About bundles and charts

A bundle is a way to distribute a chart and its related images as a single entity.

The werf bundle publish command allows you to publish the chart and its related images to be deployed later with werf. This way, access to the application’s Git repository is no longer needed during deployment.

The same command can publish a chart. A chart published to the OCI repository can be a main or dependent one when used by werf, Helm, Argo CD, Flux, and similar solutions.

werf automatically adds the following data to the chart when compiling it:

  • the names of the images to be built and their dynamic tags in the chart Values;
  • values passed via command line parameters or environment variables to the chart Values;
  • global user and service annotations and labels to be added to the chart resources when deploying using the werf bundle apply command.

The published bundle (a chart and its related images) can be copied to another container registry or extracted from/added to the archive using the werf bundle copy command.

Container registry authentication

You must log in to the container registry to work with the images. Use the werf cr login command as follows:

werf cr login <registry url>

For example:

# Log in with a username and password from the command line
werf cr login -u username -p password registry.example.com

# Log in with a token from the command line
werf cr login -p token registry.example.com

# Log in to an insecure registry (over HTTP)
werf cr login --insecure-registry registry.example.com

Note: In supported CI/CD systems, the user gets authenticated to the integrated container registries as part of the ci-env command — you do not have to use the werf cr login command in this case.

Publishing a bundle

You can publish the bundle to the OCI repository as follows:

  1. Create werf.yaml if it does not exist:

    # werf.yaml:
    project: mybundle
    configVersion: 1
  2. Put the files in the main chart directory (by default, .helm in the Git repository root). Note that only the following files and directories will be included in the chart when you publish it:


    To include additional files/directories in the bundle, set the environment variable WERF_BUNDLE_SCHEMA_NONSTRICT=1. In this case, all files and directories in the main chart directory will be published, not just the ones mentioned above.

  3. The next step is to publish the bundle. Build and publish the images defined in werf.yaml (if any), and then publish the contents of .helm as an example.org/bundles/mybundle:latest OCI image:

    werf bundle publish --repo example.org/bundles/mybundle

Publishing multiple bundles from a single Git repository

Place the .helm file with the chart contents and its corresponding werf.yaml in a separate directory for each bundle:

    # ...
    # ...

You can now publish each bundle individually:

cd bundle1
werf bundle publish --repo example.org/bundles/bundle1

cd ../bundle2
werf bundle publish --repo example.org/bundles/bundle2

Excluding files or directories from the chart being published

The .helmignore file in the chart root can include filename filters that prevent files or directories from being added to the chart when it is published. The rules format is the same as in .gitignore except for the following:

  • ** is not supported;

  • ! at the beginning of a line is not supported;

  • .helmignore does not exclude itself by default.

Also, the --disable-default-values flag for the werf bundle publish command excludes the values.yaml file from the chart being published.

Specifying the chart version when publishing

By default, the chart is tagged as latest when published. You can specify a different tag, e.g., a semantic version for the chart being published, using the --tag option:

werf bundle publish --repo example.org/bundles/mybundle --tag v1.0.0

Running the above command will result in the example.org/bundles/mybundle:v1.0.0 chart being published.

If the OCI repository finds that a chart with this tag already exists, the chart in the repository will be overwritten.

Changing the version of the published chart

To change the tag of a published chart, copy the bundle and add the new tag to it using the werf bundle copy command, for example:

werf bundle copy --from example.org/bundles/mybundle:v1.0.0 --to example.org/bundles/renamedbundle:v2.0.0

Copying the bundle to a different repository

The werf bundle copy command provides a convenient way to copy the bundle to another repository. Besides copying the chart and its related images, this command will also update the Values in the chart with the image paths.


werf bundle copy --from example.org/bundles/mybundle:v1.0.0 --to other.example.org/bundles/mybundle:v1.0.0

Exporting the bundle from the container registry to the archive

After publication, the bundle can be exported from the repository to a local archive for distribution by other means using the werf bundle copy command, for example:

werf bundle copy --from example.org/bundles/mybundle:v1.0.0 --to archive:archive.tar.gz

Importing the bundle from the archive to the repository

The exported to the archive bundle can be imported back into the same or another OCI repository using the werf bundle copy command, for example:

werf bundle copy --from archive:archive.tar.gz --to other.example.org/bundles/mybundle:v1.0.0

Then the newly published bundle (a chart and its images) can be used as usual.

Container registries that support the publication of bundles

Publishing bundles requires a container registry to support the OCI (Open Container Initiative) specification. Below is a list of the most popular container registries that have been tested and found to be compatible:

Container registry Supports bundle publishing
Azure CR +
Docker Hub +
GitHub Packages +
GitLab Registry +
Harbor +
JFrog Artifactory +
Yandex container registry +
Nexus +
Quay -