About releases

The deployment results in a release — a set of resources and service information deployed in the cluster.

From a technical point of view, werf releases are Helm 3 releases and therefore are fully compatible with them. Service information is stored in a special Secret resource by default.

Automatic release name generation (werf only)

By default, the release name is generated automatically using a special pattern [[ project ]]-[[ env ]], where [ project ]] is the werf project name and [ env ]] is the environment name, for example:

# werf.yaml:
project: myapp
werf converge --env staging
werf converge --env production

In this case, the myapp-staging and myapp-production releases will be created.

Changing the release name pattern (werf only)

If you are not happy with the pattern werf uses to generate the release name, you can modify it:

# werf.yaml:
project: myapp
  helmRelease: "backend-[[ env ]]"
werf converge --env production

In this case, the backend-production release will be created.

Specifying the release name explicitly

Instead of generating the release name using a special pattern, you can specify the release name explicitly:

werf converge --release backend-production  # or $WERF_RELEASE=...

In this case, the backend-production release will be created.

Formatting the release name

A release name generated using a special pattern or specified by the --release flag is automatically converted to match the RFC 1123 Label Names format. You can disable automatic formatting by setting the deploy.helmReleaseSlug directive in the werf.yaml file.

You can manually format any string to match the RFC 1123 Label Names format using the werf slugify -f helm-release command.

Adding resources that already exist in the cluster to the release

werf does not allow a new release resource to be deployed on top of an existing resource in the cluster if the resource in the cluster isn’t part of the current release. This behavior prevents accidental updates to resources belonging to another release or deployed without werf. Trying to do so will result in the following error:

Error: helm upgrade have failed: UPGRADE FAILED: rendered manifests contain a resource that already exists...

To add a cluster resource to the current release and allow it to be updated, add the meta.helm.sh/release-name: <name of the current release>, meta.helm.sh/release-namespace: <Namespace of the current release> annotations and the app.kubernetes.io/managed-by: Helm label to that cluster resource, for example:

kubectl annotate deploy/myapp meta.helm.sh/release-name=myapp-production
kubectl annotate deploy/myapp meta.helm.sh/release-namespace=myapp-production
kubectl label deploy/myapp app.kubernetes.io/managed-by=Helm

… and then restart the deployment:

werf converge

Running the above commands will result in the myapp release resource successfully updating the myapp resource in the cluster. On top of that, the cluster resource will become part of the current release.

Auto-annotating the release resources being deployed

During deployment, werf automatically adds the following annotations to all chart resources:

  • "werf.io/version": FULL_WERF_VERSION — the werf version used when running the werf converge command;
  • "project.werf.io/name": PROJECT_NAME — the project name specified in the werf.yaml configuration file;
  • "project.werf.io/env": ENV — the environment name specified with the --env parameter or the WERF_ENV environment variable (the annotation is not set if the environment was not set at startup).

The werf ci-env command, if run with supported CI/CD systems, adds annotations that allow the user to navigate to the related pipeline, job, and commit if necessary.

Adding arbitrary annotations and labels to the release resources being deployed

During deployment, the user can attach arbitrary annotations and labels using the CLI parameters --add-annotation annoName=annoValue (supports multi-use) and --add-label labelName=labelValue (supports multi-use). Annotations and labels can also be specified with the WERF_ADD_LABEL* and WERF_ADD_ANNOTATION* variables (example: WERF_ADD_ANNOTATION_1=annoName1=annoValue1 and WERF_ADD_LABEL_1=labelName1=labelValue1).

For example, use the following command to add commit-sha=9aeee03d607c1eed133166159fbea3bad5365c57 and gitlab-user-email=vasya@myproject.com annotations/labels to all Kubernetes resources in the chart:

werf converge \
  --add-annotation "commit-sha=9aeee03d607c1eed133166159fbea3bad5365c57" \
  --add-label "commit-sha=9aeee03d607c1eed133166159fbea3bad5365c57" \
  --add-annotation "gitlab-user-email=vasya@myproject.com" \
  --add-label "gitlab-user-email=vasya@myproject.com" \
  --env dev \
  --repo REPO