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kpt: Automate Kubernetes Configuration Editing

kpt is a package-centric toolchain that enables a WYSIWYG configuration authoring, automation, and delivery experience, which simplifies managing Kubernetes platforms and KRM-driven infrastructure (e.g., Config Connector, Crossplane) at scale by manipulating declarative Configuration as Data.

Configuration as Data is an approach to management of configuration which:

  • makes configuration data the source of truth, stored separately from the live state
  • uses a uniform, serializable data model to represent configuration
  • separates code that acts on the configuration from the data and from packages / bundles of the data
  • abstracts configuration file structure and storage from operations that act upon the configuration data; clients manipulating configuration data dont need to directly interact with storage (git, container images).

See the FAQ for more details about how kpt is different from alternatives.

Why kpt?

kpt enables WYSIWYG editing and interoperable automation applied to declarative configuration data, similar to how the live state can be modified with imperative tools.

See the rationale for more background.

The best place to get started and learn about specific features of kpt is to visit the kpt website.

Install kpt

kpt installation instructions can be found on

kpt components

The kpt toolchain includes the following components:

  • kpt CLI: The kpt CLI supports package and function operations, and also deployment, via either direct apply or GitOps. By keeping an inventory of deployed resources, kpt enables resource pruning, aggregated status and observability, and an improved preview experience.

  • Function SDKs: Any general-purpose or domain-specific language can be used to create functions to transform and/or validate the YAML KRM input/output format, but we provide SDKs to simplify the function authoring process, in Go, Typescript, and Starlark, a Python-like embedded language.

  • Function catalog: A catalog of off-the-shelf, tested functions. kpt makes configuration easy to create and transform, via reusable functions. Because they are expected to be used for in-place transformation, the functions need to be idempotent.

  • Package orchestrator: The package orchestrator enables the magic behind the unique WYSIWYG experience. It provides a control plane for creating, modifying, updating, and deleting packages, and evaluating functions on package data. This enables operations on packaged resources similar to operations directly on the live state through the Kubernetes API.

  • Config Sync: While the package orchestrator can be used with any GitOps tool, Config Sync provides a reference GitOps implementation to complete the WYSIWYG management experience and enable end-to-end development of new features, such as OCI-based packages. Config Sync is also helping to drive improvements in upstream Kubernetes. For instance, Config Sync is built on top of git-sync and leverages Kustomize to automatically render manifests on the fly when needed. It uses the same apply logic as the kpt CLI.

  • Backstage UI plugin: We've created a proof-of-concept UI in the form of a Backstage UI plugin to demonstrate the WYSIWYG experience that's possible on top of the package orchestrator. More scenarios can be supported by implementing form-based editors for additional Kubernetes resource types.


You can read about the big upcoming features in the roadmap doc.


If you are interested in contributing please start with contribution guidelines.


We would love to keep in touch:

  1. Join our Slack channel. You'll need to join Kubernetes on Slack first.
  2. Join our email list
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