This guide covers how you can quickly get started using Helm.
The following prerequisites are required for a successful and properly secured use of Helm.
- A Kubernetes cluster
- Deciding what security configurations to apply to your installation, if any
- Installing and configuring Helm and Tiller, the cluster-side service.
Install Kubernetes or have access to a cluster
- You must have Kubernetes installed. For the latest release of Helm, we recommend the latest stable release of Kubernetes, which in most cases is the second-latest minor release.
- You should also have a local configured copy of
NOTE: Kubernetes versions prior to 1.6 have limited or no support for role-based access controls (RBAC).
Helm will figure out where to install Tiller by reading your Kubernetes
configuration file (usually
$HOME/.kube/config). This is the same file
To find out which cluster Tiller would install to, you can run
kubectl config current-context or
$ kubectl config current-context my-cluster
Understand your Security Context
As with all powerful tools, ensure you are installing it correctly for your scenario.
If you're using Helm on a cluster that you completely control, like minikube or a cluster on a private network in which sharing is not a concern, the default installation -- which applies no security configuration -- is fine, and it's definitely the easiest. To install Helm without additional security steps, install Helm and then initialize Helm.
However, if your cluster is exposed to a larger network or if you share your cluster with others -- production clusters fall into this category -- you must take extra steps to secure your installation to prevent careless or malicious actors from damaging the cluster or its data. To apply configurations that secure Helm for use in production environments and other multi-tenant scenarios, see Securing a Helm installation
If your cluster has Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) enabled, you may want to configure a service account and rules before proceeding.
Download a binary release of the Helm client. You can use tools like
homebrew, or look at the official releases page.
For more details, or for other options, see the installation guide.
Initialize Helm and Install Tiller
Once you have Helm ready, you can initialize the local CLI and also install Tiller into your Kubernetes cluster in one step:
$ helm init
This will install Tiller into the Kubernetes cluster you saw with
kubectl config current-context.
TIP: Want to install into a different cluster? Use the
TIP: When you want to upgrade Tiller, just run
helm init --upgrade.
By default, when Tiller is installed, it does not have authentication enabled. To learn more about configuring strong TLS authentication for Tiller, consult the Tiller TLS guide.
Install an Example Chart
To install a chart, you can run the
helm install command. Helm has
several ways to find and install a chart, but the easiest is to use one
of the official
$ helm repo update # Make sure we get the latest list of charts $ helm install stable/mysql Released smiling-penguin
In the example above, the
stable/mysql chart was released, and the name of
our new release is
smiling-penguin. You get a simple idea of the
features of this MySQL chart by running
helm inspect stable/mysql.
Whenever you install a chart, a new release is created. So one chart can be installed multiple times into the same cluster. And each can be independently managed and upgraded.
helm install command is a very powerful command with many
capabilities. To learn more about it, check out the Using Helm
Learn About Releases
It's easy to see what has been released using Helm:
$ helm ls NAME VERSION UPDATED STATUS CHART smiling-penguin 1 Wed Sep 28 12:59:46 2016 DEPLOYED mysql-0.1.0
helm list function will show you a list of all deployed releases.
Uninstall a Release
To uninstall a release, use the
helm delete command:
$ helm delete smiling-penguin Removed smiling-penguin
This will uninstall
smiling-penguin from Kubernetes, but you will
still be able to request information about that release:
$ helm status smiling-penguin Status: DELETED ...
Because Helm tracks your releases even after you've deleted them, you
can audit a cluster's history, and even undelete a release (with
Reading the Help Text
To learn more about the available Helm commands, use
helm help or type
a command followed by the
$ helm get -h