Helm Charts

Charts describe a set of Kubernetes resources – e.g. a full web app stack with HTTP servers, databases, caches, etc.

requirements.yamldefines dependencies using:

  • name
  • version
  • repository

Tags: like Ansible

Condition: enabled / disabled – always override tags.

See https://github.com/helm/helm/blob/master/docs/charts.md


Manage charts with helm:

  • create – creates chart
  • package – packages
  • lint – checks formatting


Getting started with Helm:

1. check kubectl config – i.e. using local minikube

kubectl config view | grep current

2. start helm

helm init



Installing MySQL as a Helm Chart

Running helm install stable/mysql

(which uses: https://github.com/helm/charts/tree/master/stable/mysql )

Let’s test we can connect to MySQL.

From the output, let’s get the MySQL password:

kubectl get secret --namespace default queenly-seahorse-mysql -o jsonpath="{.data.mysql-root-password}" | base64 --decode; echo


Note: you could have got the pod name with:

kubectl get pods

Now exec into MySQL with:

kubectl exec -it queenly-seahorse-mysql-6dc964999c-h4w54 bash

Install MySQL client:

apt-get update && apt-get install mysql-client -y --force-yes

and connect with:

mysql -h localhost -p



More on:

  • kubectl commands here: Kubernetes: kubectl
  • MySQL Notes here: https://github.com/helm/charts/blob/master/stable/mysql/templates/NOTES.txt

Installing WordPress as a Helm Chart

List with

helm list

and delete with

helm delete my-release




Error: no available release name found





Error: Get!D(MISSING)TILLER: dial tcp i/o timeout

When you do a helm list

From https://github.com/helm/helm/issues/3055#issuecomment-385371327


kubectl delete the tiller service and deployment.)

So: kubectl delete tiller-deploy-6fd8d857bc-fp5s2
error: resource(s) were provided, but no name, label selector, or –all flag specified

kubectl list
Error: unknown command “list” for “kubectl”

This suggests deleting tiller using

helm reset

but this gives:



and helm ls

Another, not very helpful, issue on why you can’t delete tiller:


Checking tiller:

kubectl get deploy -n kube-system


To see pods in kube-system

kubectl get pods –namespace kube-system


tiller-deploy-6fd8d857bc-fp5s2 1/1 Running 7 8d



Tiller namespaces and RBAC

Namespaces are for different environments. E.g. production, staging.


RBAC and Service Accounts: 



Further reading

Use ksonnet to generate Kubernetes configurations from Helm Charts



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