User Guide

Welcome to the Flux Operator user guide! If you come here, we are assuming you have a cluster with the Flux Operator installed and are interested to submit your own custom resource to create a MiniCluster, or that someone has already done it for you. If you are a developer wanting to work on new functionality or features for the Flux Operator, see our Developer Guides instead.

Local Install

If you are trying this out on your own, here is a quick start to getting the operator installed on MiniKube (or similar), and installing directly from the repository (with the development use case in mind). This assumes some experience with Kubernetes (or applying yaml configs) and using MiniKube or similar. More advanced users can try out the Production install detailed below.

This setup is intended if you want to clone the codebase and use the same tools that we use to develop! You’ll first want to clone the codebase.

$ git clone
$ cd flux-operator

And then start a cluster with minikube:

$ minikube start

And make a flux operator namespace

$ kubectl create namespace flux-operator
namespace/flux-operator created

You can set this namespace to be the default (if you don’t want to enter -n flux-operator for future commands:

$ kubectl config set-context --current --namespace=flux-operator

If you haven’t ever installed minkube, you can see install instructions here. And then officially build the operator,

$ make

(optionally) to make your manifests:

$ make manifests

And install. Note that this places an executable bin/kustomize that you’ll need to delete first if you make install again.

$ make install

At this point, you can kubectl apply your custom resource definition to define your MiniCluster to your cluster to either run a job or start a Flux Mini Cluster.

$ kubectl apply -f config/samples/flux-framework.org_v1alpha1_minicluster.yaml 

Note that we have other examples (using the web interface in examples/flux-restful and headless examples for testing in examples/tests). When you are all done, cleanup with kubectl delete commands and/or!

$ make clean

And to stop MiniKube.

$ minikube stop

Production Install

To deploy the Flux Operator, you have a few options! Choose “quick,” “repository,” or “tool” deploy below, and then continue to read how to check that everything worked.

Quick Deploy

This works best for production Kubernetes clusters, and comes down to downloading the latest yaml config, and applying it.

kubectl apply -f flux-operator.yaml

Note that from the repository, this config is generated with:

$ make build-config

and then saved to the main branch where you retrieve it from.

Repository Deploy

If you want to possibly develop and then deploy what you are working on, you can start with a clone:

$ git clone
$ cd flux-operator

A deploy will use the latest docker image from the repository:

$ make deploy
namespace/operator-system created unchanged
serviceaccount/operator-controller-manager created created configured unchanged unchanged created unchanged unchanged
configmap/operator-manager-config created
service/operator-controller-manager-metrics-service created
deployment.apps/operator-controller-manager created

Tool Deploy

We maintain a tool Flux Cloud that is able to bring up clusters, install the operator, and optionally run experiments and bring them down. We currently support a handful of clouds (AWS and Google) and if you find yourself wanting a way to easily generate and save results for experiments, this might be the way to go. If you have a cloud or environment you want to deploy to that isn’t supported, please let us know.

Next Steps

For next steps, you might do the following:

1. Verify Install

Regardless of what you chose above, from this point on (after the operator is installed) there are some checks that you can do to see that everything worked. First, ensure the operator-system namespace was created:

$ kubectl get namespace
NAME              STATUS   AGE
default           Active   12m
kube-node-lease   Active   12m
kube-public       Active   12m
kube-system       Active   12m
operator-system   Active   11s
$ kubectl describe namespace operator-system
Name:         operator-system
Labels:       control-plane=controller-manager
Annotations:  <none>
Status:       Active

No resource quota.

No LimitRange resource.

You can find the name of the operator pod as follows:

$ kubectl get pod --all-namespaces -o wide
operator-system   operator-controller-manager-6c699b7b94-bbp5q   2/2     Running   0             80s    ip-192-168-28-166.ec2.internal   <none>           <none>

2. Create Namespace

You’ll likely Make your namespace for the flux-operator:

$ kubectl create namespace flux-operator

3. Apply your custom resource definition

Then apply your custom resource definition or CRD - importantly, the localDeploy needs to be false if you are using a production cluster. Basically, setting to true uses a local mount, which obviously won’t work for different instances in the cloud!

# Set to true to use volume mounts instead of volume claims
  localDeploy: false

Also ensure that your custom resource definition matches the namespace you just created. Note that we don’t have yet a production solution for a shared filesystem, but @vsoch is going to test this soon. Then apply your CRD. You can use the default testing one from the repository or any in our examples folder. Here is using the default we provide:

$ wget
$ kubectl apply -f flux-framework.org_v1alpha1_minicluster.yaml 

Please let us know if you would like an example type added - we have plans for many more but are prioritizing them as we see them needed. And now you can get logs for the manager:

$ kubectl logs -n operator-system operator-controller-manager-6c699b7b94-bbp5q

And then watch your jobs!

$ kubectl get -n flux-operator pods

And don’t forget to clean up! Leaving on resources by accident is expensive! This command will vary depending on the cloud you are using. Either way, it’s good to check the web console too to ensure you didn’t miss anything. Next, you might be interested in ways to submit jobs or how to build images in our Developer Guides.

Last update: Jan 27, 2023