Modules

Modules are the basic unit of building in Garden. They are usually the first thing you add after creating the project-level configuration.

A module can correspond to a Dockerfile and its associated code, a remote Docker image, a Helm chart, an OpenFaaS function, and more, all depending on the module type.

Below is a simple example of a module's garden.yml (from the demo-project example project):

kind: Module
name: backend
description: Backend service container
type: container
services:
...
tasks:
...
tests:
...

How it Works

A Garden project is usually split up into the project-level garden.yml file and several module-level configuration files:

.
├── garden.yml
├── module-a
│ ├── garden.yml
│ └── ...
├── module-b
│ └── garden.yml
│ └── ...
├── module-c
└── garden.yml
└── ...

It's also possible to define several modules in the same garden.yml file and/or in the same file as the the project-level configuration.

Modules must have a type. Different module types behave in different ways. For example, the container module type corresponds to a Docker image, either built from a local Dockerfile or pulled from a remote repository.

Furthermore, modules can have services, tests and tasks.

You use the garden build command to build your modules.

Read the sections below for more information on configuring modules, including how to control which files and directories are included in a module.

Module types

Garden is pluggable and features a number of module types. You can find all of them and their full reference documentation here, but we'll provide a high-level overview of the most commonly used types below:

  • container modules are a high level and portable way to describe how container images are both built and deployed. When working with containers you'll at least use this to build the images, but you may also specify services, tasks and tests on them. The kubernetes providers, for example, can take these service definitions, generate Kubernetes manifests and deploy them. This is generally much easier to use than the below kubernetes and helm module types, but in turn loses some of the flexibility of those two.

  • kubernetes modules are quite simple. They allow you to provide your own Kubernetes manifests, which the kubernetes providers can then deploy. Use this for any custom manifests you need or already have, and when you don't need the capabilities of the more complex helm modules.

  • helm modules allow you to deploy your own Helm charts, or 3rd-party charts from remote repositories. Helm is a powerful tool, especially when deploying 3rd-party (or otherwise external) charts. You can also make your own charts, but we recommend only doing so when you need its flexible templating capabilities, or if you aim to publish the charts.

  • exec modules offer a flexible way to weave in arbitrary scripts and commands that are executed locally. These can be custom build steps, tasks, tests or really anything else. The caveat is that they always run on the same machine as the Garden CLI, and not e.g. in a Kubernetes cluster, and thus not quite as portable.

  • terraform modules offer a powerful way to deploy any cloud resources as part of your project. See the Terraform guide for more information.

There are several other module types available as well. See the module types reference for a full list of supported module types, and their configuration reference.

Including and excluding files

By default, all files in the same directory as a module configuration file are included as source files for that module. Sometimes you need more granular control over the context, not least if you have multiple modules in the same directory.

The include and exclude fields are a simple way to explicitly specify which sources should belong to a particular module. They both accept a list of POSIX-style paths or globs. For example:

kind: Module
description: My container
type: container
include:
- Dockerfile
- my-sources/**/*.py
exclude:
- my-sources/tmp/**/*
...

Here, we only include the Dockerfile and all the .py files under my-sources/, but exclude the my-sources/tmp directory.

If you specify a list with include, only those files/patterns are included. If you then specify one or more exclude files or patterns, those are filtered out of the files matched by include. If you only specify exclude, those patterns will be filtered out of all files in the module directory.

Note that the module include and exclude fields have no effect on which paths Garden watches for changes. Use the project modules.exclude field for that purpose.

You can also use .gardenignore files, much like .gitignore files, to exclude files across your project. You can place them in your project root, in module roots, and even in individual sub-directories of modules.

Multiple modules in the same directory

Sometimes, it's useful to define several modules in the same garden.yml file. One common situation is where more than one Dockerfile is in use (e.g. one for a development build and one for a production build).

Another is when the dev configuration and the production configuration have different integration testing suites, which may depend on different external services being available.

To do this, add a document separator (---) between the module definitions. Here's a simple (if a bit contrived) example:

kind: Module
description: My container - configuration A
type: container
dockerfile: Dockerfile-a
exclude: ["Dockerfile-b"]
...
tests:
- name: unit
args: [npm, test]
- name: integ
args: [npm, run, integ-a]
dependencies:
- a-integration-testing-backend
---
kind: Module
description: My container - configuration B
type: container
dockerfile: Dockerfile-b
exclude: ["Dockerfile-a"]
...
tests:
- name: unit
args: [npm, test]
- name: integ
args: [npm, run, integ-b]
dependencies:
- b-integration-testing-backend

Note that you must use the include and/or exclude directives (described above) when module paths overlap. This is to help users steer away from subtle bugs that can occur when modules unintentionally consume source files from other modules. See the next section for details on including and excluding files.

Modules in the Stack Graph

Modules correspond to a build action in the Stack Graph.

  • Modules can depend on other modules (via build dependencies).

  • Tasks, tests, and services can depend on modules (via build dependencies).

Examples

You can learn more about different module types in the module type reference docs.

Container Module

Below is the configuration for a simple container module. Here we're assuming that the the Dockerfile and source files are in the same directory as the garden.yml file.

kind: Module
name: backend
description: Backend service container
type: container

Multiple Modules in the Same File

In this example, we declare multiple container modules in the same file. We use the include directive to tell Garden where the source code for each modules resides.

kind: Module
name: backend
description: Backend service container
type: container
include:
- backend/**/*
---
kind: Module
name: frontend
description: Frontend service container
type: container
include:
- frontend/**/*

Container Module with a Remote Image

In this example, we use the image directive to include an external Docker image with the project. This module has no source code of its own.

kind: Module
name: backend
description: Postgres DB container
type: container
image: postgres:11.7-alpine

Advanced

Disabling Modules

You can disable modules by setting disabled: true in the module config file. You can also disable it conditionally using template strings. For example, to disable a particular module for a specific environment, you could do something like this:

kind: Module
name: backend
description: Postgres DB container
type: container
disabled: ${environment.name == "prod"}
image: postgres:11.7-alpine

Disabling a module disables all services, tasks and tests defined in the module. Note, however, that if a disabled module is referenced as a build dependency of another module, the module will still be built when needed, to ensure the dependant module can be built as expected.

Further Reading

Next Steps

Continue reading for an introduction to adding services that Garden can deploy for you.