Commodore Package Best Practices

Commodore Configuration Packages provide a way of reusing configuration presets for one or more components.

In this document we provide a few best practices for writing packages. While adhering to these practices isn’t mandatory, it makes using packages more consistent and allows Syn tooling, such as the Commodores Renovate extension, to interact with them.


The structure of Commodore Packages is a lot less rigid than for Commodore Components. The only constraint is that they need to provide one or more reclass classes in the form of YAML files.

However, to give packages a consistent look and feel for users and developers we recommend a basic structure:

  • A common.yml class that includes the base configuration and the parameter defaults (see parameters section below)

  • A class for every supported distribution (for example openshift4.yml) that imports and extends the common.yml class

  • A docs/ folder containing the Antora documentation for the package

  • A tests/ folder containing golden tests for the package

With this structure, a package user only has to import a single class <package-name>.<distribution> and can expect a working configuration. A package maintainer on the other hand will know where to find tests, documentation, and distribution specific implementation.

There might be good reasons to not use this structure. Maybe there is no distribution specific configuration, or there are some other domain specific classes.

If you choose to deviate from this structure we strongly recommend documenting the package structure and how to use it.


A package should always provide all components it’s using and should never depend on certain components to be present. Further a package has to provide the complete component dependency declaration, including url and version, and can’t depend on them being provided by global defaults.

This is necessary for packages to be able to be compiled independently and to avoid unexpected dependencies.

  - my_component

      version: v1.2.4
When following the default package structure we suggest defining all component dependencies in the common.yml class.


Most configuration packages will need some way to take input form the package user. While users always have the option to extend and overwrite the configuration provided by the package, doing so is tedious and changes to the package easily break the user’s configuration.

For this reason it’s considered best practice to provide Package Parameters to configure the package. Package parameters are very similar to Component parameters. They provide a stable and concise interface for users to configure the package. The package can then these parameters in the provided configuration.

If a package decides to provide package parameter they must be defined under the parameter key pkg.<package-name> and the package should provide parameter references in its documentation.

Similarly to component parameters there are two parameters that need to have a certain structure if they’re provided.


If the package provides an option to configure container images versions, it’s considered best practice to provide package parameter images.

The value of parameter images should be an object where each field name corresponds to a container image used by the component. The value of each field should again be an object with fields registry, repository, and tag. These fields should correspond to the container image registry, repository in that registry and image tag of the container image.


If the package provides the option to expose the Helm chart versions and sources it’s considered best practice to make them configurable in the parameter charts. The value of this parameter should be an object, where each field corresponds to a Helm chart name and the value is another object with fields source and version indicating the chart repository and version to use for that chart.

Unlike component parameters it isn’t usually necessary to provide images and charts parameters for all used Docker images and Helm charts. This is only necessary if:

  • The package uses images or charts that aren’t in the component defaults

  • The package needs to deviate from the components defaults

  • An image or chart is used by multiple components and it’s crucial that they use the same version.


With these best practices in mind, a package might look similar to the following example:

applications: (1)
  - my-component

  pkg.example: (2)
    images: (3)
        repository: bitnami/kubectl
        tag: '1.21.2'
        repository: thanos/thanos
        tag: 'v0.24.0'
    charts: (3)
        version: v1.2.3

      enabled: true
      bars: []

  components: (1)
      version: v1.2.4

      kubectl: ${pkg.monitoring:images:kubectl} (2)
      bars: ${pkg.monitoring:foo:bars} (2)
1 The package uses the my_component component and makes sure the component dependency is explicitly defined.
2 The parameters under pkg.example are managed by the package and can be used to configure the components.
3 Helm charts and Docker images are specified in the standard format so they can be parsed by Syn tooling.
  - .common (1)

    disable_security_context: true
1 The openshift4 specific class imports the common class and extends it to work on OpenShift4.