Install Redpanda for Kubernetes on Cloud

 Deprecated red

The Cluster and Console resources are deprecated. For details, see the deprecation notice. To migrate to the Redpanda resource, see Migrate from Cluster and Console Custom Resources

This guide helps you set up Redpanda for development and testing purposes on any operating system. Start here to set up Redpanda quickly to try it out or for CI/CD purposes.

These steps install Redpanda on Amazon EKS, GKE, or DigitalOcean. To run Redpanda with local access, see Install Redpanda Guide for Kubernetes with kind or Install Redpanda Guide for Kubernetes with minikube.

Do not use DigitalOcean for production workloads.

To get up and running, you create a cluster, deploy the Redpanda operator on the cluster, and run the client in the same cluster. Because the client is running in the same cluster where you run Redpanda, this simplifies network connectivity. For details on how to access Redpanda outside the Kubernetes network, see Connecting Remotely to Kubernetes.

In these steps, the YAML file you use to install Redpanda sets developerMode: true. If you choose to set developerMode: false, run rpk redpanda tune all directly on the host before you create a Redpanda cluster. This command sets tuning parameters for optimal configuration. For more information, see Set Redpanda production mode. If rpk is not available, verify that fs.aio-max-nr is set to 1048576 or greater. You can set fs.aio-max-nr by running sysctl -w fs.aio-max-nr=1048576.


Before you install Redpanda, verify that you have the following software installed on the machine where you want to run Redpanda:

  • kubectl - version 1.21 or later

  • Helm - version 3.0.0 or later

  • jq - This setup uses jq to set the Redpanda $VERSION environment variable. (If you don’t have jq installed, you can run the same commands by replacing the $VERSION environment variable with the version of Redpanda that you’re using.) Run the one of the following commands to install jq:

    • brew

    • apt

    brew install jq
    sudo apt-get update && \
    sudo apt-get install jq

Amazon EKS prerequisites

If you’re using Amazon EKS, you must satisfy the following prerequisites:

Create a Kubernetes cluster

Select the cloud provider that you want to use to create your Kubernetes cluster:

  • GKE

  • Amazon EKS

  • DigitalOcean

Complete the Before You Begin steps in the Google Kubernetes Engine Quickstart.

Create a cluster:

gcloud container clusters create redpanda --machine-type n1-standard-4 --num-nodes=1
You may need to add a --region or --zone to this command if defaults are not set. The Google Cloud documentation explains how to set defaults.

Use the Amazon EKS Getting Started Guide to set up Amazon EKS. After eksctl is installed, you can create and delete clusters in Amazon EKS.

Create an Amazon EKS cluster:

eksctl create cluster \
--name redpanda \
--nodegroup-name standard-workers \
--node-type m5.xlarge \
--nodes 1 \
--nodes-min 1 \
--nodes-max 1

Alternatively, to create an Amazon EKS cluster that is auto-tuned for running Redpanda, copy the following text and save it as eks-bootstrap.yaml:

kind: ClusterConfig
  name: redpanda-eks
  region: us-west-1
  - name: standard-workers
    desiredCapacity: 1
    minSize: 1
    maxSize: 2
    instanceType: m5.xlarge
      - "curl -1sLf '' | sudo -E bash && sudo yum -y install redpanda"
      - "sudo rpk mode prod && sudo rpk redpanda tune all"
      - "sudo yum -y remove redpanda"

The preBootstrapCommands in the file downloads the Redpanda RPM on the host, installs Redpanda, and runs the tuning. This sample file contains the following parameters, which you might want to change:

  • instanceType: m5.xlarge

  • desiredCapacity: 1 - This sets the number of nodes that you want to create

Create the Amazon EKS cluster:

eksctl create cluster -f eks-bootstrap.yaml

Set up your DigitalOcean account and install doctl. Remember to set up your personal access token.

Find additional information in the DigitalOcean set up documentation.

Create a cluster for your Redpanda deployment:

doctl kubernetes cluster create redpanda --wait --size s-4vcpu-8gb

Configure the kubectl context

Most cloud utility tools automatically change your kubectl configuration file.

