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Helm Reaches Version 3

Helm, the Package Manager for Kubernetes, has reached a milestone third major release adding a rich set of new features

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – November 13, 2019 The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which builds sustainable ecosystems for cloud native software, today announced that Helm, the package manager for Kubernetes, has released its third major update with Helm 3.

Helm 3 builds on the core features of Helm 2, with improvements to chart repositories, release management, security, and library charts. With this release, the Helm maintainers incorporated feedback and requests from the community to better address the needs of Kubernetes users and the broad cloud native ecosystem.

“Helm is one of our fastest-growing projects in contributors and users contributing back to the project,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO, CNCF. “Helm is a powerful tool for all Kubernetes users to streamline deployments, and we’re impressed by the progress the community has made with this release in growing their community.”

Helm is a package manager that provides an easy way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes. It removes the complexity of configuration and deployment, thus increasing developer productivity. Helm originally began as an open source project in 2015 at Deis, a small startup company acquired by Microsoft. In 2016, the core Helm team joined forces with Google, Skippbox, and Bitnami to produce a new version of Helm, shifting the emphasis from individuals to teams, and Helm became a part of the Kubernetes community. In June 2018, the Helm community joined CNCF as an incubating project.

Last week, third party security firm Cure53 completed their open source security audit of Helm 3, lauding Helm’s mature focus on security, and concluding that Helm 3 is “recommended for public deployment.” According to the report, “in light of the findings stemming from this CNCF-funded project, Cure53 can only state that the Helm project projects the impression of being highly mature. This verdict is driven by a number of different factors… and essentially means that Helm can be recommended for public deployment, particularly when properly configured and secured in accordance to recommendations specified by the development team.”

Helm uses a packaging format called charts, which are collections of files describing a related set of Kubernetes resources. These charts can then be packaged into versioned archives to be deployed. Helm 2 defined a workflow for creating, installing, and managing these charts. Helm 3 builds upon that workflow, changing the underlying infrastructure to reflect the needs of the community as they change and evolve.

“When we built Helm, we set out to create a tool to serve as an ‘on-ramp’ to Kubernetes. With Helm 3, we have really accomplished that,” said Matt Fisher, the Helm 3 release manager. “Our goal has always been to make it easier for the Kubernetes user to create, share, and run production-grade workloads. The core maintainers are really excited to hit this major milestone, and we look forward to hearing how the community is using Helm 3.” 

Helm 3 was a joint community effort, with core maintainers from organizations including Microsoft, Samsung SDS, IBM, and Blood Orange. Since the first alpha release, Helm 3 has seen contributions from 38 members of the community. Over 500 community members have contributed code to the Helm CLI since its inception and thousands of community members actively maintain charts on the Helm Hub. 

Helm’s next phase of development will see new features targeted toward stability and enhancements to existing features. Features on the roadmap include enhanced functionality for helm test, improvements to Helm’s OCI integration, and enhanced functionality for the Go client libraries.

Additional Resources

About Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Cloud native computing empowers organizations to build and run scalable applications with an open source software stack in public, private, and hybrid clouds. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of the global technology infrastructure, including Kubernetes, Prometheus, and Envoy. CNCF brings together the industry’s top developers, end users, and vendors, and runs the largest open source developer conferences in the world. Supported by more than 500 members, including the world’s largest cloud computing and software companies, as well as over 200 innovative startups, CNCF is part of the nonprofit Linux Foundation. For more information, please visit www.cncf.io.

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Jessie Adams-Shore

The Linux Foundation

PR@CNCF.io