This guide provides details on how Talos runs and bootstraps the Kubernetes control plane.
Talos cluster bootstrap flow:
etcdservice is started on control plane nodes. Instances of
etcdon control plane nodes build the
kubeletservice is started.
- Control plane components are started as static pods via the
kubelet, and the
kube-apiservercomponent connects to the local (running on the same node)
kubeletissues client certificate using the bootstrap token using the control plane endpoint (via
kubeletregisters the node in the API server.
- Kubernetes control plane schedules pods on the nodes.
All nodes start the
kubelet tries to contact the control plane endpoint, but as it is not up yet, it keeps retrying.
One of the control plane nodes is chosen as the bootstrap node.
The node’s type can be either
controlplane, where the
controlplane type is promoted using the bootstrap API (
The bootstrap node initiates the
etcd bootstrap process by initializing
etcd as the first member of the cluster.
Note: there should be only one bootstrap node for the cluster lifetime. Once
etcdis bootstrapped, the bootstrap node has no special role and acts the same way as other control plane nodes.
etcd on non-bootstrap nodes try to get
Endpoints resource via control plane endpoint, but that request fails as control plane endpoint is not up yet.
As soon as
etcd is up on the bootstrap node, static pod definitions for the Kubernetes control plane components (
kube-scheduler) are rendered to disk.
kubelet service on the bootstrap node picks up the static pod definitions and starts the Kubernetes control plane components.
As soon as
kube-apiserver is launched, the control plane endpoint comes up.
The bootstrap node acquires an
etcd mutex and injects the bootstrap manifests into the API server.
The set of the bootstrap manifests specify the Kubernetes join token and kubelet CSR auto-approval.
kubelet service on all the nodes is now able to issue client certificates for themselves and register nodes in the API server.
Other bootstrap manifests specify additional resources critical for Kubernetes operations (i.e. CNI, PSP, etc.)
etcd service on non-bootstrap nodes is now able to discover other members of the
etcd cluster via the Kubernetes
etcd cluster is now formed and consists of all control plane nodes.
All control plane nodes render static pod manifests for the control plane components. Each node now runs a full set of components to make the control plane HA.
kubelet service on worker nodes is now able to issue the client certificate and register itself with the API server.
Scaling Up the Control Plane
When new nodes are added to the control plane, the process is the same as the bootstrap process above: the
etcd service discovers existing members of the control plane via the
control plane endpoint, joins the
etcd cluster, and the control plane components are scheduled on the node.
Scaling Down the Control Plane
Scaling down the control plane involves removing a node from the cluster.
The most critical part is making sure that the node which is being removed leaves the etcd cluster.
talosctl reset command, the targeted control plane node leaves the
etcd cluster as part of the reset sequence.
Upgrading Control Plane Nodes
When a control plane node is upgraded, Talos leaves
etcd, wipes the system disk, installs a new version of itself, and reboots.
The upgraded node then joins the
etcd cluster on reboot.
So upgrading a control plane node is equivalent to scaling down the control plane node followed by scaling up with a new version of Talos.