Before You Start

You must install and run the ArgoCD using a local Kubernetes (e.g. Docker for Desktop or Minikube) first. This will help you understand the application, but also get your local environment set-up.

Then, to get a good grounding in Go, try out the tutorial.



Brew users can quickly install the lot:

brew install go git-lfs kubectl kubectx dep ksonnet/tap/ks kubernetes-helm kustomize

Check the versions:

go version ;# must be v1.12.x
helm version ;# must be v2.13.x
kustomize version ;# must be v3.1.x

Set up environment variables (e.g. is ~/.bashrc):

export GOPATH=~/go
export PATH=$PATH:$GOPATH/bin

Checkout the code:

go get -u
cd ~/go/src/


Ensure dependencies are up to date first:

dep ensure
make dev-tools-image
make install-lint-tools
go get
go get

Common make targets:

  • make codegen - Run code generation
  • make lint - Lint code
  • make test - Run unit tests
  • make cli - Make the argocd CLI tool

Check out the following documentation for instructions on running the e2e tests.

Running Locally

It is much easier to run and debug if you run ArgoCD on your local machine than in the Kubernetes cluster.

You should scale the deployments to zero:

kubectl -n argocd scale deployment/argocd-application-controller --replicas 0
kubectl -n argocd scale deployment/argocd-dex-server --replicas 0
kubectl -n argocd scale deployment/argocd-repo-server --replicas 0
kubectl -n argocd scale deployment/argocd-server --replicas 0
kubectl -n argocd scale deployment/argocd-redis --replicas 0

Download Yarn dependencies and Compile:

yarn install
yarn build

Then start the services:

cd ~/go/src/
make start

You can now execute argocd command against your locally running ArgoCD by appending --server localhost:8080 --plaintext --insecure, e.g.:

argocd app create guestbook --path guestbook --repo --dest-server https://kubernetes.default.svc  --dest-namespace default --server localhost:8080 --plaintext --insecure

You can open the UI: http://localhost:4000

As an alternative to using the above command line parameters each time you call argocd CLI, you can set the following environment variables:

export ARGOCD_OPTS="--plaintext --insecure"

Running Local Containers

You may need to run containers locally, so here's how:

Create login to Docker Hub, then login.

docker login

Add your username as the environment variable, e.g. to your ~/.bash_profile:

export IMAGE_NAMESPACE=alexcollinsintuit

If you don't want to use latest as the image's tag (the default), you can set it from the environment too:

export IMAGE_TAG=yourtag

Build the image:

DOCKER_PUSH=true make image

Update the manifests (be sure to do that from a shell that has above environment variables set)

make manifests

Install the manifests:

kubectl -n argocd apply --force -f manifests/install.yaml

Scale your deployments up:

kubectl -n argocd scale deployment/argocd-application-controller --replicas 1
kubectl -n argocd scale deployment/argocd-dex-server --replicas 1
kubectl -n argocd scale deployment/argocd-repo-server --replicas 1
kubectl -n argocd scale deployment/argocd-server --replicas 1
kubectl -n argocd scale deployment/argocd-redis --replicas 1

Now you can set-up the port-forwarding and open the UI or CLI.