Deploy Kubernetes Manifests

This guide shows the basics of how to deploy a Kubernetes manifest using the Kubernetes Provider V2.

There are two main steps:

Specify your manifest

Depending on your needs, there is more than one way to specify the manifest that you want to deploy:

In either case, start by selecting the Deploy (Manifest) stage from the stage selector:

:warning: Don’t select the regular Deploy stage; it deploys more opinionated “Server Groups” using another provider (including Kubernetes V1).

Specify manifests statically

If you know ahead of time what you expect to deploy using a certain manifest (even if you don’t know what version of your Docker image it will run) you can declare it directly in the pipeline by providing the manifest specification:

Notice that by selecting Text as the Manifest Source, we get to enter the manifest YAML by hand.

Of course, if you are generating your pipeline definitions rather than entering them into the UI, the stage definition would look more like this:

  "name": "Deploy my manifest",   // human-readable name
  "type": "deployManifest",       // tells orchestration engine what to run
  "account": "nudge",             // account (k8s cluster) to deploy to
  "cloudProvider": "kubernetes",
  "source": "text",
  "manifest": {
                                  // manifest contents go here
  "moniker": {                    // specifies app & cluster for grouping
                                  // resources in UI
    "app": "xnat",
    "cluster": "c7",

Specify manifests dynamically

If you are storing your manifests outside of Spinnaker’s pipeline repository, or want a single deploy stage to deploy a variety of manifests, you can specify your manifest using an Artifact.

The idea is: artifacts in Spinnaker allow you to reference remote, deployable resources. When referencing an artifact from a Deploy Manifest stage , that artifact must be a text file containing the Manifest specification. This can be stored in GitHub or an object store (like GCS).

Changes to manifests can trigger pipelines. Here’s some more information:

Assuming you have declared an expected artifact upstream to your Deploy manifest stage, you can reference it in the Deploy configuration:

Notice that by selecting Artifact as the Manifest Source, we get to pick which upstream artifact to deploy.

☞ Note: Make sure that the Artifact Account field matches an account with permission to download the manifest.

Keep in mind that the artifact bound in the upstream stage can match multiple incoming artifacts. If instead we had configured it to listen to changes using a regex matching .*\.yml, it would bind any YAML file that changes in your artifact source, and deploy it when it reaches your Deploy stage.

Override artifacts

In general, when we deploy changes to our infrastructure, the majority of changes come in the form of a new Docker image, or perhaps a feature-flag change in a ConfigMap. For this reason, we have first-class mechanisms for easily overriding the version of…

  • Docker image
  • Kubernetes ConfigMap
  • Kubernetes Secret

When one of these objects exists in the pipeline context from an upstream stage, Spinnaker automatically tries to inject it into the manifest you’re deploying.

For example, say you trigger your pipeline using a webhook coming from a Docker registry. At a high level, the event says “Image has a new digest sha256:c81e41ef5e...”. In the pipeline that gets triggered, you’ve configured a Deploy Manifest stage with the following spec:

# ... rest of manifest
  - name: my-container
# rest of manifest ...

Because the pipeline was triggered by a change to the Docker image, the orchestration engine send that artifact along with the manifest to Spinnaker’s cloud provider integration service, which, based on the name of the Docker image, deploys the following:

# ... rest of manifest
  - name: my-container
    image:[email protected]:sha256:c81e41ef5e...
# rest of manifest ...

To ensure that the correct artifacts get bound, you can force the stage to either bind all required artifacts, or fail before deploying. Here’s an example where we specify that the docker image must be bound in the manifest, otherwise the stage fails:

Keep in mind that even if you don’t specify an artifact as required, it can still be bound in the manifest. This is just to ensure that all artifacts you expect will be bound.