Helm-3: The Necessary Commands to Manage Helm

Cumhur Akkaya
6 min readNov 27, 2023

I will show the commands required to manage the Helm in the article with some examples. You can think of this article as a kind of Helm cheatsheet.

Topics we will cover:

1. Chart Management
2. Install and Uninstall Apps
3. Perform App Upgrade and Rollback
4. List, Add, Remove, and Update Repositories
5. Helm Release Monitoring
6. Download Release Information
7. Plugin Management
8. References

If you like the article, I will be happy if you click the Medium Follow button to encourage me to write more, and not miss future articles.

Your clapping, following, or subscribing helps my articles to reach a broader audience. Thank you in advance for them.

The necessary commands to manage Helm are given below. (1)

1. Chart Management

helm create <name>                      # Creates a chart directory along with the common files and directories used in a chart.
helm package <chart-path> # Packages a chart into a versioned chart archive file.
helm lint <chart> # Run tests to examine a chart and identify possible issues:
helm show all <chart> # Inspect a chart and list its contents:
helm show values <chart> # Displays the contents of the values.yaml file
helm pull <chart> # Download/pull chart
helm pull <chart> --untar=true # If set to true, will untar the chart after downloading it
helm pull <chart> --verify # Verify the package before using it
helm pull <chart> --version <number> # Default-latest is used, specify a version constraint for the chart version to use
helm dependency list <chart> # Display a list of a chart’s dependencies:

Helm charts are structured like this;

helm package commands;

2. Install and Uninstall Apps

helm install <name> <chart>                           # Install the chart with a name
helm install <name> <chart> --namespace <namespace> # Install the chart in a specific namespace
helm install <name> <chart> --set key1=val1,key2=val2 # Set values on the command line (can specify multiple or separate values with commas)
helm install <name> <chart> --values <yaml-file/url> # Install the chart with your specified values
helm install <name> <chart> --dry-run --debug # Run a test installation to validate chart (p)
helm install <name> <chart> --verify # Verify the package before using it
helm install <name> <chart> --dependency-update # update dependencies if they are missing before installing the chart
helm uninstall <name> # Uninstall a release

3. Perform App Upgrade and Rollback

helm upgrade <release> <chart>                            # Upgrade a release
helm upgrade <release> <chart> --atomic # If set, upgrade process rolls back changes made in case of failed upgrade.
helm upgrade <release> <chart> --dependency-update # update dependencies if they are missing before installing the chart
helm upgrade <release> <chart> --version <version_number> # specify a version constraint for the chart version to use
helm upgrade <release> <chart> --values # specify values in a YAML file or a URL (can specify multiple)
helm upgrade <release> <chart> --set key1=val1,key2=val2 # Set values on the command line (can specify multiple or separate valuese)
helm upgrade <release> <chart> --force # Force resource updates through a replacement strategy
helm rollback <release> <revision> # Roll back a release to a specific revision
helm rollback <release> <revision> --cleanup-on-fail # Allow deletion of new resources created in this rollback when rollback fails

4. List, Add, Remove, and Update Repositories

helm repo add <repo-name> <url>   # Add a repository from the internet:
helm repo list # List added chart repositories
helm repo update # Update information of available charts locally from chart repositories
helm repo remove <repo_name> # Remove one or more chart repositories
helm repo index <DIR> # Read the current directory and generate an index file based on the charts found.
helm repo index <DIR> --merge # Merge the generated index with an existing index file
helm search repo <keyword> # Search repositories for a keyword in charts
helm search hub <keyword> # Search for charts in the Artifact Hub or your own hub instance

5. Helm Release Monitoring

helm list                       # Lists all of the releases for a specified namespace, uses current namespace context if namespace not specified
helm list --all # Show all releases without any filter applied, can use -a
helm list --all-namespaces # List releases across all namespaces, we can use -A
helm -l key1=value1,key2=value2 # Selector (label query) to filter on, supports '=', '==', and '!='
helm list --date # Sort by release date
helm list --deployed # Show deployed releases. If no other is specified, this will be automatically enabled
helm list --pending # Show pending releases
helm list --failed # Show failed releases
helm list --uninstalled # Show uninstalled releases (if 'helm uninstall --keep-history' was used)
helm list --superseded # Show superseded releases
helm list -o yaml # Prints the output in the specified format. Allowed values: table, json, yaml (default table)
helm status <release> # This command shows the status of a named release.
helm status <release> --revision <number> # if set, display the status of the named release with revision
helm history <release> # Historical revisions for a given release.
helm env # Env prints out all the environment information in use by Helm.

6. Download Release Information

helm get all <release>      # A human readable collection of information about the notes, hooks, supplied values, and generated manifest file of the given release.
helm get hooks <release> # This command downloads hooks for a given release. Hooks are formatted in YAML and separated by the YAML '---\n' separator.
helm get manifest <release> # A manifest is a YAML-encoded representation of the Kubernetes resources that were generated from this release's chart(s). If a chart is dependent on other charts, those resources will also be included in the manifest.
helm get notes <release> # Shows notes provided by the chart of a named release.
helm get values <release> # Downloads a values file for a given release. use -o to format output

7. Plugin Management

helm plugin install <path/url1>     # Install plugins
helm plugin list # View a list of all installed plugins
helm plugin update <plugin> # Update plugins
helm plugin uninstall <plugin> # Uninstall a plugin

--

--

Cumhur Akkaya

✦ DevOps/Cloud Engineer, ✦ Believes in learning by doing, ✦ Dedication To Lifelong Learning, ✦ Tea and Coffee Drinker. ✦ Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/cumhurakkaya