Creating Talos Kubernetes cluster using Docker.

In this guide we will create a Kubernetes cluster in Docker, using a containerized version of Talos.

Running Talos in Docker is intended to be used in CI pipelines, and local testing when you need a quick and easy cluster. Furthermore, if you are running Talos in production, it provides an excellent way for developers to develop against the same version of Talos.


The follow are requirements for running Talos in Docker:

  • Docker 18.03 or greater
  • a recent version of talosctl


Due to the fact that Talos will be running in a container, certain APIs are not available. For example upgrade, reset, and similar APIs don’t apply in container mode. Further, when running on a Mac in docker, due to networking limitations, VIPs are not supported.

Create the Cluster

Creating a local cluster is as simple as:

talosctl cluster create

Once the above finishes successfully, your talosconfig (~/.talos/config) and kubeconfig (~/.kube/config) will be configured to point to the new cluster.

Note: Startup times can take up to a minute or more before the cluster is available.

Finally, we just need to specify which nodes you want to communicate with using talosctl. Talosctl can operate on one or all the nodes in the cluster – this makes cluster wide commands much easier.

talosctl config nodes

Talos and Kubernetes API are mapped to a random port on the host machine, the retrieved talosconfig and kubeconfig are configured automatically to point to the new cluster. Talos API endpoint can be found using talosctl config info:

$ talosctcl config info

Kubernetes API endpoint is available with talosctl cluster show:

$ talosctl cluster show

Using the Cluster

Once the cluster is available, you can make use of talosctl and kubectl to interact with the cluster. For example, to view current running containers, run talosctl containers for a list of containers in the system namespace, or talosctl containers -k for the namespace. To view the logs of a container, use talosctl logs <container> or talosctl logs -k <container>.

Cleaning Up

To cleanup, run:

talosctl cluster destroy

Multiple Clusters

Multiple Talos Linux cluster can be created on the same host, each cluster will need to have:

  • a unique name (default is talos-default)
  • a unique network CIDR (default is

To create a new cluster, run:

talosctl cluster create --name cluster2 --cidr

To destroy a specific cluster, run:

talosctl cluster destroy --name cluster2

To switch between clusters, use --context flag:

talosctl --context cluster2 version
kubectl --context admin@cluster2 get nodes

Running Talos in Docker Manually

To run Talos in a container manually, run:

docker run --rm -it \
  --name tutorial \
  --hostname talos-cp \
  --read-only \
  --privileged \
  --security-opt seccomp=unconfined \
  --mount type=tmpfs,destination=/run \
  --mount type=tmpfs,destination=/system \
  --mount type=tmpfs,destination=/tmp \
  --mount type=volume,destination=/system/state \
  --mount type=volume,destination=/var \
  --mount type=volume,destination=/etc/cni \
  --mount type=volume,destination=/etc/kubernetes \
  --mount type=volume,destination=/usr/libexec/kubernetes \
  --mount type=volume,destination=/opt \
  -e PLATFORM=container \

The machine configuration submitted to the container should have a host DNS feature enabled with forwardKubeDNSToHost enabled. It is used to forward DNS requests to the resolver provided by Docker (or other container runtime).