This is a quickstart guide for building and running Headlamp for development.
Please make sure you read the Contribution Guidelines as well before starting to contribute to the project.
See platforms to find out which browsers, OS and flavours of Kubernetes we support.
Dependencies to get started
These are the required dependencies to get started. Other dependencies are pulled in by the golang or node package managers (see frontend/package.json, app/package.json, backend/go.mod and Dockerfile).
- Node.js Latest LTS (18.14 at time of writing). Many of us use nvm for installing multiple versions of Node.
- Go , (1.19 at time of writing)
- Make (GNU). Often installed by default. On Windows this can be installed with the “chocolatey” package manager that is installed with node.
- Kubernetes , we suggest minikube as one good K8s installation for testing locally. Other k8s installations are supported (see platforms ).
Build the code
Headlamp is composed of a
backend and a
You can build both the
frontend by running.
Run the code
The quickest way to get the
frontend running for development is
the following (respectively):
and in a different terminal instance:
Build the app
You can build the app for Linux, Windows, or Mac.
Do so on the platform you are building for. That is build the mac app on a Mac, and the linux app on a linux box.
First, we need to
make backend frontend
Then choose the relevant command.
For Windows, by default it will produce an installer using NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System) .
If you prefer an
.msi installer, then be sure to install the
and have its
candle.exe in the Windows path.
E.g. if you are using WiX Toolset version 3.11, this can be done by running the following command,
before the one above:
set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Program Files (x86)\WiX Toolset v3.11\bin
Then run the following command to generate the
See the generated app files in app/dist/ .
Running the app on Ubuntu WSL
Headlamp on WSL requires some packages installed (maybe it requires more) to run the app.
sudo apt install libgconf-2-4 libatk1.0-0 libatk-bridge2.0-0 libgdk-pixbuf2.0-0 libgtk-3-0 libgbm1 libnss3 libasound2
Some of these are also needed some of them only for the end to end tests.
sudo apt-get install firefox libgstreamer-plugins-bad1.0-0 libegl1 libnotify4 libopengl0 libwoff1 libharfbuzz-icu0 libgstreamer-gl1.0-0 libwebpdemux2 libenchant1c2a libsecret-1-0 libhyphen0 libevdev2 libgles2 gstreamer1.0-libav
Build a container image
The following command builds a container image for Headlamp from the current
source. It will run the
frontend from a
backend’s static server, and
options can be appended to the main command as arguments.
Custom container base images
The Dockerfile takes a build argument for the base image used. You can specify the base image used using the IMAGE_BASE environment variable with make.
IMAGE_BASE=debian:latest make image
If no IMAGE_BASE is specified, then a default image is used (see Dockerfile for exact default image used).
This is useful if there are requirements on what base images can be used in an environment.
So far Debian variants (including Ubuntu), and Alpine Linux are supported. If you have other requirements, please get in touch.
Running the container image
With docker you can run the Headlamp image(
Note, the mount arguments add folders that are referenced in the ~/.kube
folders - you may need to add other folders if your config refers
to more folders.
docker run --network="host" -p 127.0.0.1:4466:4466/tcp --mount type=bind,source="/home/rene/.minikube",target=$HOME/.minikube --mount type=bind,source="$HOME/.kube",target=/root/.kube ghcr.io/headlamp-k8s/headlamp:latest /headlamp/headlamp-server -html-static-dir /headlamp/frontend -plugins-dir=/headlamp/plugins
If you want to make a new container image called
you can run it like this:
$ DOCKER_IMAGE_VERSION=development make image
Successfully tagged headlamp-k8s/headlamp:development
$ docker run --network="host" -p 127.0.0.1:4466:4466/tcp --mount type=bind,source="/home/rene/.minikube",target=$HOME/.minikube --mount type=bind,source="$HOME/.kube",target=/root/.kube headlamp-k8s/headlamp:development /headlamp/headlamp-server -html-static-dir /headlamp/frontend -plugins-dir=/headlamp/plugins
Then go to https://localhost:4466 in your browser.
These instructions are for if you want to use Headlamp running “in-cluster”, and test it locally on minikube with a local container image.
We assume you’ve already setup a minikube
minikube start --driver=docker).
Container image in the minikube docker environment
First we have to make the container image in the minikube docker environment. This is needed because minikube looks for container images in there, not ones made in the local docker environment.
$ eval $(minikube docker-env)
$ DOCKER_IMAGE_VERSION=development make image
Create a deployment yaml.
$ kubectl create deployment headlamp -n kube-system --image=headlamp-k8s/headlamp:development -o yaml --dry-run -- /headlamp/headlamp-server -html-static-dir /headlamp/frontend -in-cluster -plugins-dir=/headlamp/plugins > minikube-headlamp.yaml
To use the local container image we change the
imagePullPolicy to Never.
Making kubectl use local images - which is what you want in development.
Now we create the deployment.
$ kubectl apply -f minikube-headlamp.yaml
Then we expose the deployment, and get a URL where we can see it.
$ kubectl expose deployment headlamp -n kube-system --type=NodePort --port=4466
$ kubectl get service headlamp -n kube-system
NAME TYPE CLUSTER-IP EXTERNAL-IP PORT(S) AGE
headlamp NodePort 10.99.144.210 <none> 4466:30712/TCP 6m57s
$ minikube service headlamp -n kube-system --url
Go to the URL printed by minikube in your browser, and get your token to login.
Shipping plugins in the Docker image
Since the Headlamp server has an option (
-plugins-dir) for indicating where to find any plugins,
a deployment of Headlamp using the Docker image can mount a plugins folder
and point to it by using the mentioned option.
An alternative is to build an image that ships some plugins in it. For that, just create a “.plugins” folder in the Headlamp project directory as the Dockerfile will include it and point to it by default.
Special Build Options
Here are some options that can be used when building Headlamp, to change its default behavior.
When in the desktop app, by default, Headlamp will check for new versions from its Github page and warn the user about it, as well as showing the release notes after updating to a new version.
This behavior can be turned off by adding the following to a
.env file in the
Build Headlamp Base (Headlamp without any plugins)
For building Headlamp Base (Headlamp without plugins), simply remove the
app/app-build-manifest.json and run the build commands in the sections above.