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Manual Upgrades

You can upgrade rke2 by using the installation script, or by manually installing the binary of the desired version.

Note: Upgrade the server nodes first, one at a time. Once all servers have been upgraded, you may then upgrade agent nodes.

Release Channels

Upgrades performed via the installation script or using our automated upgrades feature can be tied to different release channels. The following channels are available:

stable(Default) Stable is recommended for production environments. These releases have been through a period of community hardening, and are compatible with the most recent release of Rancher.
latestLatest is recommended for trying out the latest features. These releases have not yet been through a period of community hardening, and may not be compatible with Rancher.
v1.26 (example)There is a release channel tied to each Kubernetes minor version, including versions that are end-of-life. These channels will select the latest patch available, not necessarily a stable release.

For an exhaustive and up-to-date list of channels, you can visit the rke2 channel service API. For more technical details on how channels work, you can see the channelserver project.

Upgrade rke2 Using the Installation Script

To upgrade rke2 from an older version you can re-run the installation script using the same flags, for example:

curl -sfL | sh -

This will upgrade to the most recent version in the stable channel by default.

If you want to upgrade to the most recent version in a specific channel (such as latest) you can specify the channel:

curl -sfL | INSTALL_RKE2_CHANNEL=latest sh -

If you want to upgrade to a specific version you can run the following command:

curl -sfL | INSTALL_RKE2_VERSION=vX.Y.Z+rke2rN sh -

Remember to restart the rke2 process after installing:

# Server nodes:
systemctl restart rke2-server

# Agent nodes:
systemctl restart rke2-agent

Manually Upgrade rke2 Using the Binary

Or to manually upgrade rke2:

  1. Download the desired version of the rke2 binary from releases
  2. Copy the downloaded binary to /usr/local/bin/rke2 for tarball installed rke2, and /usr/bin for rpm installed rke2
  3. Stop the old rke2 binary
  4. Launch the new rke2 binary

Restarting rke2

Restarting rke2 is supported by the installation script for systemd.


To restart servers manually:

sudo systemctl restart rke2-server

To restart agents manually:

sudo systemctl restart rke2-agent