Quick Start Guide

Note: This Quick Start Guide’s intent is to get you up and running in a sandbox environment. It is not intended for a production environment. For more comprehensive instructions, see Installation.

Howdy Partner! This tutorial walks you through:

  • Installation of Rancher v2.0
  • Creation of your first cluster
  • Deployment of an application, Nginx

Quick Start Outline

This Quick Start Guide is divided into different tasks for easier consumption.

  1. Provision a Linux Host

    Begin by provisioning a Linux host.

  2. Install Rancher

    From your Linux host, run the Docker command for installing Rancher.

  3. Log In

    Browse to your Linux host to access the Rancher UI.

  4. Create the Cluster

    Use the versatile Custom option to add your Linux host into a new Kubernetes cluster.

  5. Deploy a Workload

    Create a workload so that Kubernetes can distribute Nginx among your cluster nodes.

  6. View Your Application

    When your workload finishes deployment, browse to your node IP to make sure Nginx is running.

Provision a Linux Host

Begin creation of a custom cluster by provisioning a Linux host. Your host can be:

  • A cloud-host virtual machine (VM)
  • An on-premise VM
  • A bare-metal server

Note: When using a cloud-hosted virtual machine you need to allow inbound TCP communication to ports 80 and 443. Please see your cloud-host’s documentation for information regarding port configuration.

For a full list of port requirements, refer to Single Node Installation.

Provision the host according to the requirements below.

  • Ubuntu 16.04 (64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 (64-bit)
  • RancherOS 1.3.0 (64-bit)

Hardware Requirements

  • Memory: 4GB

Software Requirements

  • Software: Docker

Supported Docker versions:

  • 1.12.6
  • 1.13.1
  • 17.03.2


  • For Docker installation instructions, visit their documentation.
  • Docker requirements apply to both your Linux host and your cluster nodes.

Install Rancher

To install Rancher on your host, connect to it and then use a shell to install.

  1. Log in to your Linux host using your preferred shell, such as PuTTy or a remote Terminal connection.

  2. From your shell, enter the following command:

    $ sudo docker run -d --restart=unless-stopped -p 80:80 -p 443:443 rancher/rancher

Result: Rancher is installed.

Log In

Log in to Rancher to begin using the application. After you log in, you’ll make some one-time configurations.

  1. Open a web browser and enter the IP address of your host: https://<SERVER_IP>.

    Replace <SERVER_IP> with your host IP address.

  2. When prompted, create a password for the default admin account there cowpoke!

  3. Set the Rancher Server URL. The URL can either be an IP address or a host name. However, each node added to your cluster must be able to connect to this URL.

    If you use a hostname in the URL, this hostname must be resolvable by DNS on the nodes you want to add to you cluster.

Create the Cluster

Welcome to Rancher! You are now able to create your first Kubernetes cluster.

In this task, you can use the versatile Custom option. This option lets you add any Linux host (cloud-hosted VM, on-premise VM, or bare-metal) to be used in a cluster.

  1. From the Clusters page, click Add Cluster.

  2. Choose Custom.

  3. Enter a Cluster Name.

  4. Skip Member Roles and Cluster Options. We’ll tell you about them later.

  5. Click Next.

  6. From Node Role, select all the roles: etcd, Control, and Worker.

  7. Optional: Rancher auto-detects the IP addresses used for Rancher communication and cluster communication. You can override these using Public Address and Internal Address in the Node Address section.

  8. Skip the Labels stuff. It’s not important for now.

  9. Copy the command displayed on screen to your clipboard.

  10. Log in to your Linux host using your preferred shell, such as PuTTy or a remote Terminal connection. Run the command copied to your clipboard.

  11. When you finish running the command on your Linux host, click Done.


  • Your cluster is created and assigned a state of Provisioning. Rancher is standing up your cluster.
  • You can access your cluster after its state is updated to Active.
  • Active clusters are assigned a Project and Namespace, both of which are named Default.

Deploy a Workload

You’re ready to create your first workload. A workload is an object that includes pods along with other files and info needed to deploy your application.

For this workload, you’ll be deploying the application Nginx.

  1. From the Clusters page, open the cluster that you just created.

  2. From the main menu of the Dashboard, select Projects.

  3. Open the Default project.

  4. Click + Deploy.

    Step Result: The Deploy Workload page opens.

  5. Enter a Name for your workload.

  6. From the Docker Image field, enter nginx. This field is case-sensitive.

  7. From Port Mapping, click Add Port.

  8. From the As a drop-down, make sure that NodePort (On every node) is selected.

    As a dropdown, NodePort (On every node selected)

  9. From the On Listening Port field, leave the Random value in place.

    On Listening Port, Random selected

  10. From the Publish the container port field, enter port 80.

    Publish the container port, 80 entered

  11. Leave the remaining options on their default setting. We’ll tell you about them later.

  12. Click Launch.


  • Your workload is deployed. This process might take a few minutes to complete.
  • When your workload completes deployment, it’s assigned a state of Active. You can view this status from the project’s Workloads page.

View Your Application

When your workload completes deployment, browse to its IP to confirm that your application is working.

From the Workloads page, click the link underneath your workload. If your deployment succeeded, your application opens.

Note When using a cloud-hosted virtual machine, you may not have access to the port running the container. In this event, you can test Nginx in an ssh session on the local machine. Use the port number after the : in the link under your workload, which is 31568 in this example.

[email protected]:~$ curl http://localhost:31568
<!DOCTYPE html>
<title>Welcome to Nginx!</title>
    body {
        width: 35em;
        margin: 0 auto;
        font-family: Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;
<h1>Welcome to Nginx!</h1>
<p>If you see this page, the Nginx web server is successfully installed and
working. Further configuration is required.</p>

<p>For online documentation and support please refer to
<a href="http://Nginx.org/">Nginx.org</a>.<br/>
Commercial support is available at
<a href="http://nginx.com/">nginx.com</a>.</p>

<p><em>Thank you for using Nginx.</em></p>
[email protected]:~$


Congratulations! You have:

  • Created your first cluster.
  • Deployed Nginx to your cluster using a workload.