Using Helm with PKS

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Warning: Pivotal Container Service (PKS) v1.3 is no longer supported because it has reached the End of General Support (EOGS) phase as defined by the Support Lifecycle Policy.
To stay up to date with the latest software and security updates, upgrade to a supported version.

This topic describes how to use the package manager Helm for your Kubernetes apps running on Pivotal Container Service (PKS).


Helm includes the following components:

Component Role Location
helm Client Runs on your local workstation
tiller Server Runs inside your Kubernetes cluster

Helm packages are called charts. For more information, see Charts in the Helm documentation.

Examples of charts:

For more charts, see the Helm Charts repository on GitHub.

Configure Tiller

If you want to use Helm with PKS, you must configure Tiller.

Tiller runs inside the Kubernetes cluster and requires access to the Kubernetes API.

If you use role-based access control (RBAC) in PKS, perform the steps in this section to grant Tiller permission to access the API.

  1. Create a file named rbac-config.yaml with the following configuration:

    apiVersion: v1
    kind: ServiceAccount
      name: tiller
      namespace: kube-system
    kind: ClusterRoleBinding
      name: tiller
      kind: ClusterRole
      name: cluster-admin
      - kind: ServiceAccount
        name: tiller
        namespace: kube-system
  2. Create the service account and role by running the following command:

    kubectl create -f rbac-config.yaml
  3. Download and install the Helm CLI.

  4. Deploy Helm using the service account by running the following command:

    helm init --service-account tiller
  5. Verify that the permissions are configured by running the following command:

    helm ls

    There should be no output from the above command.

To apply more granular permissions to the Tiller service account, see the Helm RBAC documentation.

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