talos cluster on your laptop inside Docker.

Why Talos?


Talos reduces your attack surface by practicing the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) and by securing the API with mutual TLS (mTLS) authentication.


Talos eliminates unneeded variables and reduces unknown factors in your environment by employing immutable infrastructure ideology.


Talos simplifies your architecture and increases your ability to easily accommodate future changes.

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Talos consists of only a handful of binaries and shared libraries: just enough to run containerd and a small set of system services.

This aligns with NIST's recommendation in the Application Container Security Guide.


Talos is hardened by design and configuration:

  • Built with the Kernel Self Protection Project configuration recommendations.
  • All access to the API is secured with Mutual TLS.
  • Settings and configuration described in the CIS guidelines are applied by default.


Talos improves its security posture further by mounting the root filesystem as read-only and removing any host-level access by traditional means such as a shell and SSH.


Talos runs in memory from a SquashFS, and persists nothing, leaving the primary disk entirely to Kubernetes.


We are committed to staying current with the latest stable versions of Kubernetes, and Linux.

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