Provisioner API

Provisioner API reference page

Example Provisioner Resource

kind: Provisioner
  name: default
  # If nil, the feature is disabled, nodes will never expire
  ttlSecondsUntilExpired: 2592000 # 30 Days = 60 * 60 * 24 * 30 Seconds;

  # If nil, the feature is disabled, nodes will never scale down due to low utilization
  ttlSecondsAfterEmpty: 30

  # Provisioned nodes will have these taints
  # Taints may prevent pods from scheduling if they are not tolerated
    - key:
      effect: NoSchedule

  # Labels are arbitrary key-values that are applied to all nodes
    billing-team: my-team

  # Requirements that constrain the parameters of provisioned nodes.
  # These requirements are combined with pod.spec.affinity.nodeAffinity rules.
  # Operators { In, NotIn } are supported to enable including or excluding values
    - key: ""
      operator: In
      values: ["m5.large", "m5.2xlarge"]
    - key: ""
      operator: In
      values: ["us-west-2a", "us-west-2b"]
    - key: ""
      operator: In
      values: ["arm64", "amd64"]
    - key: "" # If not included, the webhook for the AWS cloud provider will default to on-demand
      operator: In
      values: ["spot", "on-demand"]

  # Resource limits constrain the total size of the cluster.
  # Limits prevent Karpenter from creating new instances once the limit is exceeded.
      cpu: "1000"
      memory: 1000Gi

  # These fields vary per cloud provider, see your cloud provider specific documentation
  provider: {}


Kubernetes defines the following Well-Known Labels, and cloud providers (e.g., AWS) implement them. They are defined at the “spec.requirements” section of the Provisioner API.

These well known labels may be specified at the provisioner level, or in a workload definition (e.g., nodeSelector on a pod.spec). Nodes are chosen using the both the provisioner’s and pod’s requirements. If there is no overlap, nodes will not be launched. In other words, a pod’s requirements must be within the provisioner’s requirements. If a requirement is not defined for a well known label, any value available to the cloud provider may be chosen.

For example, an instance type may be specified using a nodeSelector in a pod spec. If the instance type requested is not included in the provisioner list and the provisioner has instance type requirements, Karpenter will not create a node or schedule the pod.

📝 None of these values are required.

Instance Types

  • key:

Generally, instance types should be a list and not a single value. Leaving this field undefined is recommended, as it maximizes choices for efficiently placing pods.

☁️ AWS

Review AWS instance types.

The default value includes all instance types with the exclusion of metal (non-virtualized), non-HVM, and GPU instances.

View the full list of instance types with aws ec2 describe-instance-types.


Set Default with provisioner.yaml

    - key:
      operator: In
      values: ["m5.large", "m5.2xlarge"]

Override with workload manifest (e.g., pod)

      nodeSelector: m5.large

Availability Zones

  • key:
  • value example: us-east-1c

☁️ AWS

  • value list: aws ec2 describe-availability-zones --region <region-name>

Karpenter can be configured to create nodes in a particular zone. Note that the Availability Zone us-east-1a for your AWS account might not have the same location as us-east-1a for another AWS account.

Learn more about Availability Zone IDs.


  • key:
  • values
    • amd64 (default)
    • arm64

Karpenter supports amd64 nodes, and arm64 nodes.

Capacity Type

  • key:

☁️ AWS

  • values
    • spot
    • on-demand (default)

Karpenter supports specifying capacity type, which is analogous to EC2 purchase options.

Karpenter prioritizes Spot offerings if the provisioner allows Spot and on-demand instances. If the provider API (e.g. EC2 Fleet’s API) indicates Spot capacity is unavailable, Karpenter caches that result across all attempts to provision EC2 capacity for that instance type and zone for the next 45 seconds. If there are no other possible offerings available for Spot, Karpenter will attempt to provision on-demand instances, generally within milliseconds.


Karpenter provides the ability to specify a few additional Kubelet args. These are all optional and provide support for additional customization and use cases. Adjust these only if you know you need to do so.

    clusterDNS: [""]


The provisioner spec includes a limits section (spec.limits.resources), which constrains the maximum amount of resources that the provisioner will manage.

Presently, Karpenter supports memory and cpu limits.

CPU limits are described with a DecimalSI value. Note that the Kubernetes API will coerce this into a string, so we recommend against using integers to avoid GitOps skew.

Memory limits are described with a BinarySI value, such as 1000Gi.

Karpenter stops allocating resources once at least one resource limit is met/exceeded.

Review the resource limit task for more information.


This section is cloud provider specific. Reference the appropriate documentation:

Last modified February 7, 2022 : v0.6.1 (#1285) (8cca5e9a)