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About KOTS and kURL

This topic describes Replicated KOTS and Replicated kURL, used for installing and upgrading applications in a Kubernetes cluster, and the Replicated admin console, used for managing application instances.


You must have the Replicated KOTS entitlement to use the KOTS and kURL installers and features.

Replicated KOTS

Vendors that want to provide a UI-based installation and management experience for applications can leverage KOTS, which provides highly successful installs in diverse environments using a single installer. KOTS is a kubectl plugin that automates installations, making it quick and easy to install with minimal expertise. Applications are deployed securely to on-prem, online, and air gap environments.

When KOTS is combined with kURL, kURL provisions an embedded cluster on a virtual machine (VM) or bare metal server for customers that do not have their own Kubernetes cluster. Then KOTS installs the application on the embedded cluster. For more information about kURL, see kURL.

KOTS also provides the Replicated admin console to make it easy for customers to install, upgrade, and manage their application instance. Customers can also use the kots CLI for installing and manage applications. For more information, see Admin Console and kots CLI.

KOTS is an open source project that is maintained by Replicated. For more information, see the kots repository in GitHub.

Admin Console

The admin console is a customer-facing user interface that includes built-in functionality allowing users to install, manage, update, configure, monitor, backup and restore, and troubleshoot their application instances. The admin console communicates securely with KOTS to synchronize licenses, check for upgrades, and so on.

Admin Console Dashboard

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kots CLI

The kots command-line interface (CLI) is a kubectl plugin. Customers can run commands with the kots CLI to install and manage their application instances with KOTS programmatically. For more information, see Installing the kots CLI.


Replicated kURL provisions Kubernetes clusters, which allow customers who do not have an existing cluster to install your application without provisioning a cluster themselves. Clusters created by kURL are called embedded clusters. Embedded clusters can be provisioned in online or air gap environments.

kURL has a built-in integration with KOTS through its KOTS add-on. With this integration, customers can run a kURL installation script in their virtual machine (VM) or bare metal server, which creates a cluster and then automatically installs KOTS in the cluster. Your application is then deployed with KOTS.

For information about how to install applications in embedded clusters, see Installing with kURL. For information about how to create a specification for kURL, see Creating a Kubernetes Installer.

kURL is an open source project that is maintained by Replicated. For more information, see the kURL repository in GitHub and the kURL documentation.