I've created simple SBT plugin which enables creating Helm Charts

The main reasons:

  • in Helm it is impossible to 'fetch' external files: https://github.com/helm/helm/issues/3276 which is very cumbersome when dealing with applications that are packaged multiple times with different configurations.
  • want to package my application from one tool: SBT (I'm using sbt-native-packager to create the Docker image)
  • didn't find already existing SBT plugin that enables Helm Charts creation

The description and usage can be found in the Github repository README.md

The main plugin source: https://github.com/kiemlicz/shelm/blob/master/src/main/scala/com/shelm/HelmPlugin.scala

package com.shelm

import java.io.FileReader
import java.security.SecureRandom
import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit

import com.shelm.ChartPackagingSettings.{ChartYaml, ValuesYaml}
import com.shelm.exception.HelmCommandException
import io.circe.syntax._
import io.circe.{yaml, Json}
import sbt.Keys._
import sbt._

import scala.annotation.tailrec
import scala.concurrent.duration.{FiniteDuration, SECONDS}
import scala.util.control.NonFatal
import scala.util.{Failure, Success, Try}

object HelmPlugin extends AutoPlugin {
  override def trigger = noTrigger

  object autoImport {
    val Helm: Configuration = config("helm")
    // format: off
    lazy val chartSettings = settingKey[Seq[ChartPackagingSettings]]("All per-Chart settings")

    lazy val prepare = taskKey[Seq[File]]("Download Chart if not present locally, copy all includes into Chart directory, return Chart directory")
    lazy val lint = taskKey[Seq[File]]("Lint Helm Chart")
    lazy val packagesBin = taskKey[Seq[File]]("Create Helm Charts")
    // format: on

    lazy val baseHelmSettings: Seq[Setting[_]] = Seq(
      chartSettings := Seq.empty[ChartPackagingSettings],
      prepare := {
        val log = streams.value.log
        chartSettings.value.map {
          settings =>
            val tempChartDir = ChartDownloader.download(settings.chartLocation, target.value, log)
            val chartYaml = readChart(tempChartDir / ChartYaml)
            val updatedChartYaml = settings.chartUpdate(chartYaml)
            settings.includeFiles.foreach {
              case (src, d) =>
                val dst = tempChartDir / d
                if (src.isDirectory) IO.copyDirectory(src, dst, overwrite = true)
                else IO.copyFile(src, dst)
            settings.yamlsToMerge.foreach {
              case (overrides, onto) =>
                val dst = tempChartDir / onto
                if (dst.exists())
                    resultOrThrow(for {
                      overrides <- yaml.parser.parse(new FileReader(overrides))
                      onto <- yaml.parser.parse(new FileReader(dst))
                    } yield yaml.printer.print(onto.deepMerge(overrides))),
                else IO.copyFile(overrides, dst)
            val valuesFile = tempChartDir / ValuesYaml
            val valuesJson = if (valuesFile.exists()) yaml.parser.parse(new FileReader(valuesFile)).toOption else None
            val overrides = mergeOverrides(settings.valueOverrides(valuesJson))
            overrides.foreach { valuesOverride =>
                if (valuesFile.exists())
                      .parse(new FileReader(valuesFile))
                      .map(onto => yaml.printer.print(onto.deepMerge(valuesOverride)))
                else yaml.printer.print(valuesOverride),
            IO.write(tempChartDir / ChartYaml, yaml.printer.print(updatedChartYaml.asJson))
            cleanFiles ++= Seq(tempChartDir)
      lint := {
        val log = streams.value.log
        prepare.value.zip(chartSettings.value).map {
          case (chartDir, settings) =>
            lintChart(chartDir, settings.fatalLint, log)
      packagesBin := {
        lint.value.zip(chartSettings.value).map {
          case (linted, settings) =>
            val chartYaml = readChart(linted / ChartYaml)

  val random = new SecureRandom
  import autoImport._

  private[this] def lintChart(chartDir: File, fatalLint: Boolean, log: Logger): File = {
    log.info("Linting Helm Package")
    val cmd = s"helm lint $chartDir"
    val logger = new BufferingProcessLogger
    try {
      startProcess(cmd, logger)
    } catch {
      case NonFatal(e) if fatalLint =>
        throw new HelmCommandException(s"$cmd has failed: ${e.getMessage}, full output:\n${logger.buf.toString}", e)
      case NonFatal(e) =>
        log.error(s"$cmd has failed: ${e.getMessage}, full output:\n${logger.buf.toString}continuing")

  private[this] def buildChart(
    chartDir: File,
    chartName: String,
    chartVersion: String,
    targetDir: File,
    dependencyUpdate: Boolean,
    log: Logger,
  ): File = {
    val opts = s"${if (dependencyUpdate) " -u" else ""}"
    val dest = s" -d $targetDir"
    val cmd = s"helm package$opts$dest $chartDir"
    val output = targetDir / s"$chartName-$chartVersion.tgz"
    log.info(s"Creating Helm Package: $cmd")
    retrying(cmd, log)

