Deploys a kubernetes app

The most important module for deploying apps, gcp-k8s-service deploys a kubernetes app on gcp. It deploys your service as a rolling update securely and with simple autoscaling right off the bat– you can even expose it to the world, complete with load balancing both internally and externally.


Set custom environment variables

Opta allows you to pass in custom environment variables to your k8s-service.

Just use the env_vars field:

name: hello
- name: staging
  path: "opta.yaml"
- name: hello
  type: k8s-service
  http: 80
  image: ghcr.io/run-x/hello-opta/hello-opta:main
  healthcheck_path: "/"
  public_uri: "/hello"
    - name: "API_KEY"
      value: "value"

With this configuration, your container will get an env var named API_KEY with the value value!

You can also use Opta’s interpolation variables features to refer to other values.

External/Internal Image

This module supports deploying from an “external” image repository (currently only public ones supported) by setting the image field to the repo (e.g. “kennethreitz/httpbin” in the examples). If you set the value to “AUTO” however, it will automatically create a secure container repository with ECR on your account. You can then use the Opta push command to push to it!

Healthcheck Probe

One of the benefits of K8s is that it comes with built-in checks for the responsiveness of your server. These are called liveness and readiness probes.

tl;dr An (optional) liveness probe determines whether your server should be restarted, and an (optional) readiness probe determines if traffic should be sent to a replica or be temporarily rerouted to other replicas. Essentially smart healthchecks. For websockets Opta just checks the tcp connection on the given port.

Opta supports 2 types of possible health checks (please be advised that while they’re not required, they’re highly recommended):

Option 1: Health Check HTTP Ping

Quite straightforward, K8s does regular http get requests to your server under a specific given path. Any code greater than or equal to 200 and less than 400 indicates success. Any other code indicates failure. You can specify this by setting the healthcheck_path input, or alternatively the liveness_probe_path and/or the readiness_probe_path if you want different behavior for the liveness and readiness checks.

Option 2: Health Check Command

Also simple to understand, K8s regularly execute a shell command of your choosing and considers the server healthy if it has and exit code of 0. Commands should be passed in as a list of the different parts (e.g. [“echo”, “hello”]). You can specify this by setting the healthcheck_command input, or alternatively the liveness_probe_command and/or the readiness_probe_command if you want different behavior for the liveness and readiness checks.


As mentioned, autoscaling is available out of the box. We currently only support autoscaling based on the pod’s cpu and memory usage, but we hope to soon offer the ability to use 3rd party metrics like datadog to scale. As mentioned in the k8s docs, the horizontal pod autoscaler (which is what we use) assumes a linear relationship between # of replicas and cpu (twice the replicas means half expected cpu usage), which works well assuming low overhead. The autoscaler then uses this logic to try and balance the cpu/memory usage at the percentage of request. So, for example, if the target memory is 80% and we requested 100mb, then it’ll try to keep the memory usage at 80mb. If it finds that the average memory usage was 160mb, it would logically try to double the number of replicas.

Resource Requests

One of the other benefits of kubernetes is that a user can have fine control over the resources used by each of their containers. A user can control the cpu, memory and disk usage with which scheduling is made. With Opta, we expose such settings to the user, while keeping sensible defaults.

Resource Limits

While the Container Resources specify the “planned” amount of resource allocation (and thereby which pods are deployed to which nodes given the available CPU and memory), a pod can go over their requested CPU/memory if there is more available on its running node. The resource limits, however, specify the max amount of resources allocated to a pod at any time. These limits exist for (obvious) safety measures (e.g. preventing one app from starving the whole cluster). By default, this limit is set in Opta to twice the resource request value, but is exposed to users for further configuration.

Please refer to the official kubernetes resource management page for more info.

NOTE: Based on reasons outlined here Opta does not add CPU limits, only memory.


You can control if and how you want to expose your app to the world! Check out the [Ingress](/features/dns-and-cert/dns/ docs for more details.

Persistent Storage

A user can now specify persistent storage to be provisioned for your servers and kept intact over your different deployments + scaling. This will take form of a list of entries holding a size (size of the storage to create in gigabytes) and path (path to put it on your server’s container) field, like so:

  - name: app
    type: k8s-service
    image: kennethreitz/httpbin
    min_containers: 2
    max_containers: "{vars.max_containers}"
    liveness_probe_path: "/get"
    readiness_probe_path: "/get"
      http: 80
    public_uri: "subdomain1.{parent.domain}"
      - path: "/DESIRED/PATH1"
        size: 20 # 20 GB
      - path: "/DESIRED/PATH2"
        size: 30 # 30 GB

Under the hood, an GCP persistent disk is being created to house your data for each coexisting server container of your app.

WARNING Switching between having the persistent_storage field set or not will lead to some minor downtime as the underlying resource kind is being switched.

NOTE because of the nature of these disks, they will not be cleaned up automatically unless during a service destruction. If you wish to release the persistent disks for whatever reason you will need to manually do so by deleting the kubernetes persistent volume claims.


