patches

Patch resources

Patches (also call overlays) add or override fields on resources. They are provided using the patches Kustomization field.

The patches field contains a list of patches to be applied in the order they are specified.

Each patch may:

  • be either a strategic merge patch, or a JSON6902 patch
  • be either a file, or an inline string
  • target a single resource or multiple resources

The patch target selects resources by group, version, kind, name, namespace, labelSelector and annotationSelector. Any resource which matches all the specified fields has the patch applied to it (regular expressions).

apiVersion: kustomize.config.k8s.io/v1beta1
kind: Kustomization

patches:
- path: patch.yaml
  target:
    group: apps
    version: v1
    kind: Deployment
    name: deploy.*
    labelSelector: "env=dev"
    annotationSelector: "zone=west"
- patch: |-
    - op: replace
      path: /some/existing/path
      value: new value    
  target:
    kind: MyKind
    labelSelector: "env=dev"

The name and namespace fields of the patch target selector are automatically anchored regular expressions. This means that the value myapp is equivalent to ^myapp$.

With patches it is possible to override the kind or name of the resource it is editing with the options allowNameChange and allowKindChange. For example:

resources:
- deployment.yaml
patches:
- path: patch.yaml
  target:
    kind: Deployment
  options:
    allowNameChange: true
    allowKindChange: true

By default, these fields are false and the patch will leave the kind and name of the resource untouched.

A patch can refer to a resource by any of its previous names or kinds. For example, if a resource has gone through name-prefix transformations, it can refer to the resource by its current name, original name, or any intermediate name that it had.

Examples

Consider the following deployment.yaml common for all examples:

# deployment.yaml
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
  name: dummy-app
  labels:
    app.kubernetes.io/name: nginx
spec:
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      app.kubernetes.io/name: nginx
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app.kubernetes.io/name: nginx
    spec:
      containers:
        - name: nginx
          image: nginx:stable
          ports:
            - name: http
              containerPort: 80

Intents

  • Make the container image point to a specific version and not to the latest container in the registry.
  • Adding a standard label containing the deployed version.

There are multiple possible strategies that all achieve the same results.

Patch using Inline Strategic Merge

# kustomization.yaml
resources:
- deployment.yaml
patches:
  - patch: |-
      apiVersion: apps/v1
      kind: Deployment
      metadata:
        name: dummy-app
        labels:
          app.kubernetes.io/version: 1.21.0      
  - patch: |-
      apiVersion: apps/v1
      kind: Deployment
      metadata:
        name: not-used
      spec:
        template:
          spec:
            containers:
              - name: nginx
                image: nginx:1.21.0      
    target:
      labelSelector: "app.kubernetes.io/name=nginx"

If a target is specified, the name contained in the metadata is required but not used.

Patch using Inline JSON6902

# kustomization.yaml
resources:
- deployment.yaml
patches:
  - patch: |-
      - op: add
        path: /metadata/labels/app.kubernetes.io~1version
        value: 1.21.0      
    target:
      group: apps
      version: v1
      kind: Deployment
  - patch: |-
      - op: replace
        path: /spec/template/spec/containers/0/image
        value: nginx:1.21.0      
    target:
      labelSelector: "app.kubernetes.io/name=nginx"

The target field is always required for JSON6902 patches.
A special replacement character ~1 is used to replace / in label name.

Patch using Path Strategic Merge

# kustomization.yaml
resources:
- deployment.yaml
patches:
  - path: add-label.patch.yaml
  - path: fix-version.patch.yaml
    target:
      labelSelector: "app.kubernetes.io/name=nginx"

As with the Inline Strategic Merge, the target field can be omitted. In that case, the target resource is matched using the apiVersion, kind and name from the patch.

# add-label.patch.yaml
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
  name: dummy-app
  labels:
    app.kubernetes.io/version: 1.21.0
# fix-version.patch.yaml
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
  name: not-used
spec:
  template:
    spec:
      containers:
        - name: nginx
          image: nginx:1.21.0

As with the Inline Strategic Merge, the name field in the patch is not used when a target is specified.

Patch using Path JSON6902

# kustomization.yaml
resources:
- deployment.yaml
patches:
  - path: add-label.patch.json
    target:
      group: apps
      version: v1
      kind: Deployment
  - path: fix-version.patch.yaml
    target:
      labelSelector: "app.kubernetes.io/name=nginx"

As with Inline JSON6902, the target field is mandatory.

# add-label.patch.json
[
  {"op": "add", "path": "/metadata/labels/app.kubernetes.io~1version", "value": "1.21.0"}
]
# fix-version.patch.yaml
- op: replace
  path: /spec/template/spec/containers/0/image
  value: nginx:1.21.0

External patch file can be written both as YAML or JSON. The content must follow the JSON6902 standard.

Build Output

All four patches strategies lead to the exact same output:

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
  labels:
    app.kubernetes.io/name: nginx
    app.kubernetes.io/version: 1.21.0
  name: dummy-app
spec:
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      app.kubernetes.io/name: nginx
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app.kubernetes.io/name: nginx
    spec:
      containers:
        - image: nginx:1.21.0
          name: nginx
          ports:
            - containerPort: 80
              name: http