This is the documentation for version 0.39. For documentation on the latest version of kpt, please see

Apply a local package

Apply the contents of a local package to a remote cluster.


kpt live apply

Because kpt packages are composed of resource configuration, they can be applied with kubectl apply -R -f DIR. However, kpt includes the next-generation apply commands developed out of the Kubernetes cli-utils repository as the kpt live apply command.

Kpt live apply provides additional functionality beyond what is provided by kubectl apply, such as communicating back resource status and pruning resources for deleted configuration.


Fetch a remote package


export SRC_REPO=
kpt pkg get $SRC_REPO/package-examples/helloworld-set@v0.5.0 helloworld

Grab a remote package to apply to a cluster.


fetching package /package-examples/helloworld-set from to helloworld

Initialize the package inventory template

The kpt version of apply uses a ConfigMap map to keep track of previously applied resources so they can be pruned later if the configuration for them is deleted. The kpt live init command will generate an inventory template (which is just a normal ConfigMap manifest with a special annotation) used by kpt live apply to generate an actual ConfigMap in the cluster which we refer to as an inventory object.

The inventory template must be created for a package to be applied using kpt live apply.

Init Command

kpt live init helloworld

Init Output

namespace: default is used for inventory object
Initialized: helloworld/inventory-template.yaml

Inventory template

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: inventory
    # DANGER: Do not change the value of this label.
    # Changing this value will cause a loss of continuity
    # with previously applied inventory objects. Set deletion
    # and pruning functionality will be impaired. 060da2f6-dc0e-4425-a286-9a4acbad063d

A ConfigMap with the label has been created, and will be used by apply to generate a history of previously applied resources. This file should be checked into git along with the rest of the package, but otherwise ignored by users.

Apply to a cluster

Apply Command

kpt live apply helloworld --reconcile-timeout=2m

Apply the resources to the cluster and block until the changes have been fully rolled out – e.g. until the Pods are running.

Apply Output

configmap/inventory-17c4dd3c created
service/helloworld-gke created
deployment.apps/helloworld-gke created
3 resource(s) applied. 3 created, 0 unchanged, 0 configured
configmap/inventory-2911da3b is Current: Resource is always ready
service/helloworld-gke is Current: Service is ready
deployment.apps/helloworld-gke is InProgress: Available: 0/5
deployment.apps/helloworld-gke is InProgress: Available: 2/5
deployment.apps/helloworld-gke is Current: Deployment is available. Replicas: 5
resources failed to the reached Current status
0 resource(s) pruned

Apply prints the status of the resources as it waits for all changes to be rolled out.

Display the resources in the cluster using kubectl.

kubectl get configmaps,deploy,services
NAME                                 DATA   AGE
configmap/inventory-28c4kc3c         2      2m47s

NAME                             READY   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
deployment.apps/helloworld-gke   5/5     5            5           2m47s

NAME                     TYPE        CLUSTER-IP    EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)        AGE
service/helloworld-gke   NodePort   <none>        80:32442/TCP   2m47s
service/kubernetes       ClusterIP     <none>        443/TCP        19m

Command: tree

kubectl get all -o yaml | kpt cfg tree

The output of kubectl can also be piped to kpt cfg tree to summarize the resources.

Output: tree

├── [Resource]  Deployment default/helloworld-gke
│   └── [Resource]  ReplicaSet default/helloworld-gke-5bf95f8869
│       ├── [Resource]  Pod default/helloworld-gke-5bf95f8869-mm7sq
│       ├── [Resource]  Pod default/helloworld-gke-5bf95f8869-ng8kh
│       ├── [Resource]  Pod default/helloworld-gke-5bf95f8869-nlh4r
│       ├── [Resource]  Pod default/helloworld-gke-5bf95f8869-phx85
│       └── [Resource]  Pod default/helloworld-gke-5bf95f8869-v4259
├── [Resource]  Service default/helloworld-gke
└── [Resource]  Service default/kubernetes

Prune resources

Resources can be deleted from the cluster by deleting the corresponding resource configuration.

Prune Command

rm helloworld/deploy.yaml
kpt live apply helloworld/ --reconcile-timeout=2m

Apply uses the previously created inventory objects (ConfigMaps) to calculate the set of resources to prune (delete) after applying. In this case the Deployment.

Prune Output

service/helloworld-gke is Current: Service is ready
resources failed to the reached Current status
deployment.apps/helloworld-gke pruned
configmap/inventory-2911da3b pruned
2 resource(s) pruned
kubectl get deploy
No resources found in default namespace.

Last modified November 9, 2020: docs: consumer guide nits and fixes. (0afc440d)