Get started with Flux using Helm¶
If you are using Helm already, this guide is for you. By the end you will have Helm installing Flux in the cluster and deploying any code changes for you.
If you are looking for more generic notes for how to install Flux using Helm, we collected them in the chart's README.
You will need to have Kubernetes set up. To get up and running fast,
you might want to use
kubeadm. Any other Kubernetes
setup will work as well though.
Download Helm v3:
brew install helm
On Linux: Download the latest release, unpack the tarball and put the binary in your
If you are using Helm v2 you have to create a service account and a cluster role binding for Tiller:
kubectl -n kube-system create sa tiller kubectl create clusterrolebinding tiller-cluster-rule \ --clusterrole=cluster-admin \ --serviceaccount=kube-system:tiller
Deploy Tiller in
kube-system namespace (Helm v2 only):
helm init --skip-refresh --upgrade --service-account tiller --history-max 10
This is a quick guide and by no means a production ready
Tiller setup, please look into 'Securing your Helm installation'
and be aware of the
--history-max flag before promoting to
Add the Flux repository:
helm repo add fluxcd https://charts.fluxcd.io
Apply the Helm Release CRD:
kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/fluxcd/helm-operator/master/deploy/crds.yaml
In this next step you install Flux using
Create the flux namespace:
kubectl create namespace flux
Install Flux and the Helm Operator by specifying your fork URL:
Just make sure you replace
YOURUSERwith your GitHub username in the command below:
Using a public git server from
helm upgrade -i flux fluxcd/flux \ --set firstname.lastname@example.org:YOURUSER/flux-get-started \ --namespace flux helm upgrade -i helm-operator fluxcd/helm-operator \ --set git.ssh.secretName=flux-git-deploy \ --namespace flux
By default the helm-operator chart will install with support for both Helm v2 (which requires Tiller) and v3. You can target specific versions by setting the
Using a private git server:
When deploying from a private repo, the known_hosts of the git server needs to be configured into a kubernetes configmap so that
StrictHostKeyCheckingis respected. See the README of the chart for further installation instructions in this case.
Allow some time for all containers to get up and running. If you're impatient, run the following command and see the pod creation process.
watch kubectl -n flux get pods
You will notice that
flux-helm-operator will start
turning up in the
Giving write access¶
For the real benefits of GitOps, Flux will need access to your git repository to update configuration if necessary. To facilitate that you will need to add a deploy key to your fork of the repository.
This is pretty straight-forward as Flux generates a SSH key and
logs the public key at startup. Find the SSH public key by
fluxctl and running:
fluxctl identity --k8s-fwd-ns flux
In order to sync your cluster state with git you need to copy the public key and create a deploy key with write access on your GitHub repository.
Open GitHub, navigate to your fork, go to Setting > Deploy keys,
click on Add deploy key, give it a
Title, check Allow write
access, paste the Flux public key and click Add key.
YOURUSER with your GitHub ID in this url:
paste the key there.)
Once Flux has confirmed access to the repository, it will start
deploying the workloads of
flux-get-started. After a while you
will be able to see the Helm releases deployed by Flux (which are
deployed into the
demo namespace) listed like so:
helm list --namespace demo
Committing a small change¶
flux-get-started is a simple example in which three services
(mongodb, redis and ghost) are deployed. Here we will simply update the
version of mongodb to a newer version to see if Flux will pick this
up and update our cluster.
The easiest way is to update your fork of
with your GitHub ID, open the URL in your browser, edit the file,
tag: line to the following:
values: image: repository: bitnami/mongodb tag: 4.0.14
Commit the change to your
master branch. It will now get
automatically deployed to your cluster.
You can check out the Flux logs with:
kubectl -n flux logs deployment/flux -f
The default sync frequency for Flux using the Helm chart is five minutes. This can be tweaked easily. By observing the logs you can see when the change landed in the cluster.
Confirm the change landed by checking the
demo namespace that
Flux is deploying to:
kubectl describe -n demo deployment/mongodb | grep Image
As you can see, the actual steps to set up Flux, get our app deployed, give Flux access to it and see modifications land are very straight-forward and are a quite natural workflow.
A more advanced setup¶
For a more advanced Helm setup, take a look at the