Node image

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

GKE on-prem cluster nodes run Ubuntu version 18.04 (bionic). The image is very similar to Google Kubernetes Engine's Ubuntu node image.

Kubernetes version

New GKE on-prem 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-prem's node OS has the following tools preinstalled: arping cloud-utils, conntrack, logrotate, prips, systemd-container
  • GKE on-prem'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-prem version 1.1.0-gke.6, the node OS' default networking configuration is disabled to support static IP allocation.


See node security.