Node image

This page describes the node operating system (node OS) image that runs on GKE on VMware cluster nodes.

GKE on VMware cluster nodes run Ubuntu by default. The image is similar to Google Kubernetes Engine's Ubuntu node image.

GKE on VMware node pools also support Container-Optimized OS. Container-Optimized OS on GKE on VMware supports kdump for debugging kernel issues.

GKE on VMware offers the following node image options per OS for your cluster:

OS Node images Status
Container-Optimized OS General Availability for node pool support
Preview for the admin cluster
  • Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu with Docker (ubuntu)
General Availability

Kubernetes version

New GKE on VMware versions sometimes introduce a new Kubernetes version for clusters. Version changes are announced in Release notes. To learn which Kubernetes version your cluster runs, see Versions.

Preinstalled tools

  • GKE on VMware's node OS has the following tools preinstalled: arping cloud-utils, conntrack, logrotate, prips, systemd-container
  • GKE on VMware's node OS has the debug-toolbox container image preinstalled. debug-toolbox includes several packages for debugging node issues. You run an accompanying shell script, toolbox, to unpack and run the debug-toolbox container. Learn about the toolbox script.


As of GKE on VMware version 1.1.0-gke.6, the node OS' default networking configuration is disabled to support static IP allocation.


See node security.