NEW: Get project updates onTwitterandMastodon

Securing Ingress Resources

A common use-case for cert-manager is requesting TLS signed certificates to secure your ingress resources. This can be done by simply adding annotations to your Ingress resources and cert-manager will facilitate creating the Certificate resource for you. A small sub-component of cert-manager, ingress-shim, is responsible for this.

How It Works

The sub-component ingress-shim watches Ingress resources across your cluster. If it observes an Ingress with annotations described in the Supported Annotations section, it will ensure a Certificate resource with the name provided in the tls.secretName field and configured as described on the Ingress exists. For example:

kind: Ingress
# add an annotation indicating the issuer to use. nameOfClusterIssuer
name: myIngress
namespace: myIngress
- host:
- pathType: Prefix
path: /
name: myservice
number: 80
tls: # < placing a host in the TLS config will determine what ends up in the cert's subjectAltNames
- hosts:
secretName: myingress-cert # < cert-manager will store the created certificate in this secret.

Supported Annotations

You can specify the following annotations on Ingress resources in order to trigger Certificate resources to be automatically created:

  • the name of an Issuer to acquire the certificate required for this Ingress. The Issuer must be in the same namespace as the Ingress resource.

  • the name of a ClusterIssuer to acquire the certificate required for this Ingress. It does not matter which namespace your Ingress resides, as ClusterIssuers are non-namespaced resources.

  • the kind of the external issuer resource, for example AWSPCAIssuer. This is only necessary for out-of-tree issuers.

  • the API group of the external issuer controller, for example This is only necessary for out-of-tree issuers.

  • "true": this annotation requires additional configuration of the ingress-shim see below. Namely, a default Issuer must be specified as arguments to the ingress-shim container.

  • this annotation allows you to configure the ingress class that will be used to solve challenges for this ingress. Customizing this is useful when you are trying to secure internal services, and need to solve challenges using a different ingress class to that of the ingress. If not specified and the acme-http01-edit-in-place annotation is not set, this defaults to the ingress class defined in the Issuer resource.

  • "true": this controls whether the ingress is modified 'in-place', or a new one is created specifically for the HTTP01 challenge. If present, and set to "true", the existing ingress will be modified. Any other value, or the absence of the annotation assumes "false". This annotation will also add the annotation "": "true" onto created certificates which will cause a temporary certificate to be set on the resulting Secret until the final signed certificate has been returned. This is useful for keeping compatibility with the ingress-gce component.

  • (optional) this annotation allows you to configure spec.commonName for the Certificate to be generated.

  • (optional) this annotation allows you to configure spec.duration field for the Certificate to be generated.

  • (optional) this annotation allows you to configure spec.renewBefore field for the Certificate to be generated.

  • (optional) this annotation allows you to configure spec.usages field for the Certificate to be generated. Pass a string with comma-separated values i.e "key agreement,digital signature, server auth"

Optional Configuration

The ingress-shim sub-component is deployed automatically as part of installation.

If you would like to use the old kube-lego "true" annotation for fully automated TLS, you will need to configure a default Issuer when deploying cert-manager. This can be done by adding the following --set when deploying using Helm:

--set ingressShim.defaultIssuerName=letsencrypt-prod \
--set ingressShim.defaultIssuerKind=ClusterIssuer \

Or by adding the following arguments to the cert-manager deployment podTemplate container arguments.

- --default-issuer-name=letsencrypt-prod
- --default-issuer-kind=ClusterIssuer

In the above example, cert-manager will create Certificate resources that reference the ClusterIssuer letsencrypt-prod for all Ingresses that have a "true" annotation.

For more information on deploying cert-manager, read the installation guide.


If you do not see a Certificate resource being created after applying the ingress-shim annotations check that at least or is set. If you want to use "true" make sure to have checked all steps above and you might want to look for errors in the cert-manager pod logs if not resolved.