Longhorn CSI on K3s

In this section, you’ll learn how to install Longhorn on a K3s Kubernetes cluster. K3s is a fully compliant Kubernetes distribution that is easy to install, using half the memory, all in a binary of less than 50mb.


  • Longhorn v0.7.0 or higher.
  • open-iscsi or iscsiadm installed on the node.


Longhorn v0.7.0 and above support k3s v0.10.0 and above only by default.

If you want to deploy these new Longhorn versions on versions before k3s v0.10.0, you need to set --kubelet-root-dir to <data-dir>/agent/kubelet for the Deployment longhorn-driver-deployer in longhorn/deploy/longhorn.yaml. data-dir is a k3s arg and it can be set when you launch a k3s server. By default it is /var/lib/rancher/k3s.


Common issues

This error is due to Longhorn cannot detect where is the root dir setup for Kubelet, so the CSI plugin installation failed.

You can override the root-dir detection by setting environment variable KUBELET_ROOT_DIR in https://github.com/longhorn/longhorn/blob/v1.5.2/deploy/longhorn.yaml.

How to find root-dir?

For K3S prior to v0.10.0

Run ps aux | grep k3s and get argument --data-dir or -d on k3s node.


$ ps uax | grep k3s
root      4160  0.0  0.0  51420  3948 pts/0    S+   00:55   0:00 sudo /usr/local/bin/k3s server --data-dir /opt/test/kubelet
root      4161 49.0  4.0 259204 164292 pts/0   Sl+  00:55   0:04 /usr/local/bin/k3s server --data-dir /opt/test/kubelet

You will find data-dir in the cmdline of proc k3s. By default it is not set and /var/lib/rancher/k3s will be used. Then joining data-dir with /agent/kubelet you will get the root-dir. So the default root-dir for K3S is /var/lib/rancher/k3s/agent/kubelet.

If K3S is using a configuration file, you would need to check the configuration file to locate the data-dir parameter.

For K3S v0.10.0+

It is always /var/lib/kubelet


Longhorn versions before v0.7.0 don’t work on K3S v0.10.0 or above

K3S now sets its kubelet directory to /var/lib/kubelet. See the K3S release comment for details.



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