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Notes on the breaking change with the `class` field that happened in cert-manager v1.5.4

⚠️ This document focuses on the class field of the Issuer and ClusterIssuer resources and the annotation If you are interested in using ingressClassName on your Ingress resources when using cert-manager's HTTP-01 solver, see the page Securing Ingress Resources.

In cert-manager v1.5.4 we made a change to the HTTP-01 code which was not backwards compatible. Before v1.5.4, cert-manager was using the class field on the Issuer and ClusterIssuer to add the annotation In cert-manager v1.5.4, cert-manager stopped setting the annotation. See Regression: HTTP-01 challenges fail with Istio, Traefik, ingress-gce and Azure AGIC.

In v1.5.5, v1.6.2 and 1.7.1 we fixed this problem.

If you have cert-manager v1.5.3 (or below) you should skip v1.5.4 and instead:

  • upgrade to v1.5.5
  • then the newest version of cert-manager 1.6
  • and then the newest version of cert-manager 1.7

and you can ignore the rest of this document.

The following notes apply to anyone upgrading from cert-manager v1.5.4, v1.6.0, v1.6.1 on Kubernetes v1.19 or later.


cert-manager 1.5 was released to coincide with Kubernetes 1.22, which removed the v1beta1 Ingress API. As cert-manager creates Ingress resources to solve HTTP-01 challenges, this code path needed to be updated.

In the v1beta1 spec, Ingress Class was a string annotation that was adopted by all popular Ingress controllers by convention. In the v1 spec, IngressClass is now its own resource type, and the .spec.ingressClassName field on v1 Ingresses is now a reference to that object. As the Kubernetes documentation points out, the old and new specs are not directly equivalent.

During the 1.5 and 1.6 cert-manager release cycles, we discovered that ingress controllers have handled the graduation of Ingress to v1 differently. Some treat the class as an opaque string, similarly to the annotation. Some were unintentionally broken, as their default ingress class name contains characters that are disallowed in object references, e.g. (/). Some now require you to create an IngressClass object matching the field to work.

cert-manager aims to be compatible with as many ingress controllers as possible. According to the Ingress v1 Kubernetes enhancement proposal, the deprecated annotation, if present, takes precedence over the new field. From our perspective, the option that maintains the highest compatibility is to only use the annotation, even when creating v1 Ingresses.

Notes For Specific Ingress Controllers


If you chose not to use the IngressClass nginx that is created by default by the Helm chart (e.g., you named the IngressClass nginx-outside), you will need to add the flags --ingress-class to your ingress-nginx deployment:

--ingress-class=nginx-outside --ingress-class-by-name=true

In case you are using the Helm chart, you will need to use at least these values:

name: nginx-outside
ingressClassByName: true
ingressClass: nginx-outside


If you are using Istio and you had to create an IngressClass while migrating to cert-manager 1.5 or 1.6 and you chose to create an IngressClass that isn't named istio (e.g., you named it istio-internal), you will need to change the class field on those Issuers back to istio.


If you are using Traefik and you had to create an IngressClass while migrating to cert-manager 1.5 or 1.6 and the IngressClass you created isn't named traefik (for example, you called the IngressClass traefik-external), you will need to add a command-line argument to your Traefik deployment:



If you are using Ambassador and you had to create an IngressClass while migrating to cert-manager 1.5 or 1.6, and the IngressClass you created isn't named ambassador (e.g., ambassador-internal), you will need to change the class field on the affected Issuers back to ambassador.