Last modified August 3, 2020

Giant Swarm Release Versions

When you create a tenant cluster at Giant Swarm you also get to choose which release version you would like the cluster to have.

The release version of a cluster helps you identify additional information like what Kubernetes version the cluster will have.

Besides Kubernetes, other components come into play as well, for example Calico, Docker, CoreDNS, and our own services and operators.

Together, all these components define the capabilities of a tenant cluster.

When a new version of a component gets released (to fix a bug or introduce a new feature), we create a new release version so that you can upgrade your existing tenant clusters and create new clusters with the added or fixed functionality.

Conventions around release versioning

We’ve had to break these conventions in some cases, but we’re trying to re-align things as time goes on and customers no longer use older versions.

Major versions increment on Kubernetes releases

We generally try to increment our Major version only when there is a new Kubernetes release.

v9.0.x Kubernetes 1.15.x
v11.x.x Kubernetes 1.16.x
v12.x.x Kubernetes 1.17.x
v13.x.x Kubernetes 1.18.x not yet available


On AWS, v9.2.0 and up contains Kubernetes 1.16.x

Versions that support node pools

Currently only AWS 10.0.0 and up support node pools.

While it is still a work in progress, on Azure, v12.1.0 and above will be the releases that support node pools.

Versions with an optional ingress controller

As of v11.0.0 on AWS installations, the ingress controller has been made optional. That means it is not installed by default when you create your cluster.

On Azure and KVM the ingress controller is still automatically installed, though a release is planned for Azure that will make the ingress controller optional Most likely that will be v11.4.0

Versions with Flatcar Container Linux

Generally all active releases are available with Flatcar Container Linux as the operating system.

Look for the latest patch version.


v9.3.0 Kubernetes 1.16.x Flatcar Container Linux
v11.3.0 Kubernetes 1.16.x Flatcar Container Linux with Nodepools


v9.0.3 Kubernetes 1.15.x Flatcar Container Linux
v11.3.x Kubernetes 1.16.x Flatcar Container Linux


v11.3.x Kubernetes 1.16.x Flatcar Container Linux

Versions that use the App Platform

Any version greater than 9.0.0 uses the App Platform to manage the apps that get installed on tenant clusters. When upgrading from 9.0.0 to 9.0.x or any higher version there are some notable changes to be aware of:

You must modify existing automation or processes that manage the configuration of coredns, nginx-ingress-controller, or cluster-autoscaler to work with the changed location and format of the *-user-values configmaps.

  1. The *-user-values configmaps have moved from kube-system on the tenant cluster to a namespace on the control plane.
  2. The format of the *-user-values configmaps has changed as well. (Configuration is now nested in data.values.configmap)


# On the Tenant Cluster, in the kube-system namespace
apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
    app: coredns
    name: coredns-user-values
    namespace: kube-system
  cache: "60"


# On the Control Plane, in the abc12 namespace
apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
    app: coredns
    name: coredns-user-values
    namespace: abc12
  values: |
      cache: "60"

The guides below show before and after examples for each case:

Latest release information

Check the giantswarm/releases GitHub repository for full information on all releases.