General question - RancherOS or Docker?

Hi everyone,

I haven’t been using Rancher for long and I’m still testing.I am currently running Rancher under Ubuntu via Docker.

For productive use, I would like to hear a few testimonials or ask the question, what is more reliable/stable?

Rancher deployed in the own/adapted SUSE or by container?

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any exact advantages/disadvantages of this.
In Docker, containers can be easily restarted and is platform independent - but it might be more stable in its own OS.
Hence the question of whether there is a recommendation for this.

Running in Docker is officially considered not for production use. Production use would recommend using the HA install where you create a three node Kubernetes cluster and use Helm to install Rancher to that.

sorry, I mean explicitly the difference between RancherOS and Docker.
In my test environment there are currently 4 systems: 1 management- and 3 worker nodes.
In principle, I’m concerned with the stability in operation via RancherOS or as a Docker on e.g. Ubuntu.

From what I understand any supported Linux distro as host should be ok in general, but you’ll run into things if you’re pushing away from average (for example RKE2 supports having SELinux enforcing, but if you do that on RHEL/CentOS/Rocky you have to install a separate RPM for the SELinux policies before it’ll work). From that stance something from SUSE might be a bit smoother. However if you’re running with the defaults you should generally be ok with SUSE, Ubuntu, or RHEL variants.

It is my understanding that Rancher considers the Rancher on Docker to be just for quick proof-of-concept and stability doesn’t seem to be a big concern, so if you are worried about stability then you should run the Helm install on Kubernetes (even if just a single node Kubernetes, which wouldn’t be HA so would still have instability from that).

Again, as far as I understand you, there shouldn’t be much difference in stability in production if I run a cluster with RancherOS or Ubuntu+Docker(rancher)? I’m just talking about general reliability.

I haven’t run with either, but I wouldn’t expect it unless you’re doing something non-standard.

Although I don’t recall if RancherOS is still a thing that’s supported, so if you’re using that I’d make sure it’s on the supported OS matrix (Support matrix | SUSE or whatever version you use).

I have experience with running Rancher through Docker on Ubuntu hosts and there was nothing noticed, which lead to the idea that it might be disadvantageous to use that setup, compared to the other options available.

That said, many people use the Docker variant in production, including me in about 40 installations. I never had issues with this setup, but of course it’s not HA.

It certainly seems to work for some people, but when you stick around and listen to Q&A on Slack you can see that aside from the not being HA they also don’t put as much care and feeding into it and certain “how do you do X with a Docker install” get a bit of a shrug and a “we weren’t planning on people doing it, so not sure, but you might be able to get it to work and here’s any extra info that might help.”

It’s a development choice I’d probably make in their shoes too, so I can see where they’re coming from.

From my experience there was no problem running Kubernetes components inside Docker containers from Rancher images (what you refer to as the “Docker” method I think) on a production cluster with a few hundreds users.

It appears to work for some folks, but if you hang around and listen to the Slack Q&A, you’ll notice that, aside from not being HA, they don’t put nearly as much thought and care into it.