Installing VMware Tanzu RabbitMQ for Kubernetes


This guide covers installation of VMware Tanzu RabbitMQ to Kubernetes using the Carvel toolchain, e.g. from TanzuNet:


This guide assumes you have the following:

  • A running Kubernetes cluster
  • Kubernetes CLI tools such as kubectl installed
  • The Carvel toolchain installed
  • A local (private) container image registry


Installing to a Local Registry

First download the Tanzu RabbitMQ release tarball (.tar file) from VMware Tanzu Network.

The file then must be placed on the filesystem of a machine within the network hosting the target registry. On that machine, load the tarball into the registry by running:

# upload the file to the target registry reachable on the local network
imgpkg copy --to-repo --tar tanzu-rabbitmq-1.1.0.tar

On a machine that targets (has access to) the target Kubernetes cluster, pull bundle by running:

imgpkg pull -b -o /your/output/directory
cd /your/output/directory

Creating a Namespace

Create a new namespace, rabbitmq-system, by running:

kubectl create namespace rabbitmq-system

Providing imagePullSecrets

Since the target Kubernetes cluster will be pulling images from the local registry, imagePullSecrets must be provided in order for the cluster to access those images.

First, create a registry credential Secret named tanzu-registry-creds using kubectl.

This secret must be created with this exact name, in each namespace you plan on deploying RabbitmqClusters, as well as the rabbitmq-system namespace.

For example, if RabbitmqClusters will be created in just the default namespace, create the secret on the default and rabbitmq-system namespaces.

Assuming we have already authenticated with the registry, a more convenient options would be to simply mount the Docker authentication credentials as a Secret:

AUTH_TOKEN="$(cat $HOME/.docker/config.json | jq -r ".auths[\"$MY_PRIVATE_REGISTRY\"].auth")"
kubectl create secret generic tanzu-registry-creds \
    -n default \ \
kubectl create secret generic tanzu-registry-creds \
    -n rabbitmq-system \ \

Installing the Bundle

VMware Tanzu RabbitMQ uses TLS certificates for admission Webhooks in the cluster.

There are two ways of installing the components of :

  1. Install using cert-manager. This option is recommended
  2. Install using manually created certificates

Option 1 (Recommended): Install Using cert-manager

First, install Cert-manager version 1.2.0+ on your cluster. For example, for version 1.3.1, run:

kbld -f | kapp deploy -y -a cert-manager -f-

Next install the RabbitMQ operators by running:

ytt -f manifests/cluster-operator.yml -f manifests/messaging-topology-operator-with-certmanager.yaml -f overlays/operator-deployments.yml | kbld -f .imgpkg/images.yml -f config/ -f- | kapp -y deploy -a rabbitmq-operator -f -

Option 2. Install Using Manually Created Certificates

If using cert-manager to generate TLS certificates to be used by RabbitMQ nodes and is not an option, certificates can be generated manually instead.

Certificates can be generated using any tool you prefer. They must include a Subject Alternative Name for webhook-service.rabbitmq-system.svc.

The secret object must contain following keys: ca.crt, tls.key, and tls.key.

This example will create a manifest for a Kubernetes Secret with name webhook-server-cert in namespace rabbitmq-system:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: webhook-server-cert
  namespace: rabbitmq-system
  ca.crt: # ca cert that can be used to validate the webhook's server certificate
  tls.crt: # generated certificate
  tls.key: # generated key

There are some steps to perform before deploying the above manifest.

Edit the Messaging Topology Operator manifest within the bundle using any text editor:

vim manifests/messaging-topology-operator.yaml

In it, replace the values of all caBundle keys in this file with the value of ca.crt in the Secret manifest created earlier.

Now install the RabbitMQ operators by running:

ytt -f manifests/cluster-operator.yml -f manifests/messaging-topology-operator.yaml -f overlays/operator-deployments.yml | kbld -f .imgpkg/images.yml -f config/ -f $SECRET_PATH -f- | kapp -y deploy -a rabbitmq-operator -f -


Setting up observability for RabbitMQ clusters is very important. To do so, follow the instructions in the Cluster Operator repository or the Operator monitoring guide.

Deploying your RabbitmqClusters and Topology Objects

Once this installation is complete, the Carvel tooling can also be used to create RabbitMQ objects (virtual hosts, users, queues, exchanges, bindings: everything that can be managed via definitions) using the RabbitMQ Topology Operator.

To do so, render overlays/rabbitmqcluster.yml with a manifest of the RabbitmqCluster object, the resultant cluster will use the bundled Tanzu RabbitMQ container image.

This example creates a very minimalistic RabbitmqCluster:

cat <<EOF > rabbitmq.yaml
kind: RabbitmqCluster
  name: my-tanzu-rabbit
ytt -f rabbitmq.yaml -f overlays/rabbitmqcluster.yml | kbld -f- | kapp deploy -f- -a my-tanzu-rabbit -y