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(not always bizarre, sometimes just backfiring daily design)



  • aws eks update-kubeconfig fails with Cluster status not active during a version upgrade. So if you use that on your CI, you are toasted. Reference: aws/aws-cli#3914


  • Even though some charts use secrets for storing configuration (e.g. kube-prometheus's ), helm doesn't rollback or version secrets: helm/helm#2196
  • Teams quickly discover they need to customize, validate, audit and re-publish their forked/ generated bundles for their environment. Most packaging solutions to date are tightly coupled to some format written as code (e.g. templates, DSLs, etc). This introduces a number of challenges when trying to extend, build on top of, or integrate them with other systems. For example, how does one update a forked template from upstream, or how does one apply custom validation?

  • Installed and removed operator-lifecycle-manager via helm chart. got stuck while deleting the namespace.
  • If a chart creates a namespace, you can't use store the Helm release on the same namespace. Example: operator-lifecycle-manager.
  • You have to {{ ... | quote }} everything, otherwise you might confuse Helm and receive errors like Error: YAML parse error on foo.yaml: error converting YAML to JSON: yaml: line XY: did not find expected alphabetic or numeric character when the value is something like *
  • Helm will always restart all your pods on an upgrade, even if nothing on that pod's template really changed, because there's a ... label containing the chart version.
  • There's a max message size which puts an upper bound limit on what one can do with helm:
    $ helm history <foo>
    Error: grpc: trying to send message larger than max (30637757 vs. 20971520)
  • The centralized stable chart repo being shut down:
    • A few person weeks hunting them across the org follows.
  • Helm 3-way merge makes templates not be the authoritative specification of a resource, which causes problems with "immutable resources" (those containing immutable fields):


  • Abstracting shared functionality by extracting a local module couples all configurations. You cant upgrade one config from 0.12 to 0.13 because it will require the module to also be upgraded, and after that you are forced to upgrade all configurations that use the module to 0.13.
  • Using data "terraform_remote_state" couples one configuration to another state. Upgrading the referred state from 0.12 to 0.13 will break the depending configuration with Error: state snapshot was created by Terraform v0.13.2, which is newer than current v0.12.29; upgrade to Terraform v0.13.2 or greater to work with this state.
  • Changing a resource provider might lead to weird errors. For example, the state has an AWS provider in one region and you change the resource to another provider in the same account but different region.


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