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To install Acorn, you will need the Acorn CLI and a Kubernetes cluster. Follow one of the methods below to install the Acorn CLI and then install onto the Kubernetes cluster.

acorn install

In many cases, the default installation options for Acorn are sufficient, but there are a number of options you can use to customize Acorn. See our Installation Options page for more details.

Acorn CLI

Homebrew (macOS & Linux)

The preferred method for installing on Mac and Linux is to use the brew package manager.

You can install the latest Acorn CLI with the following:

brew install acorn-io/cli/acorn

You can also follow the binary installation below.

curl|sh install (macOS & Linux)

If you don't have homebrew, you can install the CLI with this one-liner:

curl | sh

Scoop (Windows)

You can install the latest Acorn CLI with the following:

scoop install acorn

Manual install

You can download the Acorn CLI binary from the project's GitHub page.

Download the correct binary for your platform.


Download either the universal DMG or the tar.gz file.

For the DMG run through the installer.

For the tar.gz download:

tar -zxvf ~/Downloads/acorn-v<version>-macos-universal.tar.gz
cp ~/Downloads/acorn /usr/local/bin/acorn

Note: if using zsh you will need to make sure ulimit -f can handle files > 140MB


Download the tar.gz archive for your architecture. Uncompress and move the binary to your PATH.

 tar -zxvf ~/Downloads/acorn-v<version>-linux-<arch>.tar.gz
mv ~/Downloads/acorn /usr/local/bin


Uncompress and move the binary to your PATH.

Development Binaries (main build)

The last successful build from the HEAD of the main branch is available for macOS, Linux, and Windows

Shell completion

The Acorn CLI supports command autocompletion. If you installed acorn using homebrew, this is already configured for you. If you installed using the manual or curl|sh method, you must enable shell completion yourself.

To set autocompletion for the current terminal session, use the command that matches your shell:

source <(acorn completion bash)
source <(acorn completion zsh)
acorn completion fish | source

For permanent effect add the same line to your shell specific profile:

  • ~/.bashrc
  • ~/.zshrc
  • ~/.config/fish/

Installing Acorn onto Kubernetes clusters

Acorn will need to be initialized on each Kubernetes cluster you plan to use it on.

acorn install

Acorn can install onto any type of Kubernetes cluster capable of running normal workloads. The following are requirements and considerations for installing Acorn.

Cluster Requirements

Kubernetes version

Acorn requires Kubernetes 1.23 or greater.


You must have cluster admin privileges to install Acorn. See our RBAC documentation for more details.

Ingress and Service LoadBalancers

Acorn can publish your applications as publicly accessible endpoints.

For this to work, your Kubernetes cluster must have an ingress controller for HTTP endpoints and means for fulfilling services of type LoadBalancer for non-HTTP endpoints, such as TCP endpoints.


Acorn supports persistent storage through the use of volumes. For this to work, your Kubernetes cluster must have a default storage class.

YAML Based Install

If you would like to see the generated objects prior to installing to your Kubernetes cluster run:

acorn install -o yaml > install.yaml

This will generate the Kubernetes objects yaml files and write them to install.yaml which can then be installed to your cluster using:

kubectl apply -f install.yaml

Local Development Clusters

For local development, Acorn has been tested with Rancher Desktop, Docker Desktop, and Minikube. If you are using one of these systems, please consider the following:

Rancher Desktop comes with a working ingress controller, service loadbalancer solution, and storage class by default. No additional configuration is necessary.

Docker Desktop comes with a storage class and service loadbalancer solution, but not an ingress. If you're using Docker Desktop and don't have one installed, Acorn will install the Traefik v2 Ingress Controller for you.

Minikube comes with a default storage class, but requires that you enable ingress explicitly with the following command:

minikube addons enable ingress

It's not obvious in the above minikube documentation, but after enabling ingress, if you want to access your applications locally, you must also run:

minikube tunnel

The tunnel command also services as the service loadbalancer solution. If it is running, your TCP services will be published to localhost.

K3d comes with a working ingress controller, service loadbalancer solution, and storage class by default. However, when creating your K3d cluster, you must configure it to proxy traffic from localhost to the cluster, so that endpoints resolve properly:

k3d cluster create --api-port 6550 -p "80:[email protected]"

If you choose to use a port other than 80 like so:

k3d cluster create --api-port 6550 -p "8081:[email protected]"

then you must reflect that in the acorn install command by specifying the port with the --cluster-domain flag:

acorn install --cluster-domain ''

Kind comes with a working storage class by default, but you need to take some extra steps to get ingress and service loadbalancer capabilities:

  • For ingress, you need to configure the kind cluster with a host port mapping and then deploy an ingress controller. You can find more details in the official documentation.
  • For service loadbalancer capabilities, the kind docs recommend to deploy MetalLB.