I asked to create my colleague to install an cloud native app. He did not have exposure to Kubernetes. This article is to demonstrate how easy to setup rancher desktop and showcase the configuration.

Rancher Desktop

Rancher Desktop is a container management app on the desktop. This brings a Kubernetes cluster for quick development or experiment of cloud native apps which are in the form of container images. The beauty of rancher desktop is its ability to selecting container runtime and quickly upgrading/reseting Kubernetes platform.

Rancher Desktop on Windows Installation Steps


Download latest windows version of Rancher Desktop from here

Installation Steps with screenshots

Just like any other windows installable software, double click the downloaded software (.msi file) to begin the installation.

Read and agree to the license

rancher desktop license

Understanding Windows Subsystem for Linux 2(WSL2)

One of the prerequsite for running Kubernetes is the underlying operating system should allow virtualization.

Windows comes with subsystem linux which is Ubuntu.

Rancher Desktop helps us to manage Kubernetes installation. The actual container runs on top of the virtualization of Windows Subsystem Linux 2 (WSL2).

Incase WSL2 is not available in the operating system, the setup will install it.

install wsl2

Installation in progress

Rancher Desktop installation in progress

Open Rancher Desktop app

Navigate or Open Rancher Desktop app from Windows app search.

Open Rancher Desktop

Enable Kubernetes

Rancher desktop brings the ablity to run container images. It is required to enable Kubernetes explicitly.

You have option to select the Kubernetes version.

Enable Kubernetes

Verifying the install

Installation complete. We can check information about the install.

Rancher Desktop verification


In case of chalenge or redeploy and test your infrastructure as code, or you just want to start fresh, it is easier to do factory reset.