Helm Guide - How to Install ioFog Using Helm

In this tutorial, we will go through a deployment of ioFog stack into an existing Kubernetes cluster. The ioFog stack consists of basic services (Controller, Connector) and supplementary Kubernetes ioFog components (Operator, Kubelet). This is the foundation for establishing a complete Edge Compute Network (ECN) with Agents and microservices. See Core Concepts for more details on ioFog components.

IoFog Helm chart allows users to easily deploy the ioFog stack onto exiting Kubernetes cluster.


First, we need a working Kubernetes cluster. We can simply set up a cluster on the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) by following the Creating a cluster tutorial. Using any other managed cluster providers works as well, so do custom installations of Kubernetes, e.g. Minikube.

IoFog also provides tools for infrastructure setup to setup a Kubernetes cluster in case we don't have one available. Please see Platform Tools for more details.

The tutorial requires installation of Helm and kubectl executing the deployment.

From now on, we assume we have a running Kubernetes cluster. We can verify that our kubernetes cluster is working by running kubectl cluster-info. The output of a working cluster will look like this:

$ kubectl cluster-info
Kubernetes master is running at
GLBCDefaultBackend is running at
Heapster is running at
KubeDNS is running at
kubernetes-dashboard is running at
Metrics-server is running at

To further debug and diagnose cluster problems, use 'kubectl cluster-info dump'.

Create Service Account for Tiller

Now that our cluster is up and running, we have to prepare the cluster for Helm installation.

On RBAC enabled Kubernetes clusters (e.g. GKE, AKE), it is necessary to create a service account for Tiller before initializing helm itself. See helm init instructions for more details.

In order to create the cluster role binding on GKE, we need to have roles/container.admin permission. If our account doesn't have the role, it can be added using the following command or in the GCP Console.

gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding $GCP_PROJECT --member=user:person@company.com --role=roles/container.admin

Then we can create service account for Tiller and bind cluster-admin role.

kubectl create serviceaccount --namespace kube-system tiller
kubectl create clusterrolebinding tiller \
    --clusterrole=cluster-admin \

Initialize Helm And Install Tiller

Now is the time to use our service account to initialize Helm.

helm init --service-account tiller --wait

Note that on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), we will also need to specify node selectors for Tiller.

helm init --service-account tiller --node-selectors "beta.kubernetes.io/os"="linux" --wait

Install ioFog Stack

Add this Helm repository to our Helm repository index and install the ioFog stack and Kubernetes services

helm repo add iofog https://eclipse-iofog.github.io/helm

We can list all available versions of the ioFog Helm chart using helm search -l iofog/iofog. From Helm 2.16 onwards, only charts with production versions are listed by default. To list all versions, including development versions, use helm search -l --devel iofog

To install a specific version of ioFog, use --version <desired-version> parameter to helm install

Keep in mind if there already is any existing ioFog stack on the cluster, a set of Custom Resource Definitions has probably already been created. In such case, you will need to disable deploying these CRDs as described in Multiple Edge Compute Networks.

The final helm install command to install ioFog with CRDs then looks like this:

helm install \
    --set controlPlane.user.email=user@domain.com \
    --set controlPlane.user.password=any123password345 \
    --version 1.3.0 \
    --namespace my-ecn \
    --name my-ecn \

The --name my-ecn refers to the Helm release name as shown below, while the --namespace my-ecn refers to the namespace taken by the Helm release in the target Kubernetes cluster.

To list all Helm releases (including deployed ioFog stacks), we can simply run helm list. The result should look like this:

my-ecn     	1       	Tue Oct  1 21:34:42 2019	DEPLOYED	iofog-1.3.0	        1.3.0 	      my-ecn

The following is a complete list of all user configurable properties for the ioFog Helm chart. All of the properties are optional and have defaults. Use --set property.name=value in helm install to parametrize Helm release.

Property Default value Description
createCustomResources true See Multiple Edge Compute Networks
controlPlane.user.firstName First First name of initial user in Controller
controlPlane.user.surname Second Surname of initial user in Controller
controlPlane.user.email user@domain.com Email (login) of initial user in Controller
controlPlane.user.password H23fkidf9hoibf2nlk Password of initial user in Controller
controlPlane.controller.replicas 1 Number of replicas of Controller pods
controlPlane.controller.image iofog/controller:1.3.1 Controller Docker image
controlPlane.controller.imagePullPolicy Always Controller Docker image pull policy
controlPlane.kubeletImage iofog/iofog-kubelet:1.3.0 Kubelet Docker image
controlPlane.loadBalancerIp Pre-allocated static IP address for Controller
controlPlane.serviceType LoadBalancer Service type for Controller (one of LoadBalancer, NodePort or ClusterIP)
connectors.image iofog/connector:1.3.0 Connector Docker image
connectors.serviceType LoadBalancer Service type for Connector (one of LoadBalancer, NodePort or ClusterIP)
connectors.instanceNames ["first","second"] Array of Connector instance names
operator.replicas 1 Number of replicas of Operator pods
operator.image iofog/iofog-operator:1.3.0 OperatorDocker image
operator.imagePullPolicy Always Operator Docker image pull policy

Connection to Installed ioFog

Once the installation is complete, you will be able to connect to the ioFog Controller on K8s using iofogctl.

iofogctl connect --kube ~/.kube/config --name k8s-ctrl --email user@domain.com --pass any123password345 -n my-ecn

Once you are connected, you can use iofogctl to deploy edge Agents. Then, you can use kubectl or iofogctl to deploy microservices to your edge Agents. See Setup Your Agents and Introduction to iofogctl for more details.

Multiple Edge Compute Networks

If we want to have multiple instances of ioFog on the same Kubernetes cluster, it is necessary to tell Helm not to install custom resource definitions. This can be done by overriding the createCustomResources (default: true) variable.

helm install \
    --set createCustomResources=false \
    --set controlPlane.user.email=user@domain.com \
    --set controlPlane.user.password=any123password345 \
    --version 1.3.0 \
    --namespace second-ecn \
    --name second-ecn \

Only use this option when the ioFog custom resource exists, either from another Helm installation or manual installation using iofogctl.

To check if the custom resources exist, run kubectl get crd | grep iofog. If the resources exist, we must use createCustomResources=false so that Helm does not try to create them again.

Uninstall ioFog Stack

To uninstall ioFog stack, simply delete the Helm release, where the release name refers to --name arguments used during installation.

helm delete --purge my-ecn

Note that due to Helm's handing of custom resource definitions, all such definitions are orphaned when a release is created and thus need to be deleted manually.

kubectl get crds | grep iofog | awk '{print $1}' | xargs kubectl delete crds