Shipper in 5 minutes

Step 0: procure a cluster

The rest of this document assumes that you have access to a Kubernetes cluster and admin privileges on it. If you don’t have this, check out microk8s or minikube. Cloud clusters like GKE are also fine. Shipper requires Kubernetes 1.11 or later, and you’ll need to be an admin on the cluster you’re working with. [1]

Make sure that kubectl works and can connect to your cluster before continuing.

Step 1: get shipperctl

shipperctl automates setting up clusters for Shipper. Grab the tarball for your operating system, extract it, and stick it in your PATH somewhere.

You can find the binaries on the GitHub Releases page for Shipper.

Step 2: write a cluster manifest

shipperctl expects a manifest of clusters to configure. It uses your ~/.kube/config to translate context names into cluster API server URLs. Find out the name of your context like so:

$ kubectl config get-contexts
*         microk8s   microk8s-cluster   admin

In my setup, the context name is microk8s. Let’s write a clusters.yaml manifest to configure Shipper here:

- name: microk8s # name of a context; will also be the Cluster object name
- name: microk8s
  region: local

Step 3: apply the manifest

Now we’ll give clusters.yaml to shipperctl to configure the cluster for Shipper:

$ shipperctl admin clusters apply -f clusters.yaml
Setting up management cluster microk8s:
Registering or updating custom resource definitions... done
Creating a namespace called shipper-system... done
Creating a service account called shipper-management-cluster... done
Creating a ClusterRole called shipper:management-cluster... done
Creating a ClusterRoleBinding called shipper:management-cluster... done
Finished setting up cluster microk8s

Setting up application cluster microk8s:
Creating a namespace called shipper-system... already exists. Skipping
Creating a service account called shipper-application-cluster... done
Creating a ClusterRoleBinding called shipper:application-cluster... done
Finished setting up cluster microk8s

Joining management cluster microk8s to application cluster microk8s:
Creating or updating the cluster object for cluster microk8s on the management cluster... done
Checking whether a secret for the microk8s cluster exists in the shipper-system namespace... no. Fetching secret for service account shipper-application-cluster from the microk8s cluster... done
Copying the secret to the management cluster... done
Finished joining cluster microk8s and microk8s together

Cluster configuration applied successfully!

Step 4: deploy shipper

Now that we have the namespace, custom resource definitions, role bindings, service accounts, and so on, let’s create the Shipper Deployment:

$ kubectl create -f
deployment.apps/shipper created

This will create an instance of Shipper in the shipper-system namespace.

Step 5: do a rollout!

Now we should have a working Shipper installation. Let’s roll something out!


[1]For example, on GKE you need to bind yourself to cluster-admin before shipperctl will work.