Brigade - Event-driven scripting for Kubernetes.

Developer Guide

Developer Guide

This document explains how to get started developing Brigade.

Brigade is composed of numerous parts. The following represent the core components:

  • brigade-controller: The Kubernetes controller for delegating Brigade events
  • brigade-worker: The JavaScript runtime for executing brigade.js files. The controller spawns these, though you can run one directly as well.
  • brigade-api: The REST API server for user interfaces
  • brigade-project: The Helm chart for installing Brigade projects
  • brigade-vacuum: The stale build cleaner-upper (optional; enabled by default)
  • brig: The Brigade CLI
  • git-sidecar: The code that runs as a sidecar in cluster to fetch Git repositories (optional; enabled by default)

Additionally, there are several opt-in gateways that can be enabled via Helm chart values. These are:

  • Brigade GitHub App Gateway: The implementation of the GitHub App web hooks. It requires the controller.
  • Generic Gateway: A generic gateway offering flexibility to create Brigade events from webhooks originating from an arbitrary service/platform.
  • Container Registry Gateway: A gateway supporting container registry webhooks such as the ones emitted by DockerHub and ACR.

Read up on all the gateways above, as well as others, in the Gateways doc.

This document covers environment setup, how to run functional tests and development of brigade-controller and brigade-worker components.


  • Go toolchain (latest version)
  • Minikube
  • Docker
  • make
  • Node.js, Yarn and NPM

Clone the Repository In GOPATH

Follow these steps when cloning the brigade repository to use an existing GOPATH for your system:

export GOPATH=$(go env GOPATH) # GOPATH is set to $HOME/go by default
export PATH=$GOPATH/bin:$PATH # 'make bootstrap brig' will try to execute binnaries in $GOPATH/bin
mkdir -p $GOPATH/src/
git clone $GOPATH/src/
cd $GOPATH/src/

Note: this leaves you at the tip of master in the repository where active development is happening. You might prefer to checkout the most recent stable tag:

  • $ git checkout v1.0.0

After cloning the project locally, you should run this command to configure the remote:

git remote add fork<your GitHub username>/brigade

To push your changes to your fork, run:

git push --set-upstream fork <branch>

Building Source

To build all of the source, run this:

$ make bootstrap build

To build just the client binaries, run this:

$ make bootstrap brig

To build Docker images, run:

$ make docker-build

Javascript Bootstrap/Test

To bootstrap the Javascript dependencies required by Brigade Worker:

$ make bootstrap-js

To format the Javascript files:

$ make format-js

To run the tests:

$ make test-js

(See Running the Brigade-Worker Locally below for live testing against a running instance.)

Minikube configuration

Start Minikube. Your addons should look like this:

$  minikube addons list
- addon-manager: enabled
- dashboard: disabled
- default-storageclass: enabled
- heapster: disabled
- ingress: enabled
- kube-dns: enabled
- registry: disabled
- registry-creds: disabled

Feel free to enable other addons, but the ones above are expected to be present for Brigade to operate.

For local development, you will want to point your Docker client to the Minikube Docker daemon:

$ eval $(minikube docker-env)

Running make docker-build will push the Brigade images to the Minikube Docker daemon. The image tag (set by VERSION in the Makefile) will default to a unique value such as v1.0.0-80-g6721dd8. You can verify this by running docker images and affirming these tagged images are listed.

Brigade charts are hosted in the separate brigadecore/charts repo, so we’ll need to add the corresponding Helm repo locally:

$ helm repo add brigade
"brigade" has been added to your repositories

If you just want to roll with the default chart values and let the Makefile set the image tags appropriately, simply run:

$ make helm-install

This will issue the appropriate command to create a new Brigade chart release on this cluster.

(Note: helm init may be needed to get tiller up and running on the cluster, if not already started.)

During active development, the flow might then look like:

$ # make code changes, commit
$ make docker-build
$ make helm-upgrade
$ # (repeat)
$ # push to fork and create pull request

For finer-grained control, you may wish to create a custom values.yaml file for the chart and set various values in addition to the latest image tags:

$ helm inspect values brigade/brigade > myvalues.yaml
$ open myvalues.yaml    # Change all `tag:` fields to be `tag: <tag>`, etc.

From here, you can install Brigade into Minikube using the Helm chart:

$ helm install -n brigade brigade/brigade -f myvalues.yaml

Don’t forget to also create a project. Check out projects to see how it’s done.

Running Brigade inside remote Kubernetes

Some developers use a remote Kubernetes instead of minikube.

To run a development version of Brigade inside of a remote Kubernetes, you will need to do two things:

  • Make sure you push your brigade docker images to a registry the cluster can access
  • Set the image when you do a helm install brigade/<chart> on the Brigade chart.

Running Brigade (brigade-controller) Locally (against Minikube)

Assuming you have Brigade installed (either on minikube or another cluster) and your $KUBECONFIG is pointing to that cluster, you can run brigade-controller locally.

$ ./bin/brigade-controller --kubeconfig $KUBECONFIG

(The default location for $KUBECONFIG on UNIX-like systems is $HOME/.kube.)

For the remainder of this document, we will assume that your local $KUBECONFIG is pointing to the correct cluster.

Running the Functional Tests

Once you have Brigade running in Minikube or a comparable alternative, you should be able to run the functional tests.

First, create a project that points to the brigadecore/empty-testbed project. The most flexible way of doing this is via the brig cli. Here we supply -x to forgo interactive prompts. All the defaults will therefore be set to the brigadecore/empty-testbed project.

 $ brig project create -x
Project ID: brigade-830c16d4aaf6f5490937ad719afd8490a5bcbef064d397411043ac

You can check this project configuration out via brig project get brigadecore/empty-testbed.

With this setup, you should be able to run make test-functional and see the tests run against your local Brigade binary.

Running the Brigade-Worker Locally

You can run the Brigade worker locally by cding into brigade-worker and running k brigade. Note that this will require you to set a number of environment variables. See brigade-worker/index.ts for the list of variables you will need to set.

Here is an example script for running a quick test against a locally running brigade worker.


export BRIGADE_EVENT_TYPE=quicktest
export BRIGADE_COMMIT_REF=master
export BRIGADE_PROJECT_ID=brigade-830c16d4aaf6f5490937ad719afd8490a5bcbef064d397411043ac
export BRIGADE_SCRIPT="$(pwd)/brigade.js"

cd ./brigade-worker
yarn start

You may change the variables above to point to the desired project.