Kubernetes Operator to automate Helm, DaemonSet, StatefulSet & Deployment updates
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Keel - automated Kubernetes deployments for the rest of us

Keel is a tool for automating Kubernetes deployment updates. Keel is stateless, robust and lightweight.

Keel provides several key features:

  • Kubernetes and Helm providers - Keel has direct integrations with Kubernetes and Helm.

  • No CLI/API - tired of f***ctl for everything? Keel doesn't have one. Gets job done through labels, annotations, charts.

  • Semver policies - specify update policy for each deployment/Helm release individually.

  • Automatic Google Container Registry configuration - Keel automatically sets up topic and subscriptions for your deployment images by periodically scanning your environment.

  • Native, DockerHub, Quay and Azure container registry webhooks support - once webhook is received impacted deployments will be identified and updated.

  • Polling - when webhooks and pubsub aren't available - Keel can still be useful by checking Docker Registry for new tags (if current tag is semver) or same tag SHA digest change (ie: latest).

  • Notifications - out of the box Keel has Slack, Hipchat, Mattermost and standard webhook notifications, more info here


Support Keel's development by:

Lightning quick start


You need to add this Chart repo to Helm:

helm repo add keel https://charts.keel.sh 
helm repo update

Install through Helm (with Helm provider enabled by default):

helm upgrade --install keel --namespace=kube-system keel/keel

If you work mostly with regular Kubernetes manifests, you can install Keel without Helm provider support:

helm upgrade --install keel --namespace=keel keel/keel --set helmProvider.enabled="false" 

That's it, see Configuration section now.

Quick Start

A step-by-step guide to install Keel on your Kubernetes cluster is viewable on the Keel website:



Once Keel is deployed, you only need to specify update policy on your deployment file or Helm chart:

No additional configuration is required. Enabling continuous delivery for your workloads has never been this easy!


Documentation is viewable on the Keel Website:



Before starting to work on some big or medium features - raise an issue here so we can coordinate our efforts.

Developing Keel

If you wish to work on Keel itself, you will need Go 1.9+ installed. Make sure you put Keel into correct Gopath and go build (dependency management is done through dep).

To test Keel while developing:

  1. Launch a Kubernetes cluster like Minikube or Docker for Mac with Kubernetes.
  2. Change config to use it: kubectl config use-context docker-for-desktop
  3. Build Keel from cmd/keel directory.
  4. Start Keel with: keel --no-incluster. This will use Kubeconfig from your home.

Running unit tests

To run unit tests:

make test

Running e2e tests


  • configured kubectl + kubeconfig
  • a running cluster (test suite will create testing namespaces and delete them after tests)
  • Go environment (will compile Keel before running)

Once prerequisites are ready:

make e2e