There are usually 2 different scenarios where Container Images need to be specified:

  1. When deploying third party applications like nginx, redis, … (e.g. via the Helm integration).
    • In this case, image versions/tags rarely change, and if they do, this is an explicit change to the deployment. This means it’s fine to have the image versions/tags directly in the deployment manifests.
  2. When deploying your own applications.
    • In this case, image versions/tags might change very rapidly, sometimes multiple times per hour. Having these versions/tags directly in the deployment manifests can easily lead to commit spam and hard to manage multi-environment deployments.

kluctl offers a better solution for the second case.


This is solved via a templating function that is available in all templates/resources. The function is part of the global images object and expects the following arguments:


  • image
    • The image name/repository. It is looked up the list of fixed images.

The function will lookup the given image in the list of fixed images and return the last match.

Example deployment:

  apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: my-deployment
      - name: c1
        image: "{{ images.get_image('') }}"

Fixed images

Fixed images can be configured multiple methods:

  1. Command line argument --fixed-image
  2. Command line argument --fixed-images-file
  3. Target definition
  4. Global ‘images’ variable

Command line argument --fixed-image

You can pass fixed images configuration via the --fixed-image argument. Due to environment variables support in the CLI, you can also use the environment variable KLUCTL_FIXED_IMAGE_XXX to configure fixed images.

The format of the --fixed-image argument is --fixed-image image<:namespace:deployment:container>=result. The simplest example is --fixed-image

Command line argument --fixed-images-file

You can also configure fixed images via a yaml file by using --fixed-images-file /path/to/fixed-images.yaml. file:

  - image:

The file must contain a single root list named images with each entry having the following form:

  - image: <image_name>
    resultImage: <result_image>
    # optional fields
    namespace: <namespace>
    deployment: <kind>/<name>
    container: <name>

image (or imageRegex) and resultImage are required. All the other fields are optional and allow to specify in detail for which object the fixed is specified.

You can also specify a regex for the image name:

  - imageRegex: registry\.gitlab\.com/my-group/.*
    resultImage: <result_image>
    # optional fields
    namespace: <namespace>
    deployment: <kind>/<name>
    container: <name>

Target definition

The target definition can optionally specify an images field that can contain the same fixed images configuration as found in the --fixed-images-file file.

Global ‘images’ variable

You can also define a global variable named images via one of the variable sources. This variable must be a list of the same format as the images list in the --fixed-images-file file.

This option allows to externalize fixed images configuration, meaning that you can maintain image versions outside the deployment project, e.g. in another Git repository.