Easy private Helm repositories

Can we have a private Helm repository using GCS as backend? Yes we can!

The easier way to create a public helm repository is to just upload your artifacts to a bucket somewhere.

I usually use a script like the following to do that:

set -e

helm init --client-only

mkdir -p upstream
gsutil -m rsync gs://my-charts upstream

find charts -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -type d | while read -r CHART; do
	helm dep update "${CHART}"
	helm package "${CHART}" --destination upstream

helm repo index upstream/ --url "https://my-charts.storage.googleapis.com/"

gsutil -m rsync upstream gs://my-charts

This will download the previous releases to a upstream folder (needed to recreate the index.yaml file), package all charts inside the charts folder and then rsync the upstream folder back to the bucket.

If the bucket is public, you can just:

helm repo add test https://my-charts.storage.googleapis.com/
helm repo update test
helm search test

And use it normally.


But what if you want a private repository, for whatever reason? Or just an authenticated one?

We created storage-auth-proxy to do just that: auth and proxy requests to a private bucket.

You can define several user:password combos, point to a bucket, and that’s it:

./storage-auth-proxy \
	-listen \
	-bucket gs://my-private-charts \
	-authorize foo:bar \
	-authorize carlos:secret

You can then expose the service (e.g. helm.mycompany.com) and change our script a bit:

# change the URL
helm repo index upstream/ --url "https://helm.mycompany.com/"

And then, finally, just use the repository and use it:

helm repo add mycompany https://helm.mycompany.com \
	--username carlos \
	--password secret
helm repo update mycompany
helm search mycompany

And that’s it!

It supports out of the box:

  • GCS
  • S3
  • Azure

You can authenticate as normally would for each provider (default environment variables, gcloud auth, etc).


This is a pretty simple and cheap solution. If you only want a public repo, its likely you can run on the free-tier of AWS or GCP.

If you want it private and don’t have too much traffic, you can run a single very small VM/container and that’s it.

Hope that’s somehow useful for you! 🙂

Carlos Alexandro Becker - 2012 - 2020