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Version: 0.29.0

Get Started with GitOps Run

GitOps Run supports two different modes of operation - directly on a cluster or as sandboxed sessions. The sandboxed sessions are intended for shared environments where multiple users are running their own sessions, whereas the direct mode is intended for a local cluster.

In this tutorial we are going to use 'direct mode' to run GitOps on a local cluster.




  • This guide uses kubectl for demonstrations, but it is not required to use GitOps Run
  • The Flux CLI is the quickest way to generate resource definitions, but the files can also be created manually

Create a local Kubernetes cluster

To get started with GitOps Run, you need a Kubernetes cluster. There are many tools to set up a local cluster for test and development purposes.


This tutorial assumes you have full control of your cluster - we recommend a local cluster, but you can also use a remote cluster where you have full cluster-admin privileges.

Install kind and run

kind create cluster

Before you continue, make sure kubectl get nodes returns a node which is Ready.

Create a GitOps repository

You need to set up a Git repository to put your GitOps manifests in. Any Git repository will do, for example create a new github repository and clone that.

You may alternatively fork an existing repository, as we have done for this guide. Head to podinfo and create a fork with the name podinfo-gitops-run.

Set up GitOps Run

To start GitOps Run, clone your newly created repository or fork and change into it.

We will run the command with --no-session as it's a single user cluster which we want to use in direct mode. The port-forward points at the podinfo pod we will create later on.

export GITHUB_USER=<your github username>

# you can ignore these two commands if you already created and cloned your repository
git clone$GITHUB_USER/podinfo-gitops-run.git

cd podinfo-gitops-run
gitops beta run ./podinfo --no-session --port-forward namespace=dev,resource=svc/dev-podinfo,port=9898:9898

You will now be asked if you want to install Flux and the GitOps dashboard. Answer yes and set a password.


If you do not set a password, you won't be able to login to the GitOps UI 😱.

Shortly after you should be able to open the dashboard. The username is admin and the password will be the one you set above.

In your dashboard you will be able to see what is in your cluster, including the resources that GitOps Run is operating.

Start modifying your deploment

In your local GitOps repo, you will see that GitOps Run has created a new directory called podinfo. Inside there is a single, mostly empty, kustomization.yaml.

To create the automation for the podinfo app, we first have to add the resources to run it - we'll create a new Namespace, a HelmRepository that references the Helm repository where the manifests are stored, and a HelmRelease that references the chart and version. We can use the flux CLI to generate the resource definition, or we can just create the yaml files ourselves.

cat <<EOF > ./podinfo/namespace.yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: Namespace
name: dev
flux create source helm podinfo --url= --namespace=dev --export > ./podinfo/podinfo-source.yaml
flux create helmrelease podinfo --source=HelmRepository/podinfo --chart=podinfo --export --namespace=dev --target-namespace=dev > ./podinfo/podinfo-helmrelease.yaml

You should see three files now exist in your ./podinfo directory.

The only remaining step is to import these files in the auto-generated kustomization.yaml. Open it up, and you should see the following:

kind: Kustomization
resources: [] # 👋 Start adding the resources you want to sync here

Change the last line so it instead looks like the following:

kind: Kustomization
- namespace.yaml
- podinfo-source.yaml
- podinfo-helmrelease.yaml

GitOps Run should now automatically upload these manifests and install them. The dashboard should show you how the resources are being reconciled, and when they're Ready you will be able to see podinfo here.

Update your app

Now that GitOps Run is continuously watching and reconciling your local files onto your cluster, we can start modifying the resources.

We're going to be modifying the podinfo we set up in the previous step. Open the current podinfo and pay attention to the background color.

Now, open your HelmRelease file and add the values at the bottom, as indicated:

kind: HelmRelease
name: podinfo
namespace: dev
chart: podinfo
reconcileStrategy: ChartVersion
kind: HelmRepository
name: podinfo
interval: 1m0s
targetNamespace: dev
color: "#C32148"

When you hit save, you'll see GitOps Run upload new files, and once it's reconciled the podinfo background will have been changed to a bright red.

Next steps: GitOps Mode

Now that we've used this interactive environment to set up the resources we want, we can switch over to full GitOps mode, where Flux is permanently pulling from your remote Git repository.

Hit ctrl-c to stop GitOps Run. It will ask you whether you want to bootstrap your cluster into full GitOps mode. If you answer yes, it will take you through a wizard to help you set this up. You'll need information such as the remote repository, the branch name, etc.

When you hit submit, it will set up the repository and branch, add Flux manifests, as well as the files you were just working on. From this point on, you can make persistent changes by pushing them to this repository.