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Onboarding with KOTS

This topic describes how to onboard with Replicated KOTS, including prerequisites and the list of custom resources to add to your releases in order to support KOTS installations.


If you are new to Replicated, complete the following prerequisites before you get started with KOTS:

  • Create an account in the vendor portal. You can either create a new team or join an existing team. For more information, see Creating a Vendor Account.

  • Complete a basic Replicated onboarding workflow to create an application and then promote and install initial releases in a development environment:

    • (Recommended) For Helm chart-based applications, Replicated recommends that you complete Replicated Quick Start before getting started with KOTS. The workflow in Replicated Quick Start demonstrates how to


      Distributing your application as a Helm chart is recommended because you can support both installations with the Helm CLI and with KOTS from the same release, without having to maintain separate sets of Helm charts or application manifests.

    • Alternatively, if you do not intend to distribute a Helm chart-based application with Replicated, see KOTS Tutorial (UI) for a workflow that uses a sample application with standard Kubernetes manifests.

Add Custom Resources

To support installations with KOTS, you add custom resources to your releases. The custom resources are consumed by KOTS and are not deployed to the cluster. This section provides a checklist of the custom resources to add, including links to additional documentation about how to configure each one.


Replicated recommends that you configure and add one custom resource at a time by creating a release and then upgrading in a development environment to test. The custom resources are listed in a recommended order, though you can add them to releases in any order that you prefer.

For more information about creating releases, see Managing Releases with the Vendor Portal. For more information about installing and upgrading with KOTS, see About Installing an Application and Updating Applications.

Custom Resource Checklist

Custom ResourceDescriptionHow To

Provides instructions for KOTS about how to deploy your Helm chart.

Note: Required for supporting KOTS installations of Helm charts.

Configuring the HelmChart Custom Resource
Preflight and SupportBundle

Define preflight checks to test for system compliance during the installation process and reduce the number of support escalations.

Enable customers to quickly collect and analyze troubleshooting data from their clusters to help you diagnose problems with application deployments.

Note: If you are using Helm charts, define the preflight and support bundle specifications within the Helm chart rather than creating custom resources.

Define Preflight Checks

Create a configuration screen in the admin console to collect required and optional configuration values from your users.

Note: This feature does not apply to Kubernetes Operators.

Creating and Editing Configuration Fields

Control the KOTS experience for your application, including:

  • Specify the application icon displayed in the admin console and download portal
  • Customize the functionality of the admin console, such as adding port forwarding, custom graphs, and more
  • Specify the minimum or target versions of KOTS that are required for installation
  • Add status informers to display the current application status in the admin console and vendor portal
InstallerCreate a kURL specification so that your customers can provision a cluster in their VM or bare metal server.Creating a Kubernetes Installer
BackupEnable snapshots so that end users can back up and restore their application data.Configuring Backup and Restore

Distribute the SDK with your Application

The Replicated SDK is a Helm chart that can be installed as a small service alongside your application. The SDK can be installed alongside applications packaged as Helm charts or Kubernetes manifests. The SDK can be installed using the Helm CLI or KOTS.

For information about how to distribute and install the SDK with your application, see Installing the Replicated SDK.

Replicated recommends that the SDK is distributed with all applications because it provides access to key Replicated functionality, such as:

Configure Additional Replicated Features

Review the Features Checklist in Replicated Quick Start for a list of features to integrate with your application to fully onboard onto the Replicated platform.

For example, you can add custom domains for the Replicated registry and app service, configure checks in your application for custom license entitlements, collect custom metrics using the Replicated SDK API, and more.