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Kubernetes version


Our Kubernetes version compatibility is similar to the strategy employed by client-go and can interoperate well under a wide range of target Kubernetes versions defined by a soft minimum (MK8SV) and the current latest available Kubernetes feature version.

kube version MK8SV Latest Generated Source
0.78.0 1.21 1.26 k8s-openapi@0.17.0
0.75.0 1.20 1.25 k8s-openapi@0.16.0
0.73.0 1.19 1.24 k8s-openapi@0.15.0
0.67.0 1.18 1.23 k8s-openapi@0.14.0
0.66.0 1.17 1.22 k8s-openapi@0.13.0
0.57.0 1.16 1.21 k8s-openapi@0.12.0
0.48.0 1.15 1.20 k8s-openapi@0.11.0

The MK8SV is listed in our README as a badge:

Tested against Kubernetes 1.21 and above

The minimum indicates the lower bound of our testing range, and the latest is the maximum Kubernetes version selectable as a target version.

Minimum Kubernetes Version Policy

The Minimum Supported Kubernetes Version (MK8SV) is set as 5 releases below the latest Kubernetes version.

This policy is intended to match stable channel support within major cloud providers.
Compare with: EKS, AKS, GKE, upstream Kubernetes.

Picking Versions#

Given a kube versions, you must pick a target Kubernetes version from the available ones in the generated source that is used by that kube version.

E.g. if using kube@0.73.0, we see its generated source is k8s-openapi@0.15.0, which exports the following version features.

You can find the latest supported from this feature list and pick this as your target. In this case the latest supported version feature is v1_24.

By default; you SHOULD pick the latest as your target version even when running against older clusters. The exception is if you are programming explicitly against apis that have been removed in newer versions.

With k8s-pb, we plan on doing this automatically.

See below for details on a skew between your cluster and your target version.

Version Skew#

How kube version skew interacts with clusters is largely determined by how Kubernetes deprecates api versions upstream.

Consider the following outcomes when picking target versions based on your cluster version:

  1. if target version == cluster version (cluster in sync with kube), then:
    • kube has api parity with cluster
    • Rust structs are all queryable via kube
  2. if target version > cluster version (cluster behind kube), then:
    • kube has more recent api features than the cluster supports
    • recent Rust api structs might not work with the cluster version yet
    • deprecated/alpha apis might have been removed from Rust structs ⚡
  3. if target version < cluster version (cluster ahead of kube), then:
    • kube has less recent api features than the cluster supports
    • recent Kubernetes resources might not have Rust struct counterparts
    • deprecated/alpha apis might have been removed from the cluster ⚡

Kubernetes takes a long time to remove deprecated apis (unless they alpha or beta apis), so the acceptable distance from your cluster version actually depends on what apis you target.

In particular, when using your own custom or stable official api resources - where exceeding the range will have little impact.

If you are targeting deprecated/alpha apis on the other hand, then you should pick a target version in sync with your cluster. Note that alpha apis may vanish or change significantly in a single release, and is not covered by any guarantees.

As a result; relying on alpha apis will make the amount of upgrades required to an application more frequent. To alleviate this; consider using api discovery to match on available api versions rather than writing code against each Kubernetes version.

Outside The Range#

We recommend developers stay within the supported version range for the best experience, but it is technically possible to operate outside the bounds of this range (by picking older features from k8s-openapi, or by running against older clusters).

Untested Version Combinations

While exceeding the supported version range is likely to work for most api resources: we do not test kube's functionality outside this version range.

In minor skews, kube and Kubernetes will share a large functioning API surface, while relying on deprecated apis to fill the gap. However, the further you stray from the range you are increasingly likely to encounter Rust structs that doesn't work against your cluster, or miss support for resources entirely.

Special Abstractions#

For a small number of api resources, kube provides abstractions that are not managed along with the generated sources. For these cases we currently track the source and remove when Kubernetes removes them.

This only affects a small number of special resources such as CustomResourceDefinition, Event, Lease, AdmissionReview.


The CustomResourceDefinition resource at v1beta1 was removed in Kubernetes 1.22:

The API version of CustomResourceDefinition is no longer served as of v1.22.

Their replacement; in v1 was released in Kubernetes 1.16.

Kube had special support for both versions of CustomResourceDefinition from 0.26.0 up until 0.72.0 when kube supported structs from Kubernetes >= 1.22.

This special support took the form of the proc macro CustomResource and associated helpers that allowing pinning the crd version to v1beta1 up until its removal. It is now v1 only.