Creating an App Catalog

App catalog

Setting up a new app catalog

  1. Choose a catalog name ([NAME]).
  2. We always use catalogs in pairs. giantswarm-[NAME]-catalog is for applications and their versions that we want to expose to customers. giantswarm-[NAME]-test-catalog is for development and testing of the applications before they are moved to the production catalog. So, go to github and create new repositories named like the 2 catalogs.
  3. Enable GitHub Pages for the master branch. To do that, the repo has to be non-empty. To initialize it from empty state, you can run helm repo index . to create index file for empty catalog. Commit this file to github.
  4. Grant Bot Catalog Editors team the write permission to the repository.

Catalogs don’t drive their content. After creating the catalog, every application that wants to be included in it needs to have a correct pipeline (see below). The pipeline is responsible for building the Helm chart and including it in the catalog and its index file.

Adding an app catalog to a management cluster

Please start by reading documentation about app catalogs and apps.

All application catalogs are defined in the management cluster using the Catalog CRD. To deploy the Catalog CRs, the following process is used:

  • App catalog configuration file needs to be added to the giantswarm/installations repository. Please see configuration structure description and a CRD spec. Example entry for giantswarm-incubator-test app catalog for gauss installation can be checked here: gauss/appcatalog/giantswarm-incubator-test-appcatalog-values.yaml. Another example can look like this:

    name: "giantswarm-playground"
    title: "Giant Swarm Playground"
    catalogType: "test"
    catalogVisibility: "public"
    description: "This catalog holds applications that are not covered by any support plan. Still, we try to make them install and run on Giant Swarm smoothly!"
    logoURL: "/images/repo_icons/incubator.png"
      URL: ""
  • commit the app catalog definition (to installations repo feature branch for testing, and eventually merge to master).

  • opsctl uses Helm to turn these config files into Catalog CRs on management clusters. Run opsctl ensure catalogs -i [INSTALLATION_NAME] to execute this process. After that your app catalog should be visible and ready to use. To ensure all installations at once, run opsctl ensure catalogs -a (*). These commands will delete any orphaned app catalogs as well. Effectively this command is about ensuring the desired state of the appcatalog resources as specified in the installations repo.


    • ensure command can take a few minutes to complete per installation.
    • Some installations require specific VPN connection to be reachable, so -a might not work for some installations that are not currently reachable for you over the VPN.

The configuration structure supports defining default app catalogs (to be installed across all management clusters), as well as installation specific ones. You choose where to install by either including the file in top-level or in an installation specific config directory like ghost/appcatalog.

As mentioned, app catalogs (Catalog CR and optionally any associated ConfigMap and/or Secret) are managed as Helm releases using appcatalog Helm chart. App catalog definitions for management clusters are stored in a form of a Helm values yaml file, overriding and/or extending appcatalog Helm chart default values file settings. As an example please see giantswarm app catalog definition for gauss installation.

Last modified February 22, 2024: Fix vintage platform docs links (#226) (bb629e3)