3. Add Actions

With our Kubernetes environment set up, we can start adding Garden actions for building and deploying our project.

Step 1 β€” Log in and start the dev console

First, log in to the dashboard by running:

garden login

Then start the interactive dev console with:

garden dev

You can follow the link to open the dashboard but there won't be much there yet since we haven't added actions to our project.

Note that the first time you open the dashboard while the dev command is running it will initialize your Kubernetes environment. This may take a while depending on how you set it up. This will only happen once and subsequent loads will be a lot faster.

You can skip logging in if you choose but if you don't, you won't be able to use Garden managed ephemeral Kubernetes clusters which is the quickest way to get started and you'll miss out on all of the features of the web dashboard.

Step 2 β€” Add actions for deploying the database

Next, let's add Garden actions for deploying the database.

First, create a garden.yml config file in the ./db directory.

We'll use actions of kind Deploy and Run to deploy and seed the database. Each action also has a type which determines how it's executed and depends on the plugins that we're using.

Since this is for a development environment we can deploy the database directly to our Kubernetes cluster. Let's use a Postgres Helm chart and add a Deploy action of type helm.

You'll find all the available types under the Actions page in the Kubernetes Plugins section.

Now add the following to ./db/garden.yml:

kind: Deploy
name: db
type: helm
description: Deploy a Postgres Helm chart
spec:
  chart: # <--- Tell Garden what chart to use
    name: postgresql
    repo: https://charts.bitnami.com/bitnami
    version: "12.4.2"
  values: # <--- Overwrite some of the chart values
    fullnameOverride: postgres
    auth:
      postgresPassword: postgres
    primary:
      readinessProbe:
        successThreshold: 3
---
kind: Run
name: db-seed
type: kubernetes-exec
dependencies: [deploy.db]
description: Execute a command to initialize the database inside the running deployment
spec:
  resource: # <--- The K8s resource in which the action should be executed
    kind: "StatefulSet"
    name: "postgres"
  command: # <--- A simple command that creates a table that our app needs
    [
      "bin/sh",
      "-c",
      "PGPASSWORD=postgres psql -w -U postgres --host=postgres --port=5432 -d postgres -c 'CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS votes (id VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL UNIQUE, vote VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL, created_at timestamp default NULL)'",
    ]

Here we're using the kubernetes-exec action type to seed the database by executing a command inside the running Pod. This is a good choice for development but another common pattern is to run separate Pods for these kind of one-off operations, e.g. via a container Run action. You can learn about the different Run actions here.

Note also the resource field which tells Garden what resource to execute the command in.

For higher environments we recommend using our Terraform or Pulumi plugins to deploy a proper managed database instance.

Step 2 β€” Add a Build action for the API

Next, let's add actions for the API.

This time we'll use actions of kind Build and Deploy to (unsurprisingly) build and deploy the API.

First, create a garden.yml config file in the ./api directory.

Then add the following Build action to the file:

kind: Build
name: api
description: Build the API image
type: container

Now, try building the API by running the following from the interactive dev console:

build

You can view the results and the logs in the dashboard.

If you're using the ephemeral-kubernetes or kubernetes plugins, Garden will build the action inside the cluster by default. This means you won't need Docker running on your laptop and you can share build caches with your team if you're using your own K8s environment. You can learn about different build modes here.

Try running the build command one more time. Notice how Garden checks the status of the action and tells you that the API is already built?

This is how you can share build caches with your entire team when using Garden against your own remote Kubernetes environment. Once a given part of your system has been built, everyone else on the teamβ€”and your CI pipelinesβ€”can re-use it and save massive amounts of time otherwise spent waiting for builds.

By default, Garden will look for a Dockerfile next to the Garden config file but you can configure this. See here and here.

Step 3 β€” Add a Deploy action for the API

Next, we'll add an action for deploying the API.

Since we already have Kubernetes manifests for the API in the ./manifests directory we'll use the kubernetes action type and add the following below the Build action in ./api/garden.yml:

---
kind: Deploy
name: api
type: kubernetes
description: Deploy the API
dependencies: [build.api, run.db-seed] # <--- We need to build the api and seed the DB before deploying it

spec:
  files: [./manifests/*] # <--- Tell Garden what manifests to use

  defaultTarget: # <--- This tells Garden what "target" to use for logs, code syncing and more
    kind: Deployment
    name: api

  # Patch the K8s manifests for the api service so that we can set the correct image
  patchResources:
    - name: api
      kind: Deployment
      patch:
        spec:
          template:
            spec:
              containers:
                - name: api
                  image: ${actions.build.api.outputs.deploymentImageId} # <--- Reference the output from the Build action

Note the patchResources field. When Garden builds the API it attaches a version to the image based on the version of that action (which is based on the source code and action configuration). To ensure we deploy the correct version of the action we overwrite the image field in the corresponding manifest by applying the patch we specify under the patchResources field.

There are a few ways to overwrite manifest values with Garden but this is the recommended approach since it allows you to re-use existing manifests without making any changes to them. You can learn more about the different approaches here.

Next, lets deploy the API.

This time, try opening the Live page in the dashboard and selecting the Graph view.

You should see all your actions and their dependencies. Click the button on the API deploy action to "execute" the action and deploy the API. Notice how Garden will first install the database, then seed it, and then deploy the API.

Notice also how Garden sees that the API has already been built (when we ran the build command above) and can get straight to deploying it once the upstream dependencies are ready.

The Live page is only available when the Garden dev command is running so make sure you run garden dev if you haven't already.

On the Live page you can view your action graph, see action results, streams logs, and interact with your project.

Step 3 β€” Add actions for the web service

The actions for the web service will be very similar.

First, create a garden.yml file in the web directory and then add the following:

kind: Build
name: web
type: container
---
kind: Deploy
name: web
type: kubernetes
dependencies: [build.web, deploy.api]
spec:
  files: [./manifests/*]

  # Default target for syncs and exec commands
  defaultTarget:
    kind: Deployment
    name: web

  # Patch the K8s manifests for the web service so that we can set the correct image
  patchResources:
    - name: web
      kind: Deployment
      patch:
        spec:
          template:
            spec:
              containers:
                - name: web
                  image: ${actions.build.web.outputs.deploymentImageId}

If you have a lot of actions with similar config, you can create reusable Config Templates to avoid the boilerplate.

Now try deploying the entire project by running the following from the interactive dev console:

deploy

Garden will print links to your services in the dev console. You'll also find them in the web dashboard.

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