Getting Started

!!! tip This guide assumes you have a grounding in the tools that Argo CD is based on. Please read the understanding the basics.


  • Installed kubectl command-line tool
  • Have a kubeconfig file (default location is ~/.kube/config).

1. Install Argo CD

kubectl create namespace argocd
kubectl apply -n argocd -f

This will create a new namespace, argocd, where Argo CD services and application resources will live.

On GKE, you will need grant your account the ability to create new cluster roles:

kubectl create clusterrolebinding YOURNAME-cluster-admin-binding --clusterrole=cluster-admin

2. Download Argo CD CLI

Download the latest Argo CD version from [].

Also available in Mac Homebrew:

brew tap argoproj/tap
brew install argoproj/tap/argocd

3. Access The Argo CD API Server

By default, the Argo CD API server is not exposed with an external IP. To access the API server, choose one of the following techniques to expose the Argo CD API server:

Service Type Load Balancer

Change the argocd-server service type to LoadBalancer:

kubectl patch svc argocd-server -n argocd -p '{"spec": {"type": "LoadBalancer"}}'


Follow the ingress documentation on how to configure Argo CD with ingress.

Port Forwarding

Kubectl port-forwarding can also be used to connect to the API server without exposing the service.

kubectl port-forward svc/argocd-server -n argocd 8080:443

The API server can then be accessed using the localhost:8080

4. Login Using The CLI

Login as the admin user. The initial password is autogenerated to be the pod name of the Argo CD API server. This can be retrieved with the command:

kubectl get pods -n argocd -l -o name | cut -d'/' -f 2

Using the above password, login to Argo CD's IP or hostname:

argocd login <ARGOCD_SERVER>

Change the password using the command:

argocd account update-password

5. Register A Cluster To Deploy Apps To (Optional)

This step registers a cluster's credentials to Argo CD, and is only necessary when deploying to an external cluster. When deploying internally (to the same cluster that Argo CD is running in), https://kubernetes.default.svc should be used as the application's K8s API server address.

First list all clusters contexts in your current kubconfig:

argocd cluster add

Choose a context name from the list and supply it to argocd cluster add CONTEXTNAME. For example, for docker-for-desktop context, run:

argocd cluster add docker-for-desktop

The above command installs a ServiceAccount (argocd-manager), into the kube-system namespace of that kubectl context, and binds the service account to an admin-level ClusterRole. Argo CD uses this service account token to perform its management tasks (i.e. deploy/monitoring).

!!! note The rules of the argocd-manager-role role can be modified such that it only has create, update, patch, delete privileges to a limited set of namespaces, groups, kinds. However get, list, watch privileges are required at the cluster-scope for Argo CD to function.

6. Create An Application From A Git Repository

An example repository containing a guestbook application is available at to demonstrate how Argo CD works.

Creating Apps Via CLI

argocd app create guestbook \
  --repo \
  --path guestbook \
  --dest-server https://kubernetes.default.svc \
  --dest-namespace default

Creating Apps Via UI

Open a browser to the Argo CD external UI, and login using the credentials, IP/hostname set in step 4. Connect the repo to Argo CD:

connect repo

After connecting a repository, select the guestbook application for creation:

select app create app

7. Sync (Deploy) The Application

Once the guestbook application is created, you can now view its status:

$ argocd app get guestbook
Name:               guestbook
Server:             https://kubernetes.default.svc
Namespace:          default
Path:               guestbook
Sync Policy:        <none>
Sync Status:        OutOfSync from  (1ff8a67)
Health Status:      Missing

apps   Deployment  default    guestbook-ui  OutOfSync  Missing
       Service     default    guestbook-ui  OutOfSync  Missing

The application status is initially OutOfSync state, since the application has yet to be deployed, and no Kubernetes resources have been created. To sync (deploy) the application, run:

argocd app sync guestbook

This command retrieves the manifests from the repository and performs a kubectl apply of the manifests. The guestbook app is now running and you can now view its resource components, logs, events, and assessed health status:

From UI:

guestbook app view app