Routernetes Uses the Power of Kubernetes Operators to Turn a Raspberry Pi Into a Flexible Router

Compatible with the Raspberry Pi 4 as well as x86-64 systems, Routernetes deploys a Kubernetes-managed router operator with ease.

Gareth Halfacree
6 days agoHW101 / Communication

Developer Logan McNaughton is trying to make it easier to turn a Raspberry Pi or other single-board computer into a router for a home network — using Routernetes, a tool designed to deploy a networking-focused Kubernetes Operator with a minimum of fuss.

"Routernetes is software that can turn your computer into a router," McNaughton explains of the project. "It is made up of the following components: Fedora CoreOS; k3s; [and] Routernetes Operator."

Fedora CoreOS serves as the underlying operating system. Designed for a minimal footprint, it's configured to automatically update itself in order to patch newly-discovered security vulnerabilities — requiring, McNaughton claims, no manual maintenance. K3s, meanwhile, is a lightweight version of Kubernetes, which handles the Routernetes Operator — the part of the project which creates a Router resource and turns your Raspberry Pi into a critical piece of networking equipment.

Routernetes is designed as a quick-deploy router package for the Raspberry Pi and x86 systems. (📹: Logan McNaughton)

"When you install Routernetes, it comes bundled with k3s and the Routernetes Operator. Once you login and create a Router Kubernetes object," McNaughton explains. "the Routernetes Operator takes your configuration and: Configures a DHCP server; configures a DNS server; configures the network interfaces; configures a firewall; enables IP forwarding; [and] uses TuneD to configure the underlying operating system for optimal performance."

While compatible with any 64-bit x86 computer or single-board computer, Routernetes has been created with the Raspberry Pi in mind. It requires a few more resources than your typical Raspberry Pi operating system, though: You'll need a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with at least 2GB of RAM and a 4GB microSD card, plus an additional USB network interface alongside the single-board computer's on-board Ethernet.

Those eager to try the tool can download Routernetes from the project's GitHub page as Raspberry Pi or x86-64 installers — though be warned that the installer will wipe current operating systems without prompting; the source code is also published there under the permissive Apache 2.0 license. More information is available on the project wiki.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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