Kubectl plugin

kubectl cert-manager is a kubectl plugin that can help you to manage cert-manager resources inside your cluster.


You need the kubectl-cert-manager.tar.gz file for the platform you're using, these can be found on our GitHub releases page. In order to use the kubectl plugin you need its binary to be accessible under the name kubectl-cert_manager in your $PATH. Run the following commands to set up the plugin:

$ curl -L -o kubectl-cert-manager.tar.gz https://github.com/cert-manager/cert-manager/releases/download/v0.15.1/kubectl-cert_manager-linux-amd64.tar.gz
$ tar xzf kubectl-cert-manager.tar.gz
$ sudo mv kubectl-cert_manager /usr/local/bin

You can run kubectl cert-manager help to test the plugin is set up properly:

$ kubectl cert-manager help
kubectl cert-manageris a CLI tool manage and configure cert-manager resources for Kubernetes
kubectl cert-manager [flags]
kubectl cert-manager [command]
Available Commands:
convert Convert cert-manager config files between different API versions
help Help about any command
renew Mark a Certificate for manual renewal
version Print the kubectl cert-manager version
Use "kubectl cert-manager [command] --help" for more information about a command.



Note: this feature requires the ExperimentalCertificateControllers feature gate set.

kubectl cert-manager allows you to manually trigger a renewal of a specific certificate. This can be done either one certificate at a time, using label selectors (-l app=example), or with the --all flag:

For example you can renew the certificate example-com-tls:

$ kubectl get certificate
example-com-tls True example-com-tls 1d
$ kubectl cert-manager renew example-com-tls
Manually triggered issuance of Certificate default/example-com-tls
$ kubectl get certificaterequest
example-com-tls-tls-8rbv2 False 10s

You can also renew all certificates in a given namespace:

$ kubectl cert-manager renew --namespace=app --all

The renew command allows several options to be specified:

  • --all renew all Certificates in the given Namespace, or all namespaces when combined with --all-namespaces
  • -A or --all-namespaces mark Certificates across namespaces for renewal
  • -l --selector allows set a label query to filter on as well as kubectl global flags like --context and --namespace.


kubectl cert-manager convert can be used to convert cert-manager manifest files between different API versions. Both YAML and JSON formats are accepted. The command takes file name, directory, or URL as input, and converts into the format of the latest version or the one specified by --output-version flag.

The default output will be printed to stdout in YAML format. One can use -o option to change the output destination.

For example this will output cert.yaml in the latest API version:

kubectl cert-manager convert -f cert.yaml