Deploy Helm Charts

The contents of this page refer to alpha features in Spinnaker 1.8.

This means we are working on their stability and usability, as well as possibly adding or changing features. Expect rough edges, and file issues as needed.

Spinnaker surfaces a “Bake (Manifest)” stage to turn templates into manifests with the help of a templating engine. Currently, the only supported templating engine is Helm, by relying on the helm template command. See more details here.

Note: This stage is intended to help you package and deploy applications that you own, and are actively developing and redeploying frequently. It is not intended to serve as a one-time installation method for third-party packages. If that is your goal, it’s arguably better to call helm install once when bootstrapping your Kubernetes cluster.

Note: Make sure that you have configured artifact support in Spinnaker first. All Helm charts are fetched/stored as artifacts in Spinnaker. Read more in the reference pages.

Configure the “Bake (Manifest)” stage

When configuring the “Bake (Manifest)” stage, you can specify the following:

  • The release name (required)

    The Helm release name for this chart. This determines the name of the artifact produced by this stage.

Note: this name will override any changes you make to the name in the Produces Artifacts section.

  • The template artifact (required)

    The Helm chart that you will be deploying, stored remotely as a .tar.gz archive. You can produce this by running helm package /path/to/chart. See more details here.

  • The release namespace (optional)

    The Kubernetes namespace to install release into. If parameter is not specified default namespace will be used.

Note: Not all Helm charts contain namespace definitions in their manifests. Make sure that your manifests contain the following code:

metadata:
  namespace: 
  • Zero or more override artifacts (optional)

    The files passed to --values parameter in the helm template command. Each is a remotely stored artifact representing a Helm Value File.

  • Statically specified overrides

    The set of static of key/value pairs that are passed as --set parameters to the helm template command.

As an example, we have a fully configured Bake (Manifest) stage below:

Notice that in the “Produces Artifacts” section, Spinnaker has automatically created an embedded/base64 artifact that is bound when the stage completes, representing the fully baked manifest set to be deployed downstream.

If you are programatically generating stages, here is the JSON representation of the same stage from above:

{
  "type": "bakeManifest",
  "templateRenderer": "HELM2",
  "name": "Bake nginx helm template",
  "outputName": "nginx",
  "inputArtifacts": [
    {
      "account": "gcs",
      "id": "template-id"
    },
    {
      "account": "gcs",
      "id": "value-id"
    }
  ],
  "overrides": {
    "replicas": "3"
  },
  "expectedArtifacts": [
    {
      "defaultArtifact": {},
      "id": "baked-template",
      "matchArtifact": {
        "kind": "base64",
        "name": "nginx",
        "type": "embedded/base64"
      },
      "useDefaultArtifact": false
    }
  ]
}

Configure a downstream deployment

Now that your manifest set has been baked by Helm, configure a downstream stage (in the same pipeline or in one triggered by this pipeline) your “Deploy (Manifest)” stage to deploy the artifact produced by the “Bake (Manifest)” stage as shown here:

Note: Make sure to select “embedded-artifact” as the artifact account for your base64 manifest set. This is required to translate the manifest set into the format required by the deploy stage.

When this stage runs, you can see every resource in your Helm chart get deployed at once: