Using the Helm Chart Museum

Last updated 19th February, 2020.

OVHcloud Managed Private Registry service is a composite cloud-native registry which supports both container image management and Helm chart management.

This guide will explain how to manage Helm charts in the OVHcloud Managed Private Registry service: how to upload charts, list the available ones and use them.

Before you begin

This tutorial presupposes that you already have a working OVHcloud Managed Kubernetes cluster, and some basic knowledge of how to operate it. If you want to know more on those topics, please look at the deploying a Hello World application documentation. You will need to have Helm installed on your cluster (see the installing helm guide for more information).

You also need to have a working OVHcloud Managed Private Registry and have followed the guides on creating a private registry, connecting to the UI, managing users and projects, creating and using private images and Using Private Registry with OVHcloud Managed Kubernetes.


Preparing a Helm chart

In order to do this tutorial, you will need a Helm chart to upload to your OVHcloud Managed Private Registry.

If you already have a Helm chart in your filesystem, you can use it for the examples, but in this section we are suppossing you haven't any. We are using a well known Helm chart often employed as example: the Wordpress chart.

Download the chart

The first step is downloading the Wordpress chart using helm:

helm fetch stable/wordpress

The wordpress Helm chart is downloaded as a tgz file.

$ helm fetch stable/wordpress
$ ls

Inspect the chart (optional)

The file you have downloaded is a packaged Helm chart, useful for downloading it, and for uploading it to your OVHcloud Private Registry. Let's unpack it to have a peek inside it and get a better undestanding of its structure,

A unpackaged chart is organized as a collection of files inside of a directory. The directory name is the name of the chart (without versioning information). Thus, the chart describing WordPress should be stored in a 'wordpress/'.

Inside of this directory, Helm will expect a structure that matches this:

  Chart.yaml          # A YAML file containing information about the chart
  LICENSE             # OPTIONAL: A plain text file containing the license for the chart           # OPTIONAL: A human-readable README file
  values.yaml         # The default configuration values for this chart
  values.schema.json  # OPTIONAL: A JSON Schema for imposing a structure on the values.yaml file
  charts/             # A directory containing any charts upon which this chart depends.
  crds/               # Custom Resource Definitions
  templates/          # A directory of templates that, when combined with values,
                      # will generate valid Kubernetes manifest files.
  templates/NOTES.txt # OPTIONAL: A plain text file containing short usage notes

Let's uncompress the helm chart:

tar xzf wordpress-7.6.1.tgz

As expected, the file is uncompressed into a wordpress folder, with the required files and folders inside it:

$ tar xzf wordpress-7.6.1.tgz
$ ls
wordpress  wordpress-7.6.1.tgz
$ ls wordpress
Chart.yaml  charts  requirements.lock  requirements.yaml  templates  values.schema.json  values.yaml

You can now remove the tgz file, as we are recreating it.

To package a chart from a chart directory, you can use helm package:

helm package wordpress

It creates the packaged chart, with the version appended to the filename:

$ helm package wordpress
Successfully packaged chart and saved it to: ./wordpress-7.6.1.tgz

Manage Helm Charts via the Harbor UI

If you go to the Harbor UI and click on your project, you will see the Helm Chart tab, that you will use to manage the charts inside your registry.

Manage Helm Charts via the Harbor UI

By default, it's empty, so let's upload a new chart...

Upload a chart

To upload a chart, click the UPLOAD button on the top left. On the upload dialog, choose the packaged chart file and click sur UPLOAD to upload it to your OVHcloud Managed Private Registry.

Uploading a chart

Now you will see the Wordpress chart listed in your registry:

Chart uploaded

List charts

As you can see, the existing helm charts are listed under the tab Helm Charts with the following information:

  • Name of helm chart
  • The status of the chart: Active or Deprecated
  • The count of chart versions
  • The created time of the chart

List chart - List view

You can click the icon buttons on the top right to switch views between card view and list view.

List chart - Card view

Managing chart versions

Clicking on the chart name will show you the chart details, with one line per version of the chart. For each vers you will have the following information:

  • The chart version number
  • The maintainers of the chart version
  • The template engine used (default is gotpl)
  • The created timestamp of the chart version

Chart details

As with the top chart list, you can choose between a list mode and a card mode, by clicking on the icon buttons on the top right.

To delete a version, select it by checking the corresponding checkbox and clicking on DELETE.

Delete a chart

Same thing to download a chart, select it and click on DOWNLOAD to get the packaged chart file.

Download a chart

Of course, you can also click to the UPLOAD buttom to upload the new chart version for the current chart.

You can also use labels to tag the different chart versions.

Labels are managed in the Labels section on the Harbor UI:

Create a label

![Create a label(images/harbor-ui-010.jpg){.thumbnail}

And in the chart version page, you can add or remove tag for each version.

Adding tags

Adding tags

You can also filter by tag

Filter by tag

Chart version details

To see the details of a chart version, click on the link on the chart version number.

Chart version details

You can see more details about the specified chart version, structured in three sections. There are three content sections: summary, dependencies and values.

The Summary shows the README of the chart, some metadata (like the timestamp of creation and the application version), and helm commands for reference (to add the repository or instal the chart).

Chart version details - Summary

Chart version details - Summary

The Dependencies section show the dependant charts

Chart version details - Dependencies

And in the Values section you will find the content from the values.yaml file, with an option to see them as a key-value pairs list by clicking in the icon buttons on the top left.

Chart version details - Values

Chart version details - Values

Deploying a chart from your registry in Kubernetes

In this step you are going to deploy a chart from your OVHcloud Managed Private Registry into an OVHcloud Managed Kubernetes (or any other Kubernetes).

As indicated in the Before you begin section, you need to have helm installed in your cluster and a working helm CLI in your workstation (see the installing helm guide for more information if needed).

Run command helm version to make sure the version of Helm CLI is v2.9.1+.

$ helm version
Client: &version.Version;{SemVer:"v2.15.2", GitCommit:"8dce272473e5f2a7bf58ce79bb5c3691db54c96b", GitTreeState:"clean"}
Server: &version.Version;{SemVer:"v2.15.2", GitCommit:"8dce272473e5f2a7bf58ce79bb5c3691db54c96b", GitTreeState:"clean"}

Add your OVHcloud Managed Private Registry to the repository list

The first thing to do is add your OVHcloud Managed Private Registry to the helm's repository list, with helm repo add command.

You can do it in two ways: adding your private registry as single index entry point or adding each project as a separate index entry point.

  • Adding your OVHcloud Managed Private Registry as a unified single index entry point

In this mode,Helm will be able to use all the charts in any of your projects which are accessible by the currently authenticated user


helm repo add --username --password https:///chartrepo ```

  • Adding a project in your OVHcloud Managed Private Registry as a separate index entry point

In this mode, Helm only can pull charts from the specified project.

bash helm repo add --username <username> --password <password> <repo name> https://<repo url>/chartrepo/<project>

In my example, I added the project in the private registry as a separate index entry point:

$ helm repo add --username admin --password xxxxxxxxxx privreg
"privreg" has been added to your repositories

Install charts

Before installing, make sure your helm is correctly initialized with command helm init and the chart index is synchronized with command helm repo update.

In my case:

$ helm init
$HELM_HOME has been configured at /home/horacio/.helm.
Warning: Tiller is already installed in the cluster.
(Use --client-only to suppress this message, or --upgrade to upgrade Tiller to the current version.)
$ helm repo update
Hang tight while we grab the latest from your chart repositories...
...Skip local chart repository
...Successfully got an update from the "privreg" chart repository
...Successfully got an update from the "stable" chart repository
Update Complete.

Look for your chart:

helm search wordpress

In my case, it finds two versions of Wordpress chart, the official one in the stable Helm repository, and the one in my privreg private registry project:

$ helm search wordpress
privreg/wordpress       7.6.1           5.2.4           Web publishing platform for building blogs and websites.
stable/wordpress        8.1.3           5.3.2           Web publishing platform for building blogs and websites.

Everything is ready, so now you can install the chart into your Kubernetes:

helm install  --username <username> --password <password> privreg/wordpress

In my case:

$ helm install --username admin --password xxxxxxxxxx privreg/wordpress
NAME:   falling-aardwolf
LAST DEPLOYED: Tue Feb 18 17:37:07 2020
NAMESPACE: default

==> v1/ConfigMap
NAME                            DATA  AGE
falling-aardwolf-mariadb        1     2s
falling-aardwolf-mariadb-tests  1     2s

==> v1/Deployment
NAME                        READY  UP-TO-DATE  AVAILABLE  AGE
falling-aardwolf-wordpress  0/1    1           0          1s

==> v1/PersistentVolumeClaim
NAME                        STATUS   VOLUME                 CAPACITY  ACCESS MODES  STORAGECLASS  AGE
falling-aardwolf-wordpress  Pending  csi-cinder-high-speed  2s        Filesystem


Go further

To have an overview of OVHcloud Managed Private Registry service, you can go to the OVHcloud Managed Private Registry site.

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