Getting Started

To see how Argo works, you can run examples of simple workflows and workflows that use artifacts. For the latter, you'll set up an artifact repository for storing the artifacts that are passed in the workflows. Here are the requirements and steps to run the workflows.

0. Requirements

  • Kubernetes 1.9 or later
  • kubectl
  • Have a kubeconfig file (default location is ~/.kube/config)

1. Download the Argo CLI

Download the latest Argo CLI from our releases page.

2. Install the Controller

kubectl create namespace argo
kubectl apply -n argo -f

Namespaced installs as well as installs with MinIO and/or a database built in are also available.

Examples below will assume you've installed argo in the argo namespace. If you have not, adjust the commands accordingly.

NOTE: On GKE, you may need to grant your account the ability to create new clusterroles

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

3. Configure the service account to run Workflows

Roles, RoleBindings, and ServiceAccounts

In order for Argo to support features such as artifacts, outputs, access to secrets, etc. it needs to communicate with Kubernetes resources using the Kubernetes API. To communicate with the Kubernetes API, Argo uses a ServiceAccount to authenticate itself to the Kubernetes API. You can specify which Role (i.e. which permissions) the ServiceAccount that Argo uses by binding a Role to a ServiceAccount using a RoleBinding

Then, when submitting Workflows you can specify which ServiceAccount Argo uses using:

argo submit --serviceaccount <name>

When no ServiceAccount is provided, Argo will use the default ServiceAccount from the namespace from which it is run, which will almost always have insufficient privileges by default.

For more information about granting Argo the necessary permissions for your use case see Workflow RBAC.

Granting admin privileges

For the purposes of this demo, we will grant the default ServiceAccount admin privileges (i.e., we will bind the admin Role to the default ServiceAccount of the current namespace):

kubectl create rolebinding default-admin --clusterrole=admin --serviceaccount=default:default

Note that this will grant admin privileges to the default ServiceAccount in the namespace that the command is run from, so you will only be able to run Workflows in the namespace where the RoleBinding was made.

4. Run Sample Workflows

argo submit --watch
argo submit --watch
argo submit --watch
argo list
argo get xxx-workflow-name-xxx
argo logs xxx-pod-name-xxx #from get command above

Additional examples and more information about the CLI are available on the Argo Workflows by Example page.

You can also create Workflows directly with kubectl. However, the Argo CLI offers extra features that kubectl does not, such as YAML validation, workflow visualization, parameter passing, retries and resubmits, suspend and resume, and more.

kubectl create -f
kubectl get wf
kubectl get wf hello-world-xxx
kubectl get po --show-all
kubectl logs hello-world-yyy -c main

5. Install an Artifact Repository

Argo supports S3 (AWS, GCS, Minio) and Artifactory as artifact repositories. Instructions on how to configure artifact repositories are available on the Configuring your Artifact Repository page.

This tutorial uses Minio for the sake of portability.

Install Minio:

helm install argo-artifacts stable/minio \
  --set service.type=LoadBalancer \
  --set defaultBucket.enabled=true \
  --set \
  --set persistence.enabled=false \
  --set fullnameOverride=argo-artifacts

Login to the Minio UI using a web browser (port 9000) after exposing obtaining the external IP using kubectl.

kubectl get service argo-artifacts -o wide

On Minikube:

minikube service --url argo-artifacts

NOTE: When minio is installed via Helm, it uses the following hard-wired default credentials, which you will use to login to the UI:


Create a bucket named my-bucket from the Minio UI.

6. Reconfigure the workflow controller to use the Minio artifact repository

Edit the workflow-controller ConfigMap to reference the service name (argo-artifacts) and secret (argo-artifacts) created by the Helm install:

Edit the workflow-controller ConfigMap:

kubectl edit cm -n argo workflow-controller-configmap

Add the following:

  config: |
    artifactRepository: |
        bucket: my-bucket
        endpoint: argo-artifacts.default:9000
        insecure: true
        # accessKeySecret and secretKeySecret are secret selectors.
        # It references the k8s secret named 'argo-artifacts'
        # which was created during the minio helm install. The keys,
        # 'accesskey' and 'secretkey', inside that secret are where the
        # actual minio credentials are stored.
          name: argo-artifacts
          key: accesskey
          name: argo-artifacts
          key: secretkey

NOTE: the Minio secret is retrieved from the namespace you use to run Workflows. If Minio is installed in a different namespace then you will need to create a copy of its secret in the namespace you use for Workflows.

7. Run a workflow which uses artifacts

argo submit

8. Access the Argo UI

v2.5 and after

kubectl -n argo port-forward deployment/argo-server 2746:2746

Then visit:

See the Argo Server documentation for config options, authentication, managed namespaces, etc.

v2.4 and before

By default, the Argo UI service is not exposed with an external IP. To access the UI, use one of the following:

Method 1: kubectl port-forward

kubectl -n argo port-forward deployment/argo-ui 8001:8001

Then visit:

Method 2: kubectl proxy

kubectl proxy

Then visit:

NOTE: artifact download and webconsole is not supported using this method

Method 3: Expose a LoadBalancer

Update the argo-ui service to be of type LoadBalancer.

kubectl patch svc argo-ui -n argo -p '{"spec": {"type": "LoadBalancer"}}'

Then wait for the external IP to be made available:

kubectl get svc argo-ui -n argo
NAME      TYPE           CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP     PORT(S)        AGE
argo-ui   LoadBalancer   80:30999/TCP   1m

NOTE: On Minikube, you won't get an external IP after updating the service -- it will always show pending. Run the following command to determine the Argo UI URL:

minikube service -n argo --url argo-ui