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Installing with Helm

cert-manager provides Helm charts as a first-class method of installation on both Kubernetes and OpenShift.

Be sure never to embed cert-manager as a sub-chart of other Helm charts; cert-manager manages non-namespaced resources in your cluster and care must be taken to ensure that it is installed exactly once.



1. Add the Jetstack Helm repository:

This repository is the only supported source of cert-manager charts. There are some other mirrors and copies across the internet, but those are entirely unofficial and could present a security risk.

Notably, the "Helm stable repository" version of cert-manager is deprecated and should not be used.

$ helm repo add jetstack

2. Update your local Helm chart repository cache:

$ helm repo update

3. Install CustomResourceDefinitions

cert-manager requires a number of CRD resources, which can be installed manually using kubectl, or using the installCRDs option when installing the Helm chart.

Option 1: installing CRDs with kubectl
$ kubectl apply -f
Option 2: install CRDs as part of the Helm release

To automatically install and manage the CRDs as part of your Helm release, you must add the --set installCRDs=true flag to your Helm installation command.

Uncomment the relevant line in the next steps to enable this.

Note that if you're using a helm version based on Kubernetes v1.18 or below (Helm v3.2), installCRDs will not work with cert-manager v0.16. See the v0.16 upgrade notes for more details.

4. Install cert-manager

To install the cert-manager Helm chart, use the Helm install command as described below.

$ helm install \
cert-manager jetstack/cert-manager \
--namespace cert-manager \
--create-namespace \
--version v1.5.5 \
# --set installCRDs=true

A full list of available Helm values is on cert-manager's ArtifactHub page.

The example below shows how to tune the cert-manager installation by overwriting the default Helm values:

$ helm install \
cert-manager jetstack/cert-manager \
--namespace cert-manager \
--create-namespace \
--version v1.5.5 \
--set prometheus.enabled=false \ # Example: disabling prometheus using a Helm parameter
--set webhook.timeoutSeconds=4 # Example: changing the wehbook timeout using a Helm parameter

Once you have deployed cert-manager, you can verify the installation.

Output YAML

Instead of directly installing cert-manager using Helm, a static YAML manifest can be created using the Helm template command. This static manifest can be tuned by providing the flags to overwrite the default Helm values:

$ helm template \
cert-manager jetstack/cert-manager \
--namespace cert-manager \
--create-namespace \
--version v1.5.5 \
# --set prometheus.enabled=false \ # Example: disabling prometheus using a Helm parameter
# --set installCRDs=true \ # Uncomment to also template CRDs
> cert-manager.custom.yaml


Warning: To uninstall cert-manager you should always use the same process for installing but in reverse. Deviating from the following process whether cert-manager has been installed from static manifests or Helm can cause issues and potentially broken states. Please ensure you follow the below steps when uninstalling to prevent this happening.

Before continuing, ensure that all cert-manager resources that have been created by users have been deleted. You can check for any existing resources with the following command:

$ kubectl get Issuers,ClusterIssuers,Certificates,CertificateRequests,Orders,Challenges --all-namespaces

Once all these resources have been deleted you are ready to uninstall cert-manager using the procedure determined by how you installed.

Uninstalling with Helm

Uninstalling cert-manager from a helm installation is a case of running the installation process, in reverse, using the delete command on both kubectl and helm.

$ helm --namespace cert-manager delete cert-manager

Next, delete the cert-manager namespace:

$ kubectl delete namespace cert-manager

Finally, delete the cert-manager CustomResourceDefinitions using the link to the version vX.Y.Z you installed:

Warning: This command will also remove installed cert-manager CRDs. All cert-manager resources (e.g. resources) will be removed by Kubernetes' garbage collector.

$ kubectl delete -f

Namespace Stuck in Terminating State

If the namespace has been marked for deletion without deleting the cert-manager installation first, the namespace may become stuck in a terminating state. This is typically due to the fact that the APIService resource still exists however the webhook is no longer running so is no longer reachable. To resolve this, ensure you have run the above commands correctly, and if you're still experiencing issues then run:

$ kubectl delete apiservice