As the cloud native environment becomes increasingly more complex, new systems are needed to combat this issue and create simplified, secure, and stable working environments. Sidero Labs developed Talos Linux as a way to run Kubernetes consistently across all platforms, such as Edge, Cloud, Virtual, and Bare Metal. Talos Linux is a secured Linux distribution designed specifically for managing Kubernetes.
Throughout this blog, we will look at what Talos Linux is, along with its several features and advantages. We will also discuss how it differs from other Linux distributions.
What is Talos Linux?
Talos Linux is a secure and performant Linux operating system distribution designed for Kubernetes. In Talos, all access to the cluster is done through the API, eliminating the possibility of Secure Shelling (SSH), which reduces the potential for surface attacks. The system is highly predictable, as it reduces configuration drift while providing secure Kubernetes. Additionally, it minimizes unexpected issues and problems by having an immutable infrastructure layer on top of physical servers, ensuring that all servers are identical and have the same configuration.
Talos Linux is entirely API-managed, making operations automated, scalable, and straightforward. It supports cloud, bare metal, and virtualization platforms. With Talos Linux, you can access simple atomic updates with a rollback strategy, which increases consistency and reduces the risk of errors or data loss.
In this video from Saiyam Pathak, we explore how you can launch a cluster at Civo using Talos Linux:
Key features of Talos Linux
Talos is a secure and stable Linux operating system, ideal for compliance-critical and highly regulated environments. It uses Mutual TLS and RBAC for API protection, eliminates console, shell, or SSH access to reduce surface attacks, applies CIS guidelines by default, and includes the latest stable versions of Kubernetes and Linux. It also utilizes security techniques such as static compilation and Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) to minimize potential attack vectors.
Talos Linux is designed to be minimalistic, with only a few binaries and shared libraries required to run the container runtime and a limited set of system services. Additionally, only necessary components and services are included in the base installation.
One of the core features of Talos Linux is its reliability and stability, achieved through techniques such as read-only root filesystem and automatic crash recovery, making the operating system highly dependable.
As an open-source system, Talos Linux allows anyone to inspect, modify, and distribute its source code. This provides the community with the opportunity to fix bugs and suggest new features.
Talos Linux has a reproducible build system that easily verifies the operating system’s integrity.
With active support and maintenance, Talos Linux receives frequent security updates and bug-fixing releases. This improves the performance of the operating system, making it more stable.
How is Talos Linux different from traditional Linux distributions?
Talos Linux is designed with an emphasis on security and performance, making it superior to traditional Linux distributions in terms of security. It offers a single platform with simple management and does not include a console or SSH. Security modules such as AppArmor and SELinux, along with Linux kernel security enhancements like Grsecurity, further secure its system.
Furthermore, Talos Linux specifically focuses on Kubernetes, allowing for the automatic installation of hardened Kubernetes and includes the latest stable release. It also operates as an API-managed operating system, providing automation, simplicity, and scalability. Features like a Read-only root filesystem and automatic crash recovery make the operating system highly reliable, unlike any other Linux distribution.
Another key difference is that while running in memory from a compressed read-only file system like SquashFS, it persists nothing and leaves the primary disk entirely to Kubernetes.
Talos Linux is an open-source Linux distribution designed to run Kubernetes, K3s, or other container orchestration systems. It features a highly secure, API-managed infrastructure with automated and scalable operations. With a minimalistic approach, it includes only the necessary components for the installation and running of systems. Regular bug fixes and security updates ensure a stable and smooth performance.
Talos employs an immutable infrastructure, making it highly predictable and reliable. Features such as a read-only root filesystem and automated crash recovery set it apart from other Linux distributions. Ultimately, it provides a secure foundation for running lightweight or fully-fledged container orchestration systems.
Here at Civo, we offer fast deployments of Kubernetes with our K3s or Talos service; you can sign up here to try it out today.
If you’re still interested in learning more about Talos Linux, here are some of our favorite resources to get you started: