March 2022 Update

New Flux and Flagger releases bring more security and features and bring us ever more closely to GA, many new adopters have joined our community, Flux articles and docs, upcoming Flux events helping you get started and more.

As the Flux family of projects and its communities are growing, we strive to inform you each month about what has already landed, new possibilities which are available for integration, and where you can get involved. Read our last update here.

It’s the beginning of April 2022 - let’s recap together what happened in March - it has been a lot!

Update: Earlier versions of this post referred to the pre-KubeCon Bug Bash. Unfortunately we had to cancel our participation.

News in the Flux family

Source API getting more mature in Flux 0.28

The latest release of Flux is 0.28. One big focus was to graduate its Source API to v1beta2.

πŸ€– To upgrade and fully benefit from this, please follow the upgrade instructions.

This work had been a long time in the making, partly because of a larger refactoring effort, which we had reported about previously. The idea was to abstract reusable components and functionality into the fluxcd/pkg repository. While this is an ongoing effort, we are very happy with what we have learned so far and are convinced that we will get better test coverage this way and are providing external projects with a solid foundation to build on as well.

In this release we added new features and improvements across the board, here’s a quick list of our highlights:

  • Add the Git commit message (first 50 characters) to the events and alerts issued by GitRepository sources.
  • Improve performance for Helm repository index and chart download operations.
  • Improve observability for the Git, Helm and Bucket resources by providing explicit status conditions which conform to the Kubernetes kstatus conventions.
  • A new annotation ( kustomize.toolkit.fluxcd.io/ssa: merge) is available for allowing Flux to patch cluster addons such as CoreDNS.
  • Add Azure Blob Storage native support to Flux Bucket sources.
  • Add support for decrypting secrets with SOPS and Azure Key Vault on multi-tenant clusters.
  • Retry the Git operations on conflict errors to allow running bootstrap in-parallel for multiple clusters that target the same repository.
  • Add a new transport for libgit2 for improved reliability (experimental). We wrote about this in our last blog post as well.

Latest Flagger release comes with Gateway API support

We blogged about this separately already as it is such a big achievement for Team Flagger. With its recent 1.19 release, Flagger brings Gateway API support. This means native Progressive Delivery for all providers supported by the Gateway API project within Kubernetes. Be sure to check out the blog post to find out how to integrate this into your setups.

The Flux community is happy and proud that Flagger is part of our effort to bring GitOps solutions to the world.

Flux “Maintainers’ Focus” Project Board

Being clear about our priorities in Flux development was always important to us as a project. Discussing this regularly in weekly meetings to be able to get everyone’s input was one measure to do this. Updating our roadmap regularly was another. Monthly updates posted on all of Flux channels yet another.

As the development team around Flux grew and we had more work to be coordinated across Flux controllers with e.g. teams at cloud providers, bigger pieces of code refactoring, etc, we are now pleased to use GitHub’s new project boards for having a “Maintainer’s Focus” page which shows what’s bookmarked for the upcoming Flux releases - this might also be a good resource to check if you would like to get involved with Flux development and help out with one of the next releases.

Maintainers focus dashboard

On our way to Flux GA

A particular focus in our project management is GA, the big target we have been following ever since we started the rewrite of Flux. As you can see on the Flux Roadmap, we closed out the vast majority of items and last year we already announced that the Flux APIs will be stable from now on. So what’s left is to finish the refactoring for the remaining controllers, complete some parts of the documentation and some general tidying up. If you want more detail, or would like to help us to achieve this big milestone, you can follow the work here.

Security news

The latest addition to our blog series about Flux Security was a post called Β«Using Pod Security Standard "restricted"Β». Go check it out, as it you will learn more about Kubernetes’ pod security standard, seccomp and how we apply this in Flux to keep you safe.

The already mentioned blog post about our tight integration with Git APIs could also be of interest, as we discuss upcoming plans for integrating sha256 hash support.

Flux Ecosystem

What makes Flux great is its ecosystem. Tools and services which integrate seamlessly because that’s how the Cloud Native ecosystem works. We are celebrating all of this on the Flux Ecosystem page. (Please add yourself if your tool or integration isn’t listed yet.)

Renovate

Here are a couple of newcomers. Firstly, there’s Renovate, which is an Open Source tool to automate:

  • Detecting dependencies in a repository (Open Source and private/closed source)
  • Checking if there are dependency updates
  • Creating commits and Merge/Pull Requests to update dependencies
  • Showing the release notes

We are very pleased that the team at Renovate added a manager to integrate with Flux.

GitOps Visual Studio Code Extension

The Weaveworks GitOps Extension provides an intuitive way to manage, troubleshoot and operate your Kubernetes environment following the GitOps operating model, accelerating your development lifecycle and simplifying your continuous delivery pipelines.

Weaveworks GitOps Extension integrates with Kubernetes Tools, kubectl and flux for a consolidated and tightly integrated user experience.

🚧 This extension is under active development and currently available as an alpha product.

Flux Subsystem for Argo

FSA (aka Flamingo) is the Flux Subsystem for Argo. Its container image can be used as a drop-in replacement for the equivalent ArgoCD version to visualise, and manage Flux workloads, alongside ArgoCD.

How does it work?

Flux Subsystem for Argo

🚧 This project is currently available as a technology preview.

Terraform-controller

In some of our last issues we already reported about the terraform-controller hitting the streets. It’s a Flux controller which reconciles Terraform resources in the GitOps way. We received a short report from the team regarding their achievements of the first quarter of the year:

  • TF-controller v0.9.3 is considered the most stable release to date.
  • We reached 200 stars on GitHub, now at 211.
  • It's been 45 releases so far.
  • We re-factored it to the Controller/Runner architecture.
  • Standing on the shoulders of our giants (Flux), we successfully implemented the multi-tenancy feature in 2 months.
  • We cleared all Q1 roadmap with 68.2% test coverage.
  • We started seeing its adoption in public, from a Helm Controller user, for example.
  • We got its first promo video.
  • Chanwit Kaewkasi, Piaras Hoban and Tom Huang are the core team around it now!

Weave GitOps Core

The team around Weave GitOps has been busy and would love to hear your feedback. If you haven’t heard about it just yet, its GitHub says:

Weave GitOps enables an effective GitOps workflow for continuous delivery of applications into Kubernetes clusters. It is based on CNCF Flux, a leading GitOps engine.

The Flux community particularly loved the last sentence.

Weave GitOps Weave GitOps

Getting started with it is very straight-forward. Please take up the offer of them and give feedback, they are building a very nice tool based on Flux!

Recent & Upcoming Events

It’s important to keep you up to date with new features and developments in Flux and provide simple ways to see our work in action and chat with our engineers.

Recent Events (ICYMI) πŸ“Ί

We feel blessed to have such a big community of users, contributors and integrators and so many are happy to talk about their experiences. In March here are a couple of talks we would like to highlight:

Upcoming Events πŸ“†

We are happy to announce that we have a number of events coming up in April - tune in to learn more about Flux and GitOps best practices, get to know the team and join our community.

April 7: GitOps with Flux on AKS with Kingdon Barrett & Jonathan Innis

  • Introduction to GitOps & Flux
    You may have heard the term GitOps - it has become a bit of a buzzword, but it’s so much more! The benefits of GitOps are real - bringing better security, reliability, velocity and more! And the project that started it all was Flux - a CNCF Incubating project developed and later donated by Weaveworks (the GitOps company who coined the term).
  • GitOps in Microsoft Azure with Flux
    To provide Kubernetes admins and app developers with the latest tooling for managing configuration and application deployment, Azure enables GitOps with Flux. In this session Jonathan Innis, Software Engineer II at Microsoft, will live demo how CNCF Flux is enabled in Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes and Azure Kubernetes Services and also give a sneak peek at implementation of Flux.

April 13: GitOps: Core Concepts & Ways of Structuring Your Repos

Whether you’re new to GitOps or a seasoned pro, this talk is for you! We'll start with the basics of how/where to get started, and then dive into one of the most asked GitOps questions: how to structure your repository!

During this talk, Scott & Pinky will review the Core Concepts of Flux including Git Sources, Reconciliation, Helm Releases, Kustomization, and Bootstrapping, to get you ramped up with how to think with a GitOps mindset! Then they’ll dive into and discuss considerations for and demo ways of structuring your repositories: monorepo, repo per environment, repo per team, or repo per app.

April 20: DoK Talks #131: Flux for Helm Users by Scott Rigby

Welcome Helm users! CNCF Flux has a best-in-class way to use Helm according to GitOps principles. For you, that means improved security, reliability, and velocity - no more being on the pager on the weekends or having painful troubleshooting or rollback when things go wrong.

Built on Kubernetes controller-runtime, Flux’s Helm Controller is an example of a mature software agent that uses Helm’s SDK to full effect.

Flux’s biggest addition to Helm is a structured declaration layer for your releases that automatically gets reconciled to your cluster based on your configured rules:

⭐️ The Helm client commands let you imperatively do things
⭐️ Flux Helm Custom Resources let you declare what you want the Helm SDK to do automatically.

In addition, Scott will show how to use Helm Charts to run reliable stateful workloads.

April 27: Reconcile Terraform Resources the GitOps Way with Jose Talavera

Some organisations depend heavily on their Terraform scripts because they are using multiple providers, have built wrappers around those providers, and might even be deploying their application code along with Terraform. Additionally, GitOps is in every IT roadmap, but unfortunately Terraform doesn’t have an easy way to reconcile its resources. This means that teams won't notice a sudden change in the running environment often with critical consequences.

What if teams could ensure that what they defined in the Terraform HCL code is what is always running and available? Flux can continuously look for changes on your Terraform resources and do reconciliation with the desired state. You can rest easy knowing that your deployments are always up to date with your desired state. This enables you to take advantage of all the benefits of GitOps: streamlined and secure deployments, quicker time to market, and more time to concentrate on app development!

Jose provides an in-depth look at TF-controller, a Flux-based controller to reconcile your Terraform resources the GitOps Way. Jose will share insights on the many benefits of TF-Controller, then demo a common use case implementation.

Flux Bug Scrub

Our Flux Bug Scrubs still are happening on a weekly basis and remain one of the best ways to get involved in Flux. They are a friendly and welcoming way to learn more about contributing and how Flux is organised as a project.

The next dates are going to be:

We are flexible with subjects and often go with the interests of the group or of the presenter. If you want to come and join us in either capacity, just show up or if you have questions, reach out to Kingdon on Slack.

We really enjoyed this demo of the k3d git server recently. It’s a local Git server that runs outside of Kubernetes, to support offline dev in a realistic but also simple way that does not depend on GitHub or other hosted services.

KubeCon / CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 coming up

As every other project in the Cloud Native space, we are very busy preparing everything for KubeCon / CloudNativeCon Europe 2022, which is going to be 16-20 May 2022 in Valencia, Spain (and virtual of course!).

We will post a separate announcement as soon as everything is confirmed, but we already want to inform you about what’s likely to happen, so you can plan accordingly or collaborate with us!

The Bug Bash

Unfortunately we will not be participating in the Bug Bash this KubeCon!

Despite earlier announcements claiming we would do this, we felt we could not do this well enough. If you were looking forward to this, we are sorry - but you know what: we still have the weekly Bug Scrub! Your weekly one-on-one mentoring to learn the ropes of working on Flux!

Monday, 16 May

13:00 - 17:00 (Room 2H - Event Center): Flux Project Meeting: We will kick off the Flux get-togethers and festivities with an in-person meeting for all Flux users, contributors, maintainers and generally interested folks. This will be an opportunity to get to know each other, have a chat, see what people’s interests are and to potentially start contributing. ( Sign up here.) Contact people on the ground are: Somtochi Onyekwere and Scott Rigby.

Tuesday 17 May - GitOpsCon

Lots and lots of talks about GitOps in general and Flux in particular, here’s a short selection of what to look forward to:

Wednesday 18 May - Friday May 20 - KubeCon

Over these three days we are going to be at the Flux booth (both virtually and on the ground), so come over for a chat. We are planning loads of talks, demos and ample time to have a chat, get to know everyone, ask questions and have great new ideas together!

On top of that, here is a list of talks, workshops and sessions during those days:

Please note: all of the above might be subject to change. Please double-check the schedule beforehand. Please reach out to Vanessa Abankwah or Daniel Holbach on Slack if you have questions or would like to participate in any of the above.

We very much look forward to seeing you there!

In other news

People writing/talking about Flux

We love it when you all write about Flux and share your experience, write how-tos on integrating Flux with other pieces of software or other things. Give us a shout-out and we will link it from this section! ✍

Stefan Prodan on Flux, Flagger, and the Operator Pattern Applied to Non-Clustered Resources

In this podcast, Wesley Reisz talks to Stefan Prodan about Flux and Flagger–two tools built on top of Flux CD’s GitOps Toolkit. After discussing some of the architectural differences between Flux v1 and v2 and discussing some of the GitOps toolkit use cases, the two discuss the operator pattern on Kubernetes. They specifically spend time talking about the operator pattern, why developers may opt to build API’s on top of Kubernetes, and how the pattern can be used on non-clusters resources. The podcast wraps with a discussion on the work being down towards Flux v2’s push to GA.

A deep dive to Canary Deployments with Flagger, NGINX and Linkerd on Kubernetes

Chen wrote up a nice tutorial on using Flagger and has this to say about Flagger itself:

*Flagger is a progressive delivery tool that automates the release process for apps on Kubernetes. It can gradually shift traffic to the new version while measuring metrics and running conformance tests.

