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Install Rancher 2.6 in Hetzner Cloud

Rancher should be always installed in High Availability mode!

Preparing the nodes

In order to be able to use the HA mode, at least 3 nodes must be used. A compatible Kubernetes version must be installed on these. However, it is possible to use only one node. A single node cluster with RKE can be set up here. The only requirement is an executable Docker installation. If available, firewalld should be deactivated.


  • Set up a node with Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal)
  • Installation of Docker in Ubuntu
  • Optional: Adding a network for communication with cluster nodes network.png
  • Download of rke

Provisioning of the cluster

  • Create a cluster configuration file rancher-cluster.yml; use internal_address only when using a previously created internal network`
  - address:
    user: root
    role: [controlplane, worker, etcd]
    ssh_key_path: ~/path/to/key-file.rsa.key

    snapshot: true
    creation: 6h
    retention: 24h

# Required for external TLS termination with
# ingress-nginx v0.22+
  provider: nginx
    use-forwarded-headers: "true"
rke up --config ./rancher-cluster.yml
  • Testing the cluster
    $ kubectl --kubeconfig kube_config_rancher-cluster.yml get nodes
    NAME             STATUS   ROLES                      AGE   VERSION   Ready    controlplane,etcd,worker   46h   v1.21.5
  • As a prerequisite for Rancher to be able to issue X.509 certificates via Let's Encrypt, cert-manager must be installed:
    helm repo add jetstack https://charts.jetstack.io
    kubectl --kubeconfig kube_config_rancher-cluster.yml create ns cert-manager
    helm --kubeconfig kube_config_rancher-cluster.yml upgrade --install cert-manager jetstack/cert-manager --namespace cert-manager --set installCRDs=true

Installation of Rancher

Create a new values.yaml:

# values.yaml

    source: letsEncrypt

  email: letsencrypt@domain.com

hostname: rancher-admin.domain.com
replicas: 1

Deploy Rancher:

helm repo add rancher-stable https://releases.rancher.com/server-charts/stable
helm repo update
kubectl --kubeconfig kube_config_rancher-cluster.yml create ns cattle-system
helm --kubeconfig kube_config_rancher-cluster.yml upgrade --install rancher rancher-stable/rancher --namespace cattle-system -f values.yaml

Appropriate firewall rules should now be created. In this single-node variant, there is no need to use a load balancer and ports 80 and 443 can be released directly. Access to the Kubernetes API (6443 / TCP) should be limited to certain static IPs. All other ports should be closed. If a cluster is created, port releases must be made analogous to port requirements!

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