What I learned from my struggle with microk8s? — Home Lab Part 3

So I started off on this “joyful” road after looking at https://microk8s.io/. The website looks so clean and the clear set of instructions that they give you makes it look extremely promising and then the add-ons are a cherry on top — Well not really.

After dumping docker-swarm for my home-lab and deciding to use Kubernetes the first thing I wanted to try out was microk8s. What I did not realise was that it will turn out to be an awful experience which will take me days to figure out things and eventually dump it.

DISCLAIMER: I was trying out 1.21/stable channel of microk8s. From what I have heard from people — 1.18, 1.19 are much more stable and should be preferred.

When does microk8s work well?

  1. It will work well if you understand the internals of kubernetes setup and can quickly juggle to find out small issues here and there and fix them but as a newbie — don’t even try that.

Problems I faced with microk8s

  1. It’s too heavy: It promises to be feather light — but it isn’t. While running it on a t3.micro instance with scheduling disabled, there were multiple occasions when the entire box froze and I had to force restart the node to get things back to normal — obviously due to memory related issues. I understand who in their sane mind would run k8s node on a 1GB memory instance but well I did because they advertised it is “featherlight”.

Before I started setting up microk8s cluster I made sure reading through the documentation to avoid any unexpected surprises. I meticulously went through the logs when I faced problems, did a lot of searches, found solutions, contributed to answers — and after all of it I gave up. I don’t want to work on something where every other day I have fix one thing or another.


  1. Microk8s is NOT featherlight.

So what do I do now? I heard a lot of noise around about k3s -> https://k3s.io/ and I am currently trying it out. Will write an article on how things go. This article is a part of my home lab series and if you liked this then you might like other articles in this series: ihttps://vik-y.medium.com/building-my-home-lab-with-docker-swarm-part-1-13cceb3c4f1f

SRE at Linkedin