Helm (K8s): Basic commands to deploy and manage an application through charts


Helm is a tool to manage applications within Kubernetes.

Helm can be installed either from source or from pre-built binary releases. If you are using the Ubuntu operating system for Kubernetes, refer to this URL.

An important point to always remember that running the basic commands always produces information from the default namespace.

1. namk8s@namk8s-master:~$ helm version

version.BuildInfo{Version:"v3.3.0", GitCommit:"8a4aeec08d67a7b84472007529e8097ec3742105", GitTreeState:"dirty", GoVersion:"go1.14.7"}

In the following examples, I am going to use namespace called 'nam'.

2. helm install [NAME] [CHART] [flags]

Use this command to install a chart.

Example:  helm install --namespace nam access-manager access-manager 

When you want to test the template rendering, but not install anything, you can use

helm install --debug --dry-run [NAME] [CHART]


--debug: enable verbose output
--dry-run: simulate an install

3. helm list [flags]

In a Helm-deployed application, list provides details about an application's current release.

In the following image:

  • Command1: Get helm list from the default namespace.
  • Command2: Get helm list from all the namespaces.
  • Command3: Get helm list from the specified namespace.


4. helm status RELEASE_NAME [flags]

Use this command to display the status of the specified release. 



5. helm history RELEASE_NAME [flags]


Use this command to fetch the history of the specified release.


6. helm show all [CHART] [flags]

Use this command to show information about a chart




7. helm upgrade [RELEASE] [CHART] [flags]

Use this command to upgrade a release.

Example: helm upgrade --namespace nam access-manager access-manager

8. helm uninstall RELEASE_NAME [...] [flags]

Use this command to uninstall a release.

Example: helm uninstall --namespace nam access-manager

Note: You can notice [flags] in all the above commands. Please refer to the following image to know about global flags.


 If you are fresh to docker and Kubernetes world, this is the introductory post on the K8s series which highlights some key terms we require to know before a deep dive-in.




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