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Install Lens Desktop#

Lens Desktop is lightweight and simple to install. You will be up and running in just a few minutes.

For a complete list of available installation options, check out the Lens web site.

System requirements#

Before you proceed with Lens installation, verify that your system meets the system requirements.

Hardware requirements#

Lens is a less than 300 MB download and has a disk footprint of 600 MB. Lens is lightweight and runs easily on any modern hardware.

Minimum hardware requirements:

  • 2 GHz or faster processor
  • 1 GB of RAM


Lens has been tested on the following platforms:

  • macOS
  • Windows
  • Linux

Install Lens Desktop on macOS#

  1. Download Lens Desktop from the Lens web site for macOS.
  2. Double-click Lens-{version}.dmg and drag to the Applications folder, making it available in the macOS Launchpad.
  3. Add Lens to your Dock by right-clicking on the icon to bring up the context menu and choosing Options, Keep in Dock.

Install Lens Desktop on Windows#

  1. Download the Lens Desktop installer for Windows.
  2. Install Lens Desktop by running the Lens-Setup-{version}.exe installer. By default, Lens Desktop installs under C:\users\{username}\AppData\Local\Programs\Lens.

Install Lens Desktop on Linux#

You have the following downloading options for Linux:

  • .rpm and .deb files
  • AppImage file
  • .snap file

Default package formats#

This example shows how to install Lens Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04:

  1. Download the .deb file here.
  2. In the Linux command line, type the following:

    sudo apt install <path-to-deb-file>
    You can also use one of the applications for .deb file installations.


    For RPM-based distributions, the procedure is similar with slight differencies in terminal commands.


  1. Download the AppImage file here.
  2. Navigate to the directory where you have the file downloaded and right-click the AppImage file and select Properties > Permissions.
  3. Select the Allow executing file as a program check box.


    Some file managers might offer to unselect the Is executable check box or other similar actions.

  4. In the Linux command line, navigate to the directory where you have the file downloaded and type the following commands:

    chmod +x <file-name.AppImage>

After installing Lens manually (not using a package manager file such as .deb or .rpm) the following will need to be done to allow protocol handling. This assumes that your linux distribution uses xdg-open and the xdg-* suite of programs for determining which application can handle custom URIs.

  1. Create a file called lens.desktop in one of the following directions:

  2. ~/.local/share/applications/ to install for all users

  3. /usr/share/applications to install for your user

  4. That file should have the following contents, with <path/to/executable> being the absolute path to where you have installed the unpacked Lens executable:

    [Desktop Entry]
    Exec=<path/to/executable> %U
    Comment=Lens - The Kubernetes IDE

  5. Then run the following command:
    xdg-settings set default-url-scheme-handler lens lens.desktop
  6. If that succeeds (exits with code 0) then your Lens install should be set up to handle lens:// URIs.


  1. Download the Lens package for Snap.
  2. In the Linux command line, type the following:

    sudo snap install Lens-{version}.amd64.snap --dangerous --classic

Update cadence#

Lens releases a new product version with new features and important bug fixes at least once a month. Lens supports auto-updating. You will be prompted to install the new release when it becomes available.


Auto-updates are avalailable only for exe, dmg, and AppImage installations. Otherwise, you should update manually.

To stay current with the Lens features, review Lens release notes.

Backup and restore data#

If you are updating to a major Lens version, any existing user data including clusters, workspaces, preferences, and so on, will be migrated to new data structures.

To be able to safely roll back to your previous Lens versions, consider backing up your user data before updating. The user data is typically stored in the following directions:

  • For MacOS, ~/Library/Application Support/Lens/
  • For Windows, %APPDATA%\Lens\
  • For Linux, ~/.config/Lens/ or $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/Lens

Next Steps#