Opta gives you the option of adding taints to the nodes created in this nodepool, and thusly the ability to add tolerations for said taints. The official documentation gives an excellent detailed summary, but in short one can use taints to stop workloads from running in said nodes unless they have a matching toleration. Simply provide a list of desired tolerations as inputs like so:

  - name: app
    type: k8s-service
    image: AUTO
    healthcheck_path: "/get"
      http: 80
      - key: instancetype
        value: memoryoptimized
        effect: "NoExecute"
      - key: team
        value: booking
        # Tolerates for default effect of NoSchedule
      - key: highpriority
        # Tolerates for default value of opta

Please refer to the taints specified in your environment Opta manifests to know what matching tolerations are right for you.

Cron Jobs

Opta gives you the option of adding a list of cron jobs to run as part of this service. This is done via the cron_jobs field which a user can fill with entries for each con job in mind. Each entry must specify a command in array format (for most cases simply specify the shell you wish to use, the -c flag and the executable to run), as well as a schedule following the Cron Syntax. The cron jobs will use the same resource requests/limits as the servers.

For example, here is a service which has a cron job that runs every minute and simply outputs “Hello world!” to stdout:

  - name: app
    type: k8s-service
    image: AUTO
    healthcheck_path: "/get"
      http: 80
      - args: # Args is an optional field
          - "-c"
          - 'echo "Hello world!"'
        - /bin/sh
        schedule: "* * * * *"


Name Description Default Required
image Set to AUTO to create a private repo for your own images. Otherwises attempts to pull image from public dockerhub AUTO True
port Specifies what port your app was made to be listened to. Currently it must be a map of the form http: [PORT_NUMBER_HERE] or tcp: [PORT_NUMBER_HERE]. Use http if you just have a vanilla http server and tcp for websockets. none False
min_containers The minimum number of replicas your app can autoscale to. 1 False
max_containers The maximum number of replicas your app can autoscale to. 3 False
autoscaling_target_cpu_percentage See the autoscaling section. 80 False
autoscaling_target_mem_percentage See the autoscaling section. 80 False
secrets Deprecated, see secrets instructions. [] False
env_vars A map of key values to add to the container as environment variables (key is name, value is value). yaml env_vars: FLAG: "true" [] False
healthcheck_path See the See the healthcheck probe section. Default null (i.e., no user-specified healthchecks) None False
healthcheck_command See the See the healthcheck probe section. Default [] (i.e., no user-specified healthchecks) [] False
liveness_probe_command Use if using shell command liveness checks and liveness probe != readiness probe [] False
readiness_probe_command Use if using shell command readiness checks and liveness probe != readiness probe [] False
liveness_probe_path Use if using http ping liveness checks and liveness probe != readiness probe None False
readiness_probe_path Use if using http ping readiness checks and liveness probe != readiness probe None False
consistent_hash Use consistent hashing None False
sticky_session Use sticky sessions via cookies for your service (first request will send you a cookie called opta_cookie which you should add on future requests). False False
sticky_session_max_age If the sticky session is enabled, how long should the cookie last? 86400 False
resource_request See the container resources section. CPU is given in millicores, and Memory is in megabytes. {'cpu': 100, 'memory': 128} False
resource_limits See the container resources section. Memory is in megabytes.. None False
public_uri The full domain to expose your app under as well as path prefix. Must be the full parent domain or a subdomain referencing the parent as such: “dummy.{parent[domain]}/my/path/prefix” [] False
keep_path_prefix Should we keep the prefix path which you set in the public uri when forwarding requests to your service? False False
links A list of extra IAM role policies not captured by Opta which you wish to give to your service. [] False
persistent_storage A list persistent storages to add to each instance of your service (need to give a size which is the size in GB for the storage volume to be, and path which is the path in the filesystem of each instance to place it under) [] False
ingress_extra_annotations These are extra annotations to add to ingress objects {} False
additional_iam_roles A list of extra project-level iam roles to grant to the service account created for this k8s service [] False
tolerations Taint tolerations to add to the pods. [] False
cron_jobs A list of cronjobs to execute as part of this service [] False
pod_annotations These are extra annotations to add to k8s-service pod objects / replace defaults {} False
pod_labels These are extra labels to add to k8s-service pod objects / replace defaults {} False
timeout Time in seconds to wait for deployment. 300 False
max_history The max amount of helm revisions to keep track of (0 for infinite) 25 False
commands The commands override to execute in your container (corresponds to EntryPoint in docker) [] False
args The args override to pass to your container (corresponds to Cmd in docker) [] False


Name Description
docker_repo_url Url to the docker repository created for images to be deployed in this env
current_image The full name of the docker image used by the deployment.
current_tag The tag of the docker image used by the deployment ("" if not using tags).
current_digest The digest of the docker image used by the deployment ("" if not using digests).

Last modified August 5, 2022 : Cleanup install script (#197) (2175394)