This is the second post in the series of posts about writing and publishing a Kubernetes Operator. In this post we will cover:

  • creating a bundle and packaging it into an index image,
  • creating a CatalogSource resource using this index image,
  • and creating an Operand (or a CR) out of the Operator we thus installed.

If you haven’t already, take a look at the first part before reading this further.

I’m writing this blog series as a part of learning Kubernetes Operators and Operator Framework myself. There might be mistakes in the post. Please share any feedback/suggestions via Twitter.

Install Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM) Link to heading

First and foremost, let’s enable our minikube cluster with OLM. This can be done using:

$ operator-sdk olm install

This will create a bunch of resources in the cluster mostly in the two newly created namespaces - olm and operators:

$ kubectl get ns
NAME              STATUS   AGE
default           Active   3d2h
kube-node-lease   Active   3d2h
kube-public       Active   3d2h
kube-system       Active   3d2h
olm               Active   65s
operators         Active   65s

Bundle Image Link to heading

An Operator Bundle is a container image that stores the Kubernetes manifests and metadata associated with an Operator. A bundle image is built as a scratch container image, meaning it isn’t used to spin up a running container. It is pushed to and pulled from an OCI-compliant container registry. Ultimately, it will be used by an Operator Registry and OLM to install an Operator.

Makefile’s bundle target generates the bundle into the bundle directory. It contains the manifest and metadata defining our Operator. When you run it for the first time, it will ask you a bunch of questions that are important from Operator metadata point of view. The bundle-build and bundle-push targets respectively build and push the container image containing our bundle. Make sure to login to the container registry first:

$ docker login -u $QUAY_USERNAME -p $QUAY_PASSWORD
WARNING! Using --password via the CLI is insecure. Use --password-stdin.
WARNING! Your password will be stored unencrypted in /home/dshah/.docker/config.json.
Configure a credential helper to remove this warning. See

Login Succeeded

$ make bundle bundle-build bundle-push

Successful execution of above command creates, in my case, the container image - quay. io/dharmit/at-operator-bundle:v0.0.1

Using the bundle Link to heading

Let’s use this bundle image (replace the image name as needed) to do the same thing that we did with the help of make deploy in the previous post:

$ operator-sdk run bundle

Unlike the make deploy command, above command doesn’t create a new namespace, but creates various resources like:

  • A CatalogSource - kubectl get catsrc
  • An OperatorGroup - kubectl get og
  • A Subscription and its InstallPlan - kubectl get sub,ip
  • A ClusterServiceVersion - kubectl get csv

If everything went well, the CSV phase would be “Succeeded”:

$ kubectl get csv
at-operator.v0.0.1   at-operator   0.0.1                Succeeded

We can now create an At CustomResource (a.k.a an Operand) using a manifest similar to the one used in the previous post. As in the previous post, make sure to use time close to current time in UTC timezone.

Index Image Link to heading

An Index Image holds information about one or more bundle images. It is used to create a CatalogSource resource on the cluster. OLM uses this CatalogSource to show the user a list of Operators available to install on their Kubernetes cluster.

Since we already set the IMAGE_TAG_BASE variable in our Makefile in the previous post, we only need to run below make target to build and push the index image:

$ make catalog-build catalog-push

Successful execution of above command creates, in my case, the container image - quay. io/dharmit/at-operator-catalog:v0.0.1.

Create the CatalogSource Link to heading

Now that our index image is ready, let’s create a CatalogSource resource on the cluster. Use below manifest (replace the image name appropriately) to create it:

kind: CatalogSource
  name: at-operator-catalog
  namespace: olm
  displayName: At Operator
        securityContextConfig: restricted
  sourceType: grpc
      interval: 60m

Upon creation of CatalogSource you will notice a Pod created in the olm namespace whose container is created using the .spec.image used in CatalogSource above. The logs for the Pod should have the following line:

time="2023-03-20T14:47:51Z" level=info msg="serving registry" database=/database/index.db port=50051

Also a PackageManifest corresponding to At Operator:

$ kubectl get packagemanifest | grep at-operator
at-operator                                At Operator           44m

Create a Subscription Link to heading

To install an Operator, we need to create a resource of kind Subscription. But before creating a Subscription, we must create an OperatorGroup. Here, we’re creating them both in the default namespace. Since this is a minikube cluster, it’s not a problem to do so, but on real clusters, it’s not recommended to manually create resources in default namespace:

$ cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
kind: OperatorGroup
    name: default-og
    namespace: default

$ cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
kind: Subscription
    name: at
    namespace: default
    source: at-operator-catalog
    sourceNamespace: olm
    name: at-operator
    channel: "alpha"

Upon successful creation of a Subscription, OLM installs the Operator in the namespace:

$ kubectl get csv
at-operator.v0.0.1   at-operator   0.0.1                Succeeded

Create a CR Link to heading

So far, we have created a CR for our Operator after installing it using make deploy and operator-sdk run bundle. None of these approaches are preferred for development purpose only. When a user is going to use an Operator developed by you, they are most likely to use it through something like Operator Lifecycle Manager, which enables a user to install and consume Operators available from various catalogs.

Now that we have installed “At Operator” from the catalog, let’s create the CR and see if it works as expected:

$ cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
kind: At
  name: sample-at
  schedule: "2023-03-20T15:44:30Z"
  command: "echo hello world"

$ kubectl get pods
NAME                                              READY   STATUS      RESTARTS   AGE
at-operator-controller-manager-85b5457556-rrspl   2/2     Running     0          9m14s
sample-at                                         0/1     Completed   0          39s

$ kubectl logs sample-at
hello world

As we can see, a CR was successfully created and the command we specified was executed at the time mentioned in the schedule.

Everything works!

That’s it Link to heading

That’s it for this blog series. We saw how to create an Operator, package it into a Catalog, and use it the way regular users would consume Operators available from places like