I prefer flagger because of two main points:

  • It integrates natively: it watches Deployment resources, while Argo uses its own CRD Rollout
  • It is highly extensible and comes with batteries included: it provides a load-tester to run basic, or complex scenarios*

GitOpsify Cloud Infrastructure with Crossplane and Flux

Check out this article by Piotr who dives into how to automate the provisioning of cloud resources via Crossplane and combine it with GitOps practices. At the end of it, you will have stopped using kubectl to manage resources, but rather delegate this to Flux using Git. GitOps for the win!

CNCF Live Webinar: From Pipelines to Supply Chains: Level up with Supply Chain Choreography

Cora Iberkleid and David Espejo at VMware talk about Cartographer. They say: The Kubernetes ecosystem has a rich set of solutions for various stages of CI/CD. Tools like Flux, Tekton, kpack, Knative, ArgoCD, and more each enable big steps forward in establishing a modern path to production. And yet, the teams and organizations that adopt these tools still struggle with complex, DIY snowflake pipelines. The challenge can be creating and maintaining imperative scripts; orchestrating the flow of information between tools; driving reusability; adopting GitOps practices; and enabling proper separation of concerns.

News from the Website and our Docs

Flux Adopters shout-out

We are very pleased to announce that the following adopters of Flux have come forward and added themselves to our website: Netrics, Syntasso, EmploymentHero, Anchore and Giant Swarm.

If you have not already done so, use the instructions here or give us a ping and we will help to add you. Not only is it great for us to get to know and welcome you to our community. It also gives the team a big boost in morale to know where in the world Flux is used.

More docs and website news

We are constantly improving our documentation and website - here are a couple of small things we landed recently.

Documentation:

In terms of documentation, we are working on a bigger piece of navigation and information architecture refactoring. This was pointed out to us as piece of feedback from the CNCF TechDocs team. As the Flux project has grown over time, we appreciate this opportunity to restructure our docs to make them as easy to find as possible. Your feedback matters here, so if you could leave us a note with your impression on this PR, we would love to hear from you.

And finally on our blog, we added a tag cloud and a note to blog posts that are older than a year - we also typed up how to blog.

Thanks a lot to these folks who contributed to docs and website: Kingdon Barrett, Stefan Prodan, Stacey Potter, Hidde Beydals, Sebastian Bernheim, Ihor Sychevskyi, Colin Humphreys, Filip Sequeira, Jan Lauber, Marcus Noble, Morgan Christiansson, Satish Kumar Kardarkarai Mani, Tom Huang and Nguyen Duc Toan.

Flux Project Facts

We are very proud of what we have put together. We want to reiterate some Flux facts - they are sort of our mission statement with Flux.

  1. 🀝 Flux provides GitOps for both apps or infrastructure. Flux and Flagger deploy apps with canaries, feature flags, and A/B rollouts. Flux can also manage any Kubernetes resource. Infrastructure and workload dependency management is built-in.
  2. πŸ€– Just push to Git and Flux does the rest. Flux enables application deployment (CD) and (with the help of Flagger) progressive delivery (PD) through automatic reconciliation. Flux can even push back to Git for you with automated container image updates to Git (image scanning and patching).
  3. πŸ”© Flux works with your existing tools: Flux works with your Git providers (GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, can even use s3-compatible buckets as a source), all major container registries, and all CI workflow providers.
  4. πŸ”’ Flux is designed with security in mind: Pull vs. Push, least amount of privileges, adherence to Kubernetes security policies and tight integration with security tools and best-practices. Read more about our security considerations.
  5. ☸️ Flux works with any Kubernetes and all common Kubernetes tooling: Kustomize, Helm, RBAC, and policy-driven validation (OPA, Kyverno, admission controllers) so it simply falls into place.
  6. 🀹 Flux does Multi-Tenancy (and “Multi-everything”): Flux uses true Kubernetes RBAC via impersonation and supports multiple Git repositories. Multi-cluster infrastructure and apps work out of the box with Cluster API: Flux can use one Kubernetes cluster to manage apps in either the same or other clusters, spin up additional clusters themselves, and manage clusters including lifecycle and fleets.
  7. πŸ“ž Flux alerts and notifies: Flux provides health assessments, alerting to external systems and external events handling. Just “git push”, and get notified on Slack and other chat systems.
  8. πŸ‘ Users trust Flux: Flux is a CNCF Incubating project and was categorised as "Adopt" on the CNCF CI/CD Tech Radar (alongside Helm).
  9. πŸ’– Flux has a lovely community that is very easy to work with! We welcome contributors of any kind. The components of Flux are on Kubernetes core controller-runtime, so anyone can contribute and its functionality can be extended very easily.

Over and out

If you like what you read and would like to get involved, here are a few good ways to do that:

We look forward to working with you.