Chapter 8. Helm Plugins and Starters

As we’ve seen throughout this book, Helm has plenty of features and methods that aid in delivering applications on Kubernetes. However, it is also possible to customize and extend the functionality provided by Helm.

In this chapter we will discuss two ways to further enhance and customize your usage of Helm: plugins and starters.

Plugins allow you to add extra functionality to Helm and integrate seamlessly with the CLI, making them a popular choice for users with unique workflow requirements. There are a number of third-party plugins available online for common use cases, such as secrets management. In addition, plugins are incredibly easy to build on your own for unique, one-off tasks.

Starters expand the possibilities of using helm create to generate new Helm charts for different types of applications. For example, you might have a Helm chart built for an internal microservice that fits perfectly as an example for future microservices. You could convert the chart into a starter, which you can then use each time you begin a new project with similar requirements.

By leveraging plugins and starters, we can build on top of Helm’s out-of-the-box functionality to simplify and automate everyday workflow tasks.


Helm plugins are external tools that are accessible directly from the Helm CLI. They allow you to add custom subcommands to Helm without making any modifications to Helm’s Go source code. This is similar in design to how plugin systems ...

Get Learning Helm now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.