HostProcess Containers

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HostProcess / Privileged containers extend the Windows container model to enable a wider range of Kubernetes cluster management scenarios. HostProcess containers run directly on the host and maintain behavior and access similar to that of a regular process. HostProcess containers allow users to package and distribute management operations and functionalities that require host access while retaining versioning and deployment methods provided by containers.

A privileged DaemonSet can carry out changes or monitor a Linux host on Kubernetes but not Windows hosts. HostProcess containers are the Windows equivalent of host elevation.


  • HostProcess containers require Kubernetes 1.23 or greater.
  • HostProcess containers require containerd 1.6 or higher container runtime.
  • HostProcess pods can only contain HostProcess containers.
  • HostProcess containers run as a process on the host.
  • Filesystem isolation and Hyper-V isolation aren’t supported for HostProcess containers.
  • Volume mounts are supported and are mounted under the container volume.
  • A limited set of host user accounts are available for Host Process containers by default.
  • Resource limits such as disk, memory, and cpu count, work the same way as fashion as processes on the host.
  • Named pipe mounts and Unix domain sockets are not directly supported, but can be accessed on their host path, for example \.pipe*.

Run a HostProcess workload

To use HostProcess features with our deployment, set privilaged: true, hostProcess: true, and hostNetwork: true:

            privileged: true
              hostProcess: true
      hostNetwork: true

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To run an example workload that uses HostProcess features on an existing AKS cluster with Windows nodes, create kcdhostprocess.yaml

Use kubectl to run the example workload:

kubectl apply -f kcdhostprocess.yaml
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We should see the following output:

$ kubectl apply -f kcdhostprocess.yaml
daemonset.apps/privileged-daemonset created
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We can verify our workload by using the features of HostProcess by checking the pod’s logs.

Use kubectl to find the name of the pod in the kube-system namespace.

$ kubectl get pods --namespace kube-system

NAME                                  READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
privileged-daemonset-12345            1/1     Running   0          2m13s
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Use kubectl logs to view the logs of the pod and verify the pod has administrator rights:

$ kubectl logs privileged-daemonset-12345 --namespace kube-system
InvalidOperation: Unable to find type [Security.Principal.WindowsPrincipal].
Process has admin rights:
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