Tutorial: Writing and using Commodore Packages

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to create and use a Commodore Package. Commodore Packages allow you to distribute configuration for one or more components.

We will write a simple package deploying Component cert-manager and bundling some custom defaults. We then look at adding this package to a cluster.

We assume that you understand the basics of Project Syn and how to use it, have a working Commodore installation, and that you have access to a Lieutenant instance and a Syn managed cluster. If this isn’t the case, first work through the Getting Started guide and the tutorial on Writing a Component.

Creating a Commodore Package

First let’s bootstrap a package using Commodore. Switch to an exiting Commodore working directory or a new empty directory and run:

commodore package new cert-manager --owner ${GITHUB_USERNAME}

The new package is now located at dependencies/pkg.cert-manager.

cd dependencies/pkg.cert-manager

You’ll see a new, mostly empty repository with some boilerplate. Let’s add some functionality by adding a new class common.yml with the following content.

  - cert-manager

      url: https://github.com/projectsyn/component-cert-manager.git
      version: v3.0.2

    letsencrypt_email: cert@example.com

This class enables the component cert-manager and configures a custom default for the letsencrypt email. A class can contain pretty much arbitrary configuration that will be added as-is to a cluster configuration that imports the class.

Next you can push the catalog to GitHub. By default the origin will be github.com/${GITHUB_USERNAME}/package-cert-manager. Make sure to create a new project on GitHub with that name and push to it.

git add .
git commit -m "Add component cert-manager"
git push --set-upstream origin master

Using a Commodore Package

With the package published on GitHub we can deploy it on our cluster.

Switch to the tenant repository of your Syn managed cluster and add the following to the cluster configuration:

  - cert-manager.common (3)
  - pkg.cert-manager (2)
    cert-manager: (1)
      url: https://github.com/${GITHUB_USERNAME}/package-cert-manager.git
      version: master
1 Package dependencies are specified similarly to Component dependencies.
2 We need to enable the package as part of the applications. This gives us access to the provided classes.
3 We can now import any of the classes in the package as if they’re locally available or in the global defaults.

This will add the component cert-manager to the cluster and configure the lestsencrypt mail to cert@example.com.

During catalog compilation, after the message Discovering config packages…​, you’ll see several warnings like [WARNING] Reclass class not found: 'cert-manager.common'. Skipped!. This is expected, as Commodore has to render the inventory in order to be able to read the package’s Git repository URL and version, which are stored in the inventory.


This package is very much a toy example, but I hope it has shown you how we can use Commodore Packages to bundle common configuration for one or more Components and simplify configuration reuse.

As a next step to writing your own package, consult our best practices or look at existing packages such as package-monitoring, the package for our vendor independent monitoring stack.