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To use Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, you download and run the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI on a local system, known as the bootstrap environment. The bootstrap environment is the laptop, host, or server on which the initial bootstrapping of a management cluster is performed. This is where you run Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI commands. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid creates a temporary management cluster using a Kubernetes in Docker (kind) cluster on the bootstrap environment. After creating the temporary management cluster locally, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid uses it to provision the final management cluster in the platform of your choice.

Prerequisites

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provides CLI binaries for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows systems.

The bootstrap environment on which you run the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI must meet the following requirements:

  • If you intend to use the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid installer interface, a browser is available. You can use the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI without a browser, but for first deployments it is strongly recommended to use the installer interface.
  • kubectl is installed.
  • Docker is installed and running, if you are installing Tanzu Kubernetes Grid on Linux.
  • Docker Desktop is installed and running, if you are installing Tanzu Kubernetes Grid on Mac OS or Windows.
  • System time is synchronized with a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server.

If you are running Docker Desktop on Mac OS, the kind container requires at least 6GB of RAM. For information about how to configure Docker Desktop so that it can run kind, see Settings for Docker Desktop in the kind documentation.

NOTE: Tanzu Kubernetes Grid uses Cluster API. If you have previously used Cluster API on the machine that you are using as your bootstrap environment, you must delete the ~/.cluster-api folder from that machine. This folder contains Cluster API configuration files that might interfere with the correct operation of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.

Download and Unpack the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI

This procedure assumes that you are installing Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.1.3.

  1. Go to https://www.vmware.com/go/get-tkg and log in with your My VMware credentials.
  2. Under Product Downloads, click Go to Downloads.
  3. Scroll to the VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.1.3 CLI entries and click the Download Now button for the type of machine that you use as the bootstrap environment.

    • For Linux, download VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI 1.1.3 Linux.
    • For Mac OS, download VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI 1.1.3 Mac.
    • For Windows, download VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI 1.1.3 Windows.
  4. Use either the gunzip command or the extraction tool of your choice to unpack the binaries. Run one of the following commands:

    gunzip tkg-darwin-amd64-v1.1.3-vmware.1.gz

    gunzip tkg-linux-amd64-v1.1.3-vmware.1.gz

    gunzip tkg-windows-amd64-v1.1.3-vmware.1.gz

    The unpacked files are tkg-darwin-amd64-v1.1.3-vmware.1, tkg-linux-amd64-v1.1.3-vmware.1, or tkg-windows-amd64-v1.1.3-vmware.1.

Install the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI Binary

After you have downloaded and unpacked the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI binary on your bootstrap environment, you must make it available to the system.

  1. Navigate to the executable for the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI that you downloaded and unpacked in the previous section.
  2. Rename the CLI binary for your platform to tkg, make sure that it is executable, and add it to your PATH.

    • Mac OS and Linux platforms:

      1. Move the binary into the /usr/local/bin folder and rename it to tkg.
        mv ./tkg-linux-amd64-v1.1.3-vmware.1 /usr/local/bin/tkg
        mv ./tkg-darwin-amd64-v1.1.3-vmware.1 /usr/local/bin/tkg
      2. Make the file executable.
        chmod +x /usr/local/bin/tkg
    • Windows platforms:

      1. Create a new Program Files\tkg folder and copy the tkg-windows-amd64-v1.1.3-vmware.1 binary into it.
      2. Rename tkg-windows-amd64-v1.1.3-vmware.1 to tkg.exe.
      3. Right-click the tkg folder, select Properties > Security, and make sure that your user account has the Full Control permission.
      4. Use Windows Search to search for env.
      5. Select Edit the system environment variables and click the Environment Variables button.
      6. Select the Path row under System variables, and click Edit.
      7. Click New to add a new row and enter the path to the tkg binary.
  3. At the command line in a new terminal, run tkg version to check that the correct version of the binary is properly installed.

    You should see information about the installed Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI version.

    Client:
      Version: v1.1.3
      Git commit: 0e8e58f3363a1d4b4063b9641f44a3172f6ff406
    

    If you are running on Mac OS, you might encounter the following error:

    "tkg" cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified.
    

    If this happens, you need to create a security exception for the tkg executable. Locate the tkg app in Finder, control-click the app, and select Open.

  4. Run tkg --help to see the list of commands that the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI provides.

    You can run any command with the --help option to see information about that specific command or sub-command. For example, tkg init --help or tkg create cluster --help.

  5. Run the tkg get management-cluster command.

    tkg get management-cluster
    

    Running a tkg command for the first time creates the ~/.tkg folder in your home directory, that contains the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid configuration files.

    • The cluster configuration file ~/.tkg/config.yaml, from which management clusters and Tanzu Kubernetes clusters are created.
    • The ~/.tkg/bom folder, containing bom-*.yaml files that provide references to the correct versions of all of the packages that Tanzu Kubernetes Grid requires when creating clusters for all of the versions of Kubernetes that it supports.

CLI Short Names and Aliases

Most of the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI commands and options have short names or aliases, so that you do not have to type the full command and option names each time you run tkg. For example, -h for --help, and mc for management-cluster. For increased clarity, this documentation always uses the full command and option names. To see the shortnames and aliases for commands and options, run CLI commands with the --help option.

Common Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI Options

The Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI provides common options that can be used with all of the CLI commands.

Option Description
--config The path to the cluster configuration file, if it is not stored in the default location with the default name, ~/.tkg/config.yaml. For example, tkg init --ui --config /path/my-cluster-config.yaml.
--help Show help for the current command. For example, tkg create cluster --help.
--kubeconfig The path to the shared kubeconfig file for management clusters and Tanzu Kubernetes clusters, if it is not stored in the default location, ~/.kube-tkg/config. For example, tkg init --ui --kubeconfig /path/my-cluster-kubeconfig.
--log_file Specify a file in which to save the logs for the current command. For example, tkg scale cluster my-cluster --worker-machine-count=9 --log_file=my-cluster-scale-logs.
--quiet Mute all output for the current command.
--v Set the logging verbosity level for the command.

What to Do Next

The Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI is ready to use. You can use the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid installer interface or CLI to deploy a management cluster to either vSphere or Amazon EC2.

If you have vSphere 7.0 and the vSphere with Kubernetes feature is enabled, you can directly use the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI to deploy Tanzu Kubernetes clusters to vSphere with Kubernetes, without deploying a management cluster. For information about how to connect the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI to a vSphere with Kubernetes Supervisor Cluster, see Use the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid CLI with a vSphere with Kubernetes Supervisor Cluster.