Verify that you’re in the correct context:

kubectl config current-context

On GKE for example, the output looks similar to this:


If you’re running multiple clusters, or if the configuration file wasn’t set up automatically, see the Kubernetes Configure Access to Multiple Clusters documentation.

Install cert-manager

The Redpanda operator requires cert-manager to create certificates for TLS communication. You can install cert-manager with Helm or kubectl.

To install cert-manager with Helm:

helm repo add jetstack && \
helm repo update && \
helm install \
  cert-manager jetstack/cert-manager \
  --namespace cert-manager \
  --create-namespace \
  --version v1.12.2 \
  --set installCRDs=true

Verify cert-manager installation

You may have to wait a few minutes for cert-manager to be ready before you continue to the next step. Use the verification procedure in the cert-manager documentation to verify that cert-manager is deployed correctly.

Install the Redpanda operator with Helm

  1. Add the Redpanda chart repository and update it:

    helm repo add vectorized && \
    helm repo update
  2. Set the $VERSION environment variable to the latest operator and Redpanda version:

    export VERSION=$(curl -s | jq -r .tag_name)

    If you prefer to manually enter the Redpanda version, or if you want to verify the version, the following command returns the installed version:

    curl -s | grep tag_name

    You can find information about the versions of the operator in the list of operator releases.

  3. Install the Redpanda operator CRD with bash or zsh:

    • bash

    • zsh

    kubectl apply \
    noglob kubectl apply \
  4. Install the Redpanda operator on your Kubernetes cluster:

    helm install \
      redpanda-operator \
      vectorized/redpanda-operator \
      --namespace redpanda-system \
      --create-namespace \
      --version $VERSION

Install and connect to a Redpanda cluster

After you set up Redpanda in your Kubernetes cluster, you can use the sample configuration files in GitHub to install a cluster and see Redpanda in action.

The example is an imaginary chat application, panda-chat, but you can replace panda-chat with any string. In this example, panda-chat has five chat rooms.

Complete the following steps to manage a stream of events from panda-chat:

  1. Create a namespace for the cluster:

    kubectl create ns panda-chat
  2. Install a single-node cluster:

    kubectl apply \
    -n panda-chat \

You can view the resource configuration options, such as storage capacity, network configuration, or TLS configuration in the cluster_types file in GitHub. You can also find additional sample configuration files.

Start streaming

Use rpk to run commands. rpk is a CLI tool you can use to work with your Redpanda nodes. See rpk Commands Here are some sample commands to produce and consume streams:

Check the status of the cluster:

kubectl -n panda-chat run -ti --rm \
--restart=Never \
--image$VERSION \
-- rpk --brokers \
cluster info

Next, create a topic in the cluster. This command creates five chat rooms in the panda-chat cluster:

kubectl -n panda-chat run -ti --rm \
--restart=Never \
--image$VERSION \
-- rpk --brokers \
topic create chat-rooms -p 5

View the list of topics:

kubectl -n panda-chat run -ti --rm \
--restart=Never \
--image$VERSION \
-- rpk --brokers \
topic list

Produce to the topic:

kubectl -n panda-chat run -ti --rm \
--restart=Never \
--image \
-- rpk topic produce chat-rooms --brokers

Type text into the topic, such as Pandas are fabulous!.

  • Click Enter to separate between messages.

  • Click Ctrl + D to exit the produce command.

Consume (read) from the topic:

kubectl -n panda-chat run -ti --rm \
--restart=Never \
--image \
-- rpk topic consume -n 1 chat-rooms --brokers

In the rpk topic consume command, -n 1 specifies the number of messages to print. If you produced more than one message in the previous step, you can change the number of messages to consume based on the number that you produced.

Delete the cluster

Delete the cluster:

  • GKE

  • EKS

  • DigitalOcean

gcloud container clusters delete redpanda

For more information, see the GKE Deleting a cluster documentation.

eksctl delete cluster --name redpanda

For more information, see Deleting an Amazon EKS cluster.

doctl kubernetes cluster delete

For more information, see DigitalOcean cluster delete.