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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 ***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 and Quay 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 and standard webhook notifications, more info here


Docker image polling, Kubernetes provider and Helm provider support are set by default, then Kubernetes deployments can be upgraded when new Docker image is available:

$ helm upgrade --install keel --namespace keel keel/keel

Setting up Helm release to be automatically updated by Keel

Add the following to your app's values.yaml file and do helm upgrade ...:

  # keel policy (all/major/minor/patch/force)
  policy: all
  # trigger type, defaults to events such as pubsub, webhooks
  trigger: poll
  # polling schedule
  pollSchedule: "@every 3m"
  # images to track and update
    - repository: image.repository # it must be the same names as your app's values
      tag: image.tag # it must be the same names as your app's values

The same can be applied with --set flag without using values.yaml file:

$ helm upgrade --install whd webhookdemo --namespace keel --reuse-values \
  --set keel.policy="all",keel.trigger="poll",keel.pollSchedule="@every 3m" \
  --set keel.images[0].repository="image.repository" \
  --set keel.images[0].tag="image.tag"

You can read in more details about supported policies, triggers and etc in the User Guide.

Also you should check the Webhooh demo app and it's chart to have more clear idea how to set automatic updates.

Uninstalling the Chart

To uninstall/delete the keel deployment:

$ helm delete --purge keel

The command removes all the Kubernetes components associated with the chart and deletes the release.


The following table lists has the main configurable parameters (polling, triggers, notifications, service) of the Keel chart and they apply to both Kubernetes and Helm providers:

Parameter Description Default
polling.enabled Docker registries polling true
helmProvider.enabled Enable/disable Helm provider true
gcr.enabled Enable/disable GCR Registry false
gcr.projectId GCP Project ID GCR belongs to
gcr.pubsub.enabled Enable/disable GCP Pub/Sub trigger false
ecr.enabled Enable/disable AWS ECR Registry false
ecr.accessKeyId AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID for ECR Registry
ecr.secretAccessKey AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY for ECR Registry
ecr.region AWS_REGION for ECR Registry
insecureRegistry Enable/disable insecure registries false
webhook.enabled Enable/disable Webhook Notification false
webhook.endpoint Remote webhook endpoint
slack.enabled Enable/disable Slack Notification false
slack.botName Name of the Slack bot
slack.token Slack token Slack channel
slack.approvalsChannel Slack channel for approvals
service.enable Enable/disable Keel service false
service.type Keel service type LoadBalancer
service.externalPort Keel service port 9300
service.clusterIP Keel service clusterIP
webhookRelay.enabled Enable/disable WebhookRelay integration false
webhookRelay.key WebhookRelay key
webhookRelay.secret WebhookRelay secret
webhookRelay.bucket WebhookRelay bucket
rbac.enabled Enable/disable RBAC installation true
hipchat.enabled Enable/disable Hipchat integration false
hipchat.token Hipchat token Hipchat channel
hipchat.approvalsChannel Hipchat channel for approvals
hipchat.botName Name of the Hipchat bot
hipchat.userName Hipchat username in Jabber format
hipchat.password Hipchat password for approvals user
mattermost.enabled Enable/disable Mattermost integration false
mattermost.endpoint Mattermost API endpoint
googleApplicationCredentials GCP Service account key configurable
hipchat.password Hipchat password for approvals user
gcloud.managedCertificates.enabled Enable/Disable managed ssl on Gcloud false List of managed certificate domains []
ingress.enabled Enables Ingress false
ingress.annotations Ingress annotations {}
ingress.labels Ingress labels {}
ingress.hosts Ingress accepted hosts []
ingress.tls Ingress TLS configuration []
basicauth.enabled Enable/disable Basic Auth on approvals false
basicauth.user Basic Auth username
basicauth.password Basic Auth password
dockerRegistry.enabled Docker registry secret enabled. false Docker registry secret name
dockerRegistry.key Docker registry secret key Secret name `
secret.create Create secret true

Specify each parameter using the --set key=value[,key=value] argument to helm install.

Alternatively, a YAML file that specifies the values for the above parameters can be provided while installing the chart. For example,

$ helm install --name keel --namespace keel -f values.yaml keel/keel

Tip: You can use the default values.yaml

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