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Version: v1.0

Creating an RKE2 Kubernetes Cluster

Users can now provision RKE2 Kubernetes clusters on top of the Harvester cluster in Rancher v2.6.1+ using the built-in Harvester node driver.


  • Harvester RKE2 node driver is in tech preview.
  • VLAN network is required for Harvester node driver.

Create Your Cloud Credentials

  1. Click ☰ > Cluster Management.
  2. Click Cloud Credentials.
  3. Click Create.
  4. Click Harvester.
  5. Enter your cloud credential name
  6. Select "Imported Harvester" or "External Harvester".
  7. Click Create.


Create RKE2 Kubernetes Cluster

Users can create a RKE2 Kubernetes cluster from the Cluster Management page via the RKE2 node driver.

  1. Select Clusters menu.
  2. Click Create button.
  3. Toggle Switch to RKE2/K3s.
  4. Select Harvester node driver.
  5. Select a Cloud Credential.
  6. Enter Cluster Name (required).
  7. Enter Namespace (required).
  8. Enter Image (required).
  9. Enter Network Name (required).
  10. Enter SSH User (required).
  11. Click Create.


  • RKE2 v1.21.5+rke2r2 or above provides a built-in Harvester Cloud Provider and Guest CSI driver integration.
  • Currently only imported Harvester clusters are supported automatically.

Add Node Affinity

Available as of v1.0.3 + Rancher v2.6.7

The Harvester node driver now supports scheduling a group of machines to particular nodes through the node affinity rules, which can provide high availability and better resource utilization.

Node affinity can be added to the machine pools during the cluster creation:

  1. Click the Show Advanced button and click the Add Node Selectoraffinity-add-node-selector
  2. Set priority to Required if you wish the scheduler to schedule the machines only when the rules are met.
  3. Click Add Rule to specify the node affinity rules, e.g., for the topology spread constraints use case, you can add the region and zone labels as follows:
    operator: in list
    values: us-east-1
    operator: in list
    values: us-east-1a
  4. Click Create to save the node template. After the cluster is installed, you can check whether its machine nodes are scheduled accordingly to the affinity rules.

Using Harvester RKE2 Node Driver in Air Gapped Environment

RKE2 provisioning relies on the qemu-guest-agent to get the IP of the virtual machine. However, it may not be feasible to install qemu-guest-agent in an air gapped environment.

You can address the installation constraints with the following options:

Option 1. Use a VM image with qemu-guest-agent installed.

Option 2. Configure the cloud init user data to enable the VMs to install qemu-guest-agent via an HTTP(S) proxy.

Example user data in Harvester node template: