Upgrading Kubernetes

Video Walkthrough

To see a live demo of this writeup, see the video below:

Kubelet Image

In Kubernetes 1.19, the official hyperkube image was removed. This means that in order to upgrade Kubernetes, Talos users will have to change the command, and image fields of each control plane component. The kubelet image will also have to be updated, if you wish to specify the kubelet image explicitly. The default used by Talos is sufficient in most cases.

Kubeconfig

In order to edit the control plane, we will need a working kubectl config. If you don't already have one, you can get one by running:

talosctl --nodes <master node> kubeconfig

Automated Kubernetes Upgrade

In Talos v0.6.1 we introduced the upgrade-k8s command in talosctl. This command can be used to automate the Kubernetes upgrade process. For example, to upgrade from Kubernetes v1.18.6 to v1.19.0 run:

$ talosctl --nodes <master node> upgrade-k8s --from 1.18.6 --to 1.19.0
updating pod-checkpointer grace period to "0m"
sleeping 5m0s to let the pod-checkpointer self-checkpoint be updated
temporarily taking "kube-apiserver" out of pod-checkpointer control
updating daemonset "kube-apiserver" to version "1.19.0"
updating daemonset "kube-controller-manager" to version "1.19.0"
updating daemonset "kube-scheduler" to version "1.19.0"
updating daemonset "kube-proxy" to version "1.19.0"
updating pod-checkpointer grace period to "5m0s"

Manual Kubernetes Upgrade

Kubernetes can be upgraded manually as well by following the steps outlined below. They are equivalent to the steps performed by the talosctl upgrade-k8s command.

pod-checkpointer

Talos runs pod-checkpointer component which helps to recover control plane components (specifically, API server) if control plane is not healthy.

However, the way checkpoints interact with API server upgrade may make an upgrade take a lot longer due to a race condition on API server listen port.

In order to speed up upgrades, first lower pod-checkpointer grace period to zero (kubectl -n kube-system edit daemonset pod-checkpointer), change:

kind: DaemonSet
...
spec:
  ...
  template:
    ...
    spec:
      containers:
      - name: pod-checkpointer
        command:
        ...
        - --checkpoint-grace-period=5m0s

to:

kind: DaemonSet
...
spec:
  ...
  template:
    ...
    spec:
      containers:
      - name: pod-checkpointer
        command:
        ...
        - --checkpoint-grace-period=0s

Wait for 5 minutes to let pod-checkpointer update self-checkpoint to the new grace period.

API Server

In the API server's DaemonSet, change:

kind: DaemonSet
...
spec:
  ...
  template:
    ...
    spec:
      containers:
        - name: kube-apiserver
          image: ...
          command:
            - ./hyperkube
            - kube-apiserver

to:

kind: DaemonSet
...
spec:
  ...
  template:
    ...
    spec:
      containers:
        - name: kube-apiserver
          image: k8s.gcr.io/kube-apiserver:v1.19.0
          command:
            - /go-runner
            - /usr/local/bin/kube-apiserver

To edit the DaemonSet, run:

kubectl edit daemonsets -n kube-system kube-apiserver

Controller Manager

In the controller manager's DaemonSet, change:

kind: DaemonSet
...
spec:
  ...
  template:
    ...
    spec:
      containers:
        - name: kube-controller-manager
          image: ...
          command:
            - ./hyperkube
            - kube-controller-manager

to:

kind: DaemonSet
...
spec:
  ...
  template:
    ...
    spec:
      containers:
        - name: kube-controller-manager
          image: k8s.gcr.io/kube-controller-manager:v1.19.0
          command:
            - /go-runner
            - /usr/local/bin/kube-controller-manager

To edit the DaemonSet, run:

kubectl edit daemonsets -n kube-system kube-controller-manager

Scheduler

In the scheduler's DaemonSet, change:

kind: DaemonSet
...
spec:
  ...
  template:
    ...
    spec:
      containers:
        - name: kube-scheduler
          image: ...
          command:
            - ./hyperkube
            - kube-scheduler

to:

kind: DaemonSet
...
spec:
  ...
  template:
    ...
    spec:
      containers:
        - name: kube-sceduler
          image: k8s.gcr.io/kube-scheduler:v1.19.0
          command:
            - /go-runner
            - /usr/local/bin/kube-scheduler

To edit the DaemonSet, run:

kubectl edit daemonsets -n kube-system kube-scheduler

Restoring pod-checkpointer

Restore grace period of 5 minutes (kubectl -n kube-system edit daemonset pod-checkpointer), change:

kind: DaemonSet
...
spec:
  ...
  template:
    ...
    spec:
      containers:
      - name: pod-checkpointer
        command:
        ...
        - --checkpoint-grace-period=0s

to:

kind: DaemonSet
...
spec:
  ...
  template:
    ...
    spec:
      containers:
      - name: pod-checkpointer
        command:
        ...
        - --checkpoint-grace-period=5m0s

Kubelet

The Talos team now maintains an image for the kubelet that should be used starting with Kubernetes 1.19. The image for this release is docker.io/autonomy/kubelet:v1.19.0. To explicitly set the image, we can use the official documentation. For example:

machine:
  ...
  kubelet:
    image: docker.io/autonomy/kubelet:v1.19.0