Helm Cheatsheet with Example and Definition

Helm is a powerful package manager for Kubernetes that simplifies the deployment and management of applications. It allows you to define, install, and upgrade even complex Kubernetes applications with ease. Whether you’re a seasoned Helm user or just getting started, this Helm cheatsheet will provide you with a quick reference guide, including definitions and practical examples, to streamline your Kubernetes operations.

What is Helm?

Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes that streamlines the process of managing, installing, and upgrading applications in a Kubernetes cluster. It uses packages called Helm Charts, which are collections of YAML files defining Kubernetes resources and configurations. Helm simplifies complex deployment scenarios and helps maintain consistency across environments.

Basic Helm Commands

Here are some fundamental Helm commands you’ll frequently use:

helm install

Installs a Helm Chart into your Kubernetes cluster.

helm install my-release ./my-chart

helm upgrade

Upgrades an existing release to a new version.

helm upgrade my-release ./my-new-chart

helm uninstall

Uninstalls a release and removes all associated resources.

helm uninstall my-release

helm list

Lists all releases in the cluster.

helm list

Working with Helm Charts

Helm Charts are essential in Helm, as they define what will be deployed in your Kubernetes cluster. Here’s how you work with Helm Charts:

Creating a Helm Chart

Create a new Helm Chart structure with the create command:

helm create my-chart

Installing a Helm Chart

Install a Helm Chart into your cluster using helm install:

helm install my-release ./my-chart

Upgrading a Helm Chart

Upgrade an existing release with a new chart version:

helm upgrade my-release ./my-new-chart

Uninstalling a Helm Chart

Uninstall a release and remove its resources:

helm uninstall my-release

Customizing Helm Releases

Helm allows you to customize releases using various methods:

Values Files

Customize Helm Chart values by providing a values file:

helm install my-release ./my-chart -f my-values.yaml


Use Helm templates to generate Kubernetes manifests:

helm template ./my-chart

Advanced Helm Usage

Take your Helm skills to the next level with advanced features:

Helm Repositories

Add and manage Helm repositories for easy access to charts:

helm repo add stable https://charts.helm.sh/stable helm repo update


Utilize Helm hooks to run specific actions during the Helm life-cycle:

hooks: - name: my-hook events: ["pre-install"] ...


Rollback to a previous release version if an upgrade goes wrong:

helm rollback my-release 1


Helm is an indispensable tool for Kubernetes administrators and developers, making it easier to manage complex applications and their configurations. This cheatsheet should serve as a handy reference, whether you’re installing your first Helm Chart or diving into more advanced features like hooks and rollbacks. Helm empowers you to deploy and manage Kubernetes applications efficiently, contributing to a more streamlined and scalable Kubernetes infrastructure.