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Equinix Metal

Creating Talos cluster using Equinix Metal.


This guide assumes the user has a working API token, the Equinix Metal CLI installed, and some familiarity with the CLI.

Network Booting

To install Talos to a server a working TFTP and iPXE server are needed. How this is done varies and is left as an exercise for the user. In general this requires a Talos kernel vmlinuz and initramfs. These assets can be downloaded from a given release.

Special Considerations

PXE Boot Kernel Parameters

The following is a list of kernel parameters required by Talos:

  • talos.platform: set this to packet
  • init_on_alloc=1: required by KSPP
  • slab_nomerge: required by KSPP
  • pti=on: required by KSPP

User Data

To configure a Talos you can use the metadata service provide by Equinix Metal. It is required to add a shebang to the top of the configuration file. The shebang is arbitrary in the case of Talos, and the convention we use is #!talos.

Creating a Cluster via the Equinix Metal CLI

Control Plane Endpoint

The strategy used for an HA cluster varies and is left as an exercise for the user. Some of the known ways are:

  • DNS
  • Load Balancer
  • BGP

Create the Machine Configuration Files

Generating Base Configurations

Using the DNS name of the loadbalancer created earlier, generate the base configuration files for the Talos machines:

$ talosctl gen config talos-k8s-aws-tutorial https://<load balancer IP or DNS>:<port>
created controlplane.yaml
created worker.yaml
created talosconfig

Now add the required shebang (e.g. #!talos) at the top of controlplane.yaml, and worker.yaml At this point, you can modify the generated configs to your liking. Optionally, you can specify --config-patch with RFC6902 jsonpatch which will be applied during the config generation.

Validate the Configuration Files

talosctl validate --config controlplane.yaml --mode metal
talosctl validate --config worker.yaml --mode metal

Note: Validation of the install disk could potentially fail as the validation is performed on you local machine and the specified disk may not exist.

Create the Control Plane Nodes

packet device create \
  --project-id $PROJECT_ID \
  --facility $FACILITY \
  --ipxe-script-url $PXE_SERVER \
  --operating-system "custom_ipxe" \
  --plan $PLAN\
  --hostname $HOSTNAME\
  --userdata-file controlplane.yaml

Note: The above should be invoked at least twice in order for etcd to form quorum.

Create the Worker Nodes

packet device create \
  --project-id $PROJECT_ID \
  --facility $FACILITY \
  --ipxe-script-url $PXE_SERVER \
  --operating-system "custom_ipxe" \
  --plan $PLAN\
  --hostname $HOSTNAME\
  --userdata-file worker.yaml

Bootstrap Etcd

Set the endpoints and nodes:

talosctl --talosconfig talosconfig config endpoint <control plane 1 IP>
talosctl --talosconfig talosconfig config node <control plane 1 IP>

Bootstrap etcd:

talosctl --talosconfig talosconfig bootstrap

Retrieve the kubeconfig

At this point we can retrieve the admin kubeconfig by running:

talosctl --talosconfig talosconfig kubeconfig .