    * Retry given command
    * That method exists only due to: https://github.com/helm/helm/issues/2258
    * @param cmd
    * @param sbtLogger
    * @param n number of tries
    * @return
  private[shelm] def retrying(cmd: String, sbtLogger: Logger, n: Int = 3): Try[Unit] = {
    val logger = new BufferingProcessLogger()
    val sleepTime = FiniteDuration(1, SECONDS)
    val backOff = 2
    def go(n: Int, result: Try[Unit], sleep: FiniteDuration): Try[Unit] =
      result match {
        case s @ Success(_) =>
          sbtLogger.info(s"Helm command success, output:\n${logger.buf.toString}")
        case Failure(e) if n > 0 =>
          sbtLogger.warn(s"Couldn't perform: $cmd, failed with: ${e.getMessage}, retrying in: $sleep")
          val nextSleep = (sleep * backOff) + FiniteDuration(random.nextInt() % 1000, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS)
          go(n - 1, Try(startProcess(cmd, logger)), nextSleep)
        case Failure(exception) =>
          val msg = s"Couldn't perform: $cmd, retries limit reached.\nProcess stderr and stdout:\n${logger.buf.toString}"
          throw new HelmCommandException(msg, exception)
    go(n, Try(startProcess(cmd, logger)), sleepTime)

  private[shelm] def startProcess(cmd: String, log: BufferingProcessLogger): Unit =
    sys.process.Process(command = cmd) ! log match {
      case 0 => ()
      case exitCode => sys.error(s"The command: $cmd, failed with: $exitCode")

  private[this] def readChart(file: File) = resultOrThrow(
    yaml.parser.parse(new FileReader(file)).flatMap(_.as[Chart])

  private[this] def mergeOverrides(overrides: Seq[Json]): Option[Json] = {
    val merged = overrides.foldLeft(Json.Null)(_.deepMerge(_))
    if (overrides.isEmpty) None else Some(merged)

  override lazy val projectSettings: Seq[Setting[_]] =

  override def projectConfigurations: Seq[Configuration] = Seq(Helm)

SBT plugins tests: https://github.com/kiemlicz/shelm/tree/master/src/sbt-test/shelm


First and foremost: I would gladly receive any input and thoughts about this project

Open question: what do you think about plugin rationale?

Technical questions
  1. Do you think that tasks and settings are properly split?
  2. When running plugin in parallel for multiple projects (the SBT parallelizes tasks by default) sometimes I encountered: https://github.com/helm/helm/issues/2258#issuecomment-306498450. The linked ticket somehow suggests it is an issue with Helm. Yet I've created a workaround which simply retries the helm commands. I'm unsure if it is indeed issue with Helm or my code wrongly spawning the helm process
  3. I've created dedicated SBT Configuration for my tasks, is it created and used properly?
object autoImport {
    val Helm: Configuration = config("helm")
  1. Should I implement dedicated clean task or appending any artifacts to cleanFiles is sufficient?
cleanFiles ++= Seq(tempChartDir)

Thank you

EDIT: I've provided the missing main plugin source as a snippet

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ For anyone in the close vote queue, the code is now included, that is not a reason to down vote or vote to close. \$\endgroup\$
    – pacmaninbw
    Aug 29, 2020 at 21:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is a helm chart supposed to convey? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast
    Aug 29, 2020 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ K8s deployment yamls mainly. Helm provides nice versioning system, 'standarized' deplyoment procedures, templating engine. I consider Helm Chart as a complementary artifact to Docker images \$\endgroup\$
    – lakier
    Aug 30, 2020 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why in the code presented don't I find what it is good for? \$\endgroup\$
    – greybeard
    Aug 31, 2020 at 6:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't the: github.com/kiemlicz/shelm#example what you are after? Or Should I elaborate more here in this post? \$\endgroup\$
    – lakier
    Aug 31, 2020 at 8:35


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