Running the platform¶
This page describes how to deploy the Renku platform on kind. Running GitLab (which is a part of Renku) is quite resource intensive. For this reason we describe a setup which excludes GitLab from the Renku deployment and instead uses a GitLab instance running elsewhere, for example, gitlab.com as the GitLab backend. For the Renku graph features to function properly in this setup, the GitLab instance needs to be able to contact the locally running platform through a webhook. This can be achieved through many services like ngrok or the like. We are going to use localhost.run, a minimalistic method based on ssh tunneling which allows for a somewhat static hostname.
The renku source code is hosted on github: https://github.com/SwissDataScienceCenter/renku.
You will need the following tools installed on your machine:
Clone the repo¶
Get the code by cloning the Renku repository:
$ git clone https://github.com/SwissDataScienceCenter/renku.git $ cd renku/helm-chart
Install python dependencies¶
We recommend using
pipenv for managing your virtual python environment. Install
all the necessary python dependencies:
$ pipenv install --dev
Next we start kind. We make it so that ports 8080 and 8443 on the host machine are forward respectively to port 80 and 443 to the cluster. This will allow you to access renku.
$ cat <<EOF | kind create cluster --name kind --config=- kind: Cluster apiVersion: kind.x-k8s.io/v1alpha4 nodes: - role: control-plane kubeadmConfigPatches: - | kind: InitConfiguration nodeRegistration: kubeletExtraArgs: node-labels: "ingress-ready=true" extraPortMappings: - containerPort: 80 hostPort: 8080 protocol: TCP EOF
Once kind has started, make sure you can access it by running:
$ kubectl get node NAME STATUS ROLES AGE VERSION kind-control-plane Ready control-plane,master 43s v1.21.1
Deploy the NGINX ingress controller¶
We need an ingress controller to expose HTTP and HTTPS routes from outside the cluster to services within the cluster. We use nginx ingress. Deploy the ingress controller and then run the wait command below to make sure it becomes fully available before proceeding further.
$ kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes/ingress-nginx/main/deploy/static/provider/kind/deploy.yaml $ kubectl wait --namespace ingress-nginx \ --for=condition=ready pod \ --selector=app.kubernetes.io/component=controller \ --timeout=300s
Build and pull all necessary charts¶
$ helm repo add renku https://swissdatasciencecenter.github.io/helm-charts $ pipenv run chartpress $ helm dep update renku
Set up localhost.run¶
We use a service called localhost.run to expose the platform by establishing an ssh tunnel.
$ ssh -R 80:localhost:8080 ssh.localhost.run
This will start the tunnel and display your hostname of the style
http://<some-name>.lhr.domains. In subsequent steps this domain
will be added to the configuration for Renku.
Note: When you stop and restart the tunnel without waiting
for too long, you should receive the same subdomain that you have
previously had. If this is not the case you will have to reconfigure
gitlab.com client application and recreate your Renku deployment
(see next steps).
Note: The second port number in the
ssh command above (i.e.
be the same as the port number you connected on your host machine to the kind cluster.
If you use a different port number in the command when you create your kind cluster then
make sure you use that port number here as well. Using a common port on the host side
80 is not recommended because it can cause issues with the routing between
Renku, the host and the kind cluster.
Set up the gitlab client application¶
Browse to GitLab, then click on the user icon and select settings > applications. Register a new client application with the following settings:
Scopes: all except
Redirect URIs (for
<renku-domain>use the value provided by the
localhost.runservice, from earlier - this domain usually has a format like
Application Id and the
Secret that appear at the end of
values.yaml file will depend on the URL that GitLab is running under.
We have two templates available in the cloned repository in the folder
gitlab.com instance is available at the root of the domain.
If you are using
gitlab.com or any other instance where GitLab is
accessible at the root of the domain, use the file
a template and copy this file to
If you are using renkulab.io/gitlab or another instance of GitLab
that is accessible under the path
/gitlab, then use
a template and copy this file to
(If the GitLab instance is available under a different path than either
the root or
/gitlab, use the
file as a template and adapt the path.)
To complete the template, you should open
helm-chart/example-configurations/external-gitlab-values.yaml and enter
variables that are indicated by
TODO:. You need to
Application Id and the
Secret from the GitLab client application created in the previous step.
Deploy Renku to kind¶
Start the renku platform using helm:
$ kubectl create namespace renku $ helm upgrade renku --install --namespace renku ./renku \ -f minikube-values.yaml -f example-configurations/external-gitlab-values.yaml \ --timeout 3600s
Executing this command for the first time can easily take a long time depending on your internet connection speed (even 30+ minutes) as all the necessary docker images need to be pulled. Do not interrupt the upgrade command.
If you want to verify that things are moving on, open a new terminal any type
kubectl -n renku get pod. The renku-keycloak-* pod is the slowest. If the
Ready column reports 0/1 and Restarts is not higher than 1, all is going
This would be a good moment to grab yourself a coffee…
Once the above command has returned you should be able to access the platform using
your browser under
Keycloak is an identity
management solution which is deployed as a part of Renku. You can access
the admin interface at
admin username is “admin” and the admin password can be looked up in
the corresponding kubernetes secret:
$ kubectl get secrets -n renku keycloak-password-secret -o json | \ jq -r '.data["keycloak-password"]' | base64 --decode
Configure gitlab.com as the identity provider (optional)¶
It is possible to configure
gitlab.com or another external GitLab deployment as an identity provider
for your local Renku deployment. This has the benefit of having
only one source for user information and making the login process
for the platform more convenient.
While logged into the Keycloak admin interface, go to
and choose “GitLab” from the “Add Provider…” drop-down menu. Add the
Application Id and
Secret from the
application created earlier. Save the identity provider and logout
from the Keycloak admin panel.
Configure GitLab CI¶
For each created project you will have to modify the
in the repository for the image build to work. In the
add the following entry:
services: - docker:dind