Getting Started

Learn how to use the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit.

This page gives instructions for installing the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit and running a simple Keptn application to familiarize yourself with how KLT works.

You will learn how to do the following:

  • Use the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit to control the deployment of your application
  • Connect the lifecycle-toolkit to Prometheus
  • Use pre-deployment tasks to check if a dependency is met before deploying a workload
  • Use post-deployment tasks on an application level to send a notification


You need the following to complete this exercise:

Check Kubernetes Version

Run the following and ensure that both client and server versions are running Kubernetes versions greater than or equal to v1.24.

kubectl version --short

The output should look like this. In this example, both client and server are at v1.24.0 so the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit will work.

$ kubectl version --short
Flag --short has been deprecated, and will be removed in the future. The --short output will become the default.
Client Version: v1.24.0
Kustomize Version: v4.5.4
Server Version: v1.24.0

Installation Instructions

Install version 0.7.0 and above

In version 0.7.0 and later, you can install the Lifecycle Toolkit using helm charts, or manifests.

For installing the Lifecycle Toolkit via Helm chart:

helm repo add klt
helm repo update
helm upgrade --install keptn klt/klt -n keptn-lifecycle-toolkit-system --create-namespace --wait

To install a specific version, use the --version <version> flag as part of the helm upgrade --install command.

To list available versions:

helm repo update
helm search repo klt

The helm upgrade --install command offers a flag called --set, which can be used to specify configuration options using the format --set key1=value1,key2=value2,...

Or you could download the chart value file and modify it using

helm get values RELEASE_NAME [flags] > values.yaml

and install adding --values=values.yaml to your helm upgrade command (official documentation available here).

The full list of available flags can be found in the helm-charts.

All versions of the Lifecycle Toolkit can be installed using manifests, with a command like the following:

kubectl apply -f
kubectl wait --for=condition=Available deployment/lifecycle-operator -n keptn-lifecycle-toolkit-system --timeout=120s

The Lifecycle Toolkit and its dependencies are now installed and ready to use.

Note: Installation of the Lifecycle Toolkit version 0.6.0 and lower is not supported via helm charts.

Install version 0.6.0 and earlier

You must first install cert-manager with the following commands:

kubectl apply -f
kubectl wait --for=condition=Available deployment/cert-manager-webhook -n cert-manager --timeout=60s

After that, you can install the Lifecycle Toolkit <oldversion> with:

kubectl apply -f<oldversion>/manifest.yaml
kubectl wait --for=condition=Available deployment/lifecycle-operator -n keptn-lifecycle-toolkit-system --timeout=120s

Check out the Getting Started Repository

This exercise uses a sample application and some helpers that make it easier for you to set up your environment. These can be found in our Getting Started repository. Use the following command to check out this repository:

For the further progress of this guide, we need a sample application as well as some helpers which make it easier foryour to set up your environment. These things can be found in our Getting Started repository which can be checked out as follows:

git clone
cd lifecycle-toolkit-examples

Install the required observability features

The Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit emits OpenTelemetry data as standard but the toolkit does not come pre-bundled with Observability backend tooling. This is deliberate as it provides flexibility for you to bring your own Observability backend that consumes this emitted data.

In order to use the observability features of the lifecycle toolkit, we need a monitoring and tracing backend.

In this guide, we use:

Install these with the following commands:

make install-observability
make restart-lifecycle-toolkit

The Demo Application

For this demonstration, we use a slightly modified version of the PodTatoHead application.


Over time, we will evolve this application from a simple manifest to a Keptn-managed application:

  • We install it with kubectl then add pre- and post-deployment tasks.
    • For this, we check if the entry service is available before the other services are scheduled.
  • We then add evaluations to ensure that our infrastructure is in good shape before we deploy the application.
  • Finally, we evolve to a GitOps driven deployment and notify an external webhook service when the deployment has finished.

Install the Demo Application (Version 1)

In the first version of the Demo application, the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit evaluates metrics provided by Prometheus and checks if the specified amount of CPUs are available before deploying the application

To install it, simply apply the manifest:

make deploy-version-1

You can watch the progress of the deployment as follows:

Watch workload state

When the Lifecycle Toolkit detects workload labels (“” or “”) on a resource, a KeptnWorkloadInstance (kwi) resource is created. Using this resource you can watch the progress of the deployment.

kubectl get keptnworkloadinstances -n podtato-kubectl

This shows the current status of the Workloads and in which phase they are at the moment. You can get more detailed information about the workloads by describing one of the resources:

kubectl describe keptnworkloadinstances podtato-head-podtato-head-entry -n podtato-kubectl

Note The event stream of the object contains more detailed informatio

Watch application state Although you didn't specify an application in your manifest, the Lifecycle Toolkit assumes that this is a single-service application and creates an ApplicationVersion (kav) resource for you.

Using kubectl get keptnappversions -n podtato-kubectl, you can see the state of these resources.

Watch pods Obviously, you should see that the pods are starting normally. You can watch the state of the pods using:
kubectl get pods -n podtato-kubectl

Furthermore, you can port-forward the podtato-head service to your local machine and access the application via your browser:

make port-forward-grafana

In your browser (http://localhost:3000), log in with the user admin and the password admin). You can open the Dashboard Keptn Applications and see the current state of the application, which should be similar to the following:


In this screen you get the following information:

  • Successful/Failed Deployments
  • Time between Deployments
  • Deployment Time per Version
  • The link to the Trace of the deployment

After some time (~60 seconds), you should see one more failed deployment in your dashboard. You can click on the link to the trace and see the reason for the failure:


In this case, we see the name of the failed pre-deployment evaluation and the reason for the failure. In this case, the minimum amount of CPUs is not met. This is a problem we can solve by changing the threshold in the evaluation file.

Install the Demo Application (Version 2)

To achieve this, we changed the operator in the evaluation file (sample-app/version-2/app-pre-deploy-eval) from < to > and applied the new manifest:

kubectl apply -f sample-app/version-2

After this, you can inspect the new state of the application using the same commands as before. You should see that the deployment is now successful and that the trace is also updated. You should also see in the Grafana Dashboards that the deployment was successful.

Congratulations! You have successfully deployed an application using the Keptn Lifecycle Toolkit!

Last modified 2023-05-03: releasing documentation v0.7.1 (f2d8be6)