Kinvolk Labs is the heart of innovation at Kinvolk. Our Labs team works with internal teams and external clients and partners to push the boundaries of existing open source projects or create innovative new ones. The more challenging and technical the project, the better. And, of course, like everything we do, our Labs projects are 100% open source.

Our Approach

Be proactive

We proactively invest in new technologies and ideas that we think are interesting or could bring value to the community, but perhaps are not yet full-fledged products. In the spirit of “ship early, ship often”, we like to get those ideas out in the open for the community to try out, give feedback, and collaborate to drive innovation faster.

Avoid work-arounds

Our broad and deep expertise allows us to create solutions that concisely solve problems without the need for work-arounds. And where work-arounds are needed, they are temporary because we work to get blocking issues resolved in upstream dependencies.


We find that the best projects spawn from collaboration. We work with clients, partner organizations and open source communities to tackle technical problems that don’t yet have solutions. Together, with shared domain and technical expertise, we plot a course of action and work together to deliver a solution.


At Kinvolk, no part of the cloud-native infrastructure stack is a black-box. Whether it’s kernel subsystems, Kubernetes components, systemd, BPF programs, container runtimes, or networking technologies, Kinvolk has a deep understanding and long track record of building solutions that integrate with, and build upon, all layers of the stack.

Example Projects

The Kinvolk Labs team has worked on a wide range of projects. Here are some examples to give you a flavor of the breadth of our work:

  • We built the Inspektor Gadget tool for easily applying BPF “gadgets” to Kubernetes pods (see an example demo here ).
  • We collaborated with CoreOS to develop the rkt container runtime, helping create a set of standards around container runtimes and Kubernetes such as OCI , CRI , and CNI .
  • We have contributed to the Python and Go libraries within OpenTelemetry , working with LightStep.
  • Together with WeaveWorks, we enhanced the WeaveScope container monitoring tool with eBPF.
  • We collaborated with SAP to harden the security of their Gardener multi-cluster Kubernetes service (see our talk from KubeCon China 2018)

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