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Building Strimzi

Strimzi is using make as its main build system. Our make build supports several different targets mainly for building and pushing Docker images.

The build also uses an Java annotation processor. Some IDEs (such as IntelliJ) doesn't, by default, run the annotation processor in their build process. You can run mvn clean install -DskipTests -DskipITs to run the annotation processor as the maven build and the IDE should then be able to use the generated classes. It is also possible to configure the IDE to run the annotation processor itself.

Build Pre-Requisites

To build this project you must first install several command line utilities.

  • make - Make build system
  • mvn - Maven CLI
  • helm - Helm Package Management System for Kubernetes
    • After installing Helm be sure to run helm init.
  • asciidoctor - Documentation generation (use gem to install latest version for your platform)
  • yq - YAML manipulation tool. Warning: There are several different yq yaml projects in the wild. Use this one.

In order to use make these all need to be available in your $PATH.

Mac OS

The make build is using GNU versions of find and sed utilities and is not compatible with the BSD versions available on Mac OS. When using Mac OS, you have to install the GNU versions of find and sed. When using brew, you can do brew install gnu-sed findutils grep coreutils. This command will install the GNU versions as gcp, ggrep, gsed and gfind and our make build will automatically pick them up and use them.

Docker images

Building Docker images

The docker_build target will build the Docker images provided by the Strimzi project. You can build all Strimzi Docker images by calling make docker_build from the root of the Strimzi repository. Or you can build an individual Docker image by running make docker_build from the subdirectories with their respective Dockerfiles - e.g. kafka_base, kafka etc.

The docker_build target will always build the images under the strimzi organization. This is necessary in order to be able to reuse the base image you might have just built without modifying all Dockerfiles. The DOCKER_TAG environment variable configures the Docker tag to use (default is latest).

Tagging and pushing Docker images

Target docker_tag can be used to tag the Docker images built by the docker_build target. This target is automatically called by the docker_push target and doesn't have to be called separately.

To configure the docker_tag and docker_push targets you can set following environment variables:

  • DOCKER_ORG configures the Docker organization for tagging/pushing the images (defaults to the value of the $USER environment variable)
  • DOCKER_TAG configured Docker tag (default is latest)
  • DOCKER_REGISTRY configures the Docker registry where the image will be pushed (default is

Building everything

make all command can be used to trigger all the tasks above - build the Docker images, tag them and push them to the configured repository.

make invokes Maven for packaging Java based applications (that is, Cluster Operator, Topic Operator, ...). The mvn command can be customized by setting the MVN_ARGS environment variable when launching make all. For example, MVN_ARGS=-DskipTests make all can be used to avoid running the unit tests.

Pushing images to the cluster's Docker repo

When developing locally you might want to push the docker images to the docker repository running in your local OpenShift cluster. This can be quicker than pushing to dockerhub and works even without a network connection.

Assuming your OpenShift login is developer and project is myproject you can push the images to OpenShift's Docker repo like this:

  1. Make sure your cluster is running,

     oc cluster up

    By default, you should be logged in as developer (you can check this with oc whoami)

  2. Log in to the Docker repo running in the local cluster:

     docker login -u developer -p `oc whoami -t`
 happens to be the IP and port of the Docker registry running in the cluster (see oc get svc -n default). Note that we are using the developer OpenShift user and the token for the current (developer) login as the password.

  3. Now run make to push the development images to that Docker repo:

     DOCKER_REGISTRY= DOCKER_ORG=`oc project -q` make all
  4. In order to use the built images, you need to update the install/cluster-operator/050-Deployment-strimzi-cluster-operator.yml to obtain the images from the registry at, rather than from DockerHub. That can be done using the following command:

    sed -Ei 's#(image|value): strimzi/([a-z0-9-]+):latest#\1:\2:latest#' \

    This will update 050-Deployment-strimzi-cluster-operator.yaml replacing all the image references (in image and value properties) with ones with the same name from

  5. Then you can deploy the Cluster Operator running:

    oc create -f install/cluster-operator

  6. Finally, you can deploy the cluster custom resource running:

    oc create -f examples/kafka/kafka-ephemeral.yaml

Helm Chart

The strimzi-kafka-operator Helm Chart can be installed directly from its source.

helm install ./helm-charts/strimzi-kafka-operator

The chart is also available in the release artifact as a tarball.


make release target can be used to create a release. Environment variable RELEASE_VERSION (default value latest) can be used to define the release version. The release target will:

  • Update all tags of Docker images to RELEASE_VERSION
  • Update documentation version to RELEASE_VERSION
  • Set version of the main Maven projects (topic-operator and cluster-operator) to RELEASE_VERSION
  • Create TAR.GZ and ZIP archives with the Kubernetes and OpenShift YAML files which can be used for deployment and documentation in HTML format.

The release target will not build the Docker images - they should be built and pushed automatically by Travis CI when the release is tagged in the GitHub repository. It also doesn't deploy the Java artifacts anywhere. They are only used to create the Docker images.

The release process should normally look like this:

  1. Create a release branch
  2. Export the desired version into the environment variable RELEASE_VERSION
  3. Run make release
  4. Commit the changes to the existing files (do not add the TAR.GZ and ZIP archives into Git)
  5. Push the changes to the release branch on GitHub
  6. Create the tag and push it to GitHub. Tag name determines the tag of the resulting Docker images. Therefore the Git tag name has to be the same as the RELEASE_VERSION,
  7. Once the CI build for the tag is finished and the Docker images are pushed to Docker Hub, Create a GitHub release and tag based on the release branch. Attach the TAR.GZ/ZIP archives, YAML files (for installation from URL) and the Helm Chart to the release
  8. On the master git branch
  • Update the versions to the next SNAPSHOT version using the next_version make target. For example to update the next version to 0.6.0-SNAPSHOT run: make NEXT_VERSION=0.6.0-SNAPSHOT next_version.
  • Copy the helm-charts/index.yaml from the release branch to master.
  1. Update the website
  • Add release documentation to Update references to docs in
  • Update the Helm Chart repository file by copying strimzi-kafka-operator/helm-charts/index.yaml to

Running system tests

Test groups

To execute an expected group of system tests need to add system property junitTags with following value:

-DjunitTags=integration - to execute one test group -DjunitTags=acceptance,regression - to execute many test groups -DjunitTags=all - to execute all test groups

If junitTags system property isn't defined, all tests without an explicitly declared test group will be executed.

Helper script

The ./systemtest/scripts/ script can be used to run the systemtests using the same configuration as used in the travis build. You can use this script to easily run the systemtests project.

Pass additional parameters to mvn by populating the EXTRA_ARGS env var.

EXTRA_ARGS="-Dfoo=bar" ./systemtest/scripts/

Running single test class

Use the test build goal and provide a -Dtest=TestClassName[#testMethodName] system property.


mvn test -pl systemtest -DtrimStackTrace=false -DjunitTags=acceptance,regression -Dtest=KafkaST#testKafkaAndZookeeperScaleUpScaleDown

Log level

To set the log level of Strimzi for system tests need to add system property TEST_STRIMZI_LOG_LEVEL with one of the following values: ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG, TRACE.