Differences Between OKD and MicroShift

The design goals behind MicroShift diverge from those of OKD as a necessity of the very different operating environments each project targets. Namely, OKD achieves the goal of providing a full-stack, self-managed container application platform, targeting developer and operations-centric use cases on cloud infrastructure. MicroShift aims to provide a minimal OpenShift experience on small form factor, often headless devices with as conservative a resource overhead as possible. To further the project's goals, the MicroShift team has reduced OKD's feature set to remove functionality not well suited for edge use cases.


MicroShift's deployment model differs significantly from OKD's. Openshift-install fully automates OKD deployment on cloud or baremetal infrastructure and manages system dependencies and configuration. It goes a long way to provide a streamlined installation model for users. MicroShift, being a single binary, can be installed atomically and managed like any other app. The user is expected to have some basic knowledge of package installation tools (dnf, yum, rpm).

The MicroShift documentation provides a step-by-step recipe for preparing a system and installing the app on supported operating systems.

Control-Plane Services

The most notable difference between an OKD and MicroShift runtime are the lack of operators. Running an operator for each control-plane component becomes quite costly at the edge. Operators are built on the operator-framework, which provides a wonderful toolset and boilerplate for orchestrating application lifecycle management. In order to reduce the platform's resource footprint, MicroShift compiles the control-plane into a single binary. This architecture means that the control-plane applications are not managed through the Kubernetes API, making the role of their operators moot. The result of this design is a measurable reduction of redundant code (operator boilerplate) and a lower runtime overhead. For most cases, we do not expect this to impact application portability.

Embedded Services

  • etcd
  • kube-scheduler
  • kube-apiserver
  • openshift-api-server
  • kube-controller-manager
  • openshift-controller-manager
  • openshift-oath
  • multicast dns (for multi-node enablement)
  • kubelet
  • kube-proxy

Deployed Services

Post boot, MicroShift deploys the following services:

  • openshift-service-ca
  • openshift-ingress
  • kubevirt-hostpath-provisioner
Last modified October 24, 2023 at 8:51 AM PST : build(deps): bump actions/setup-node from 3 to 4 (#212) (333d7a1)