Generating Manifests and Metadata
This document describes how to manage packaging and shipping your Operator in the following stages:
- Generate your first release - encapsulate the metadata needed to install your Operator with the Operator Lifecycle Manager and configure the permissions it needs from the generated SDK files.
- Update your Operator - apply any updates to Operator manifests made during development.
- Upgrade your Operator - carry over any customizations you have made and ensure a rolling update to the next version of your Operator.
operator-sdk subcommands manage operator-framework manifests, in particular
for an Operator:
generate bundle and
See this CLI overview for details on each command.
CSVs are manifests that define all aspects of an Operator, from what CustomResourceDefinitions (CRDs) it uses to
metadata describing the Operator’s maintainers. They are typically versioned by semver, much like Operator projects
themselves; this version is present in both their
spec.version fields. The CSV generator called
generate <bundle|packagemanifests> requires certain input manifests to construct a CSV manifest;
all inputs are read when either command is invoked, along with a base CSV,
to idempotently regenerate a CSV.
The following resource kinds are typically included in a CSV:
Role: define Operator permissions within a namespace.
ClusterRole: define cluster-wide Operator permissions.
Deployment: define how the Operator’s operand is run in pods.
CustomResourceDefinition: definitions of custom objects your Operator reconciles.
- Custom resource examples: examples of objects adhering to the spec of a particular CRD.
For Go Operators only: these commands parse CSV markers from API type definitions, located
./pkg/apis, to populate certain CSV fields. You can set an alternative path to the API types
root directory with
--apis-dir. These markers are not available to Ansible or Helm project types.
Generate your first release
You’ve recently run
operator-sdk new and created your APIs with
operator-sdk add api. Now you’d like to
package your Operator for deployment by OLM. Your Operator is at version
Note: you must set
--version=<semver> when running either
generate <bundle|packagemanifests> for the first
time, and every time when running
A bundle consists of manifests (CSV and CRDs) and metadata that define an Operator at a particular version. You may have also heard of a bundle image. From the bundle docs:
An Operator Bundle is built as a scratch (non-runnable) container image that contains operator manifests and specific metadata in designated directories inside the image. Then, it can be pushed and pulled from an OCI-compliant container registry. Ultimately, an operator bundle will be used by Operator Registry and OLM to install an operator in OLM-enabled clusters.
At this stage in your Operator’s development, we only need to worry about generating bundle files; bundle images become important once you’re ready to publish your Operator.
generate bundle will generate a CSV, copy CRDs, and generate metadata in the bundle format:
$ operator-sdk generate bundle --version 0.0.1 $ tree ./deploy/olm-catalog/test-operator ./deploy/olm-catalog/test-operator ├── manifests │ ├── cache.my.domain_memcacheds.yaml │ └── memcached-operator.clusterserviceversion.yaml └── metadata └── annotations.yaml
Bundle metadata in
deploy/olm-catalog/<operator-name>/metadata/annotations.yaml contains information about a particular Operator version
available in a registry. OLM uses this information to install specific Operator versions and resolve dependencies.
That file and
bundle.Dockerfile contain the same annotations, the latter as
which do not need to be modified in most cases; if you do decide to modify them, both sets of annotations must
be the same to ensure consistent Operator deployment.
Metadata for each bundle contains channel information as well:
Channels allow package authors to write different upgrade paths for different users (e.g. beta vs. stable).
Channels become important when publishing, but we should still be aware of them beforehand as they’re required
values in our metadata.
generate bundle writes the channel
alpha by default.
Package manifests format
A package manifests format consists of on-disk manifests (CSV and CRDs) and metadata that define an Operator at all versions of that Operator. Each version is contained in its own directory, with a parent package manifest YAML file containing channel-to-version mappings, much like a bundle’s metadata.
generate packagemanifests will generate a CSV, a package manifest file, and copy CRDs in the
package manifests format:
$ operator-sdk generate bundle --version 0.0.1 $ tree ./deploy/olm-catalog/test-operator ./deploy/olm-catalog/test-operator ├── 0.0.1 │ ├── cache.my.domain_memcacheds.yaml │ └── memcached-operator.clusterserviceversion.yaml └── memcached-operator.package.yaml
Update your Operator
Let’s say you added a new API
App with group
app.example.com and version
v1alpha1 to your Operator project,
and added a port to your manager Deployment in
If using a bundle format, the current version of your CSV can be updated by running:
$ operator-sdk generate bundle
If using a package manifests format, run:
$ operator-sdk generate packagemanifests --version 0.0.1
Running the command for either format will append your new CRD to
replace the old data at
spec.install.spec.deployments with your updated Deployment,
and update your existing CSV manifest. The SDK will not overwrite user-defined
Upgrade your Operator
Let’s say you’re upgrading your Operator to version
v0.0.2. You also want to add a new channel
and use it as the default channel.
If using a bundle format, a new version of your CSV can be created by running:
$ operator-sdk generate bundle --version 0.0.2 --channels=beta --default-channel=beta
If using a package manifests format, run:
$ operator-sdk generate packagemanifests --from-version 0.0.1 --version 0.0.2 --channel=beta --default-channel
Running the command for either format will persist user-defined fields, updates
spec.replaces with the old CSV version’s name.
Below are two lists of fields: the first is a list of all fields the SDK and OLM expect in a CSV, and the second are optional.
For Go Operators only: Several fields require user input (labeled user) or a CSV marker (labeled marker). This list may change as the SDK becomes better at generating CSV’s. These markers are not available to Ansible or Helm project types.
metadata.name: a unique name for this CSV of the format
spec.version: semantic version of the Operator, ex.
spec.installModes: what mode of installation namespacing OLM should use. Currently all but
MultiNamespaceare supported by SDK Operators.
spec.customresourcedefinitions: any CRDs the Operator uses. Certain fields in elements of
ownedwill be filled by the SDK.
owned: all CRDs the Operator deploys itself from it’s bundle.
description(marker) : description of the CRD.
displayName(marker) : display name of the CRD.
resources(marker) : any Kubernetes resources used by the CRD, ex.
specDescriptors(marker) : UI hints for inputs and outputs of the Operator’s spec.
statusDescriptors(marker) : UI hints for inputs and outputs of the Operator’s status.
actionDescriptors(user) : UI hints for an Operator’s in-cluster actions.
required(user) : all CRDs the Operator expects to be present in-cluster, if any. All
requiredelement fields must be populated manually.
spec.description(user) : a thorough description of the Operator’s functionality.
spec.displayName(user) : a name to display for the Operator in Operator Hub.
spec.keywords(user) : a list of keywords describing the Operator.
spec.maintainers(user) : a list of human or organizational entities maintaining the Operator, with a
spec.provider(user) : the Operator provider, with a
name; usually an organization.
spec.labels(user) : a list of
key:valuepairs to be used by Operator internals.
metadata.annotations.alm-examples: CR examples, in JSON string literal format, for your CRD’s. Ideally one per CRD.
metadata.annotations.capabilities: level of Operator capability. See the Operator maturity model for a list of valid values.
spec.replaces: the name of the CSV being replaced by this CSV.
spec.links(user) : a list of URL’s to websites, documentation, etc. pertaining to the Operator or application being managed, each with a
spec.selector(user) : selectors by which the Operator can pair resources in a cluster.
spec.icon(user) : a base64-encoded icon unique to the Operator, set in a
base64datafield with a
spec.maturity: the Operator’s maturity, ex.