OpenWhisk Runtimes for Knative


This repository contains Knative Build Templates along with modified versions of their respective OpenWhisk Action Runtimes that can be used to Build and Serve Knative compatible applications (i.e., OpenWhisk Actions) on Kubernetes.


The general pre-requisites are as follows:

  • [x] Kubernetes v1.13.0
  • [x] kubectl
  • [x] Knative v0.3.0

Specifically, for development and testing on Mac OS, the following components and versions were used:

Docker Desktop Minimum Configuration

Under the Docker Desktop menu select “Preferences”->“Advanced” and set these values to at least these minimums:

  • [x] CPUs: 4
  • [x] Memory: 8.0 GiB
  • [x] Swap: 1.0 GiB

Under the Docker Desktop Kubernetes tab, please assure that Kubernetes is enabled and running.

Verify Kubernetes Installation

Use the following command to verify the Kubernetes Server Version indicates version 1.13:

$ kubectl version

Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"13", GitVersion:"v1.13.2", GitCommit:"cff46ab41ff0bb44d8584413b598ad8360ec1def", GitTreeState:"clean", BuildDate:"2019-01-13T23:15:13Z", GoVersion:"go1.11.4", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"darwin/amd64"}
Server Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"13", GitVersion:"v1.13.0", GitCommit:"ddf47ac13c1a9483ea035a79cd7c10005ff21a6d", GitTreeState:"clean", BuildDate:"2018-12-03T20:56:12Z", GoVersion:"go1.11.2", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"linux/amd64"}

The Server Version is the version for the Kubernetes service; the Client Version is for the Kubernetes CLI (i.e., kubectl).

Verify you have a Kubernetes v1.13.0 node ready

$ kubectl get nodes

NAME             STATUS    ROLES     AGE       VERSION
docker-desktop   Ready     master    4d22h     v1.13.0

Verify all Kubernetes pods are running

$ kubectl get pods --namespace kube-system
NAME                                     READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
coredns-86c58d9df4-ms8qs                 1/1       Running   0          4d22h
coredns-86c58d9df4-x29vt                 1/1       Running   0          4d22h
etcd-docker-desktop                      1/1       Running   1          4d22h
kube-apiserver-docker-desktop            1/1       Running   1          4d22h
kube-controller-manager-docker-desktop   1/1       Running   3          4d22h
kube-proxy-mltsm                         1/1       Running   0          4d22h
kube-scheduler-docker-desktop            1/1       Running   3          4d22h

Knative Install on a Kubernetes Cluster

The following instructions were used to install Knative: Knative Install on a Kubernetes Cluster

These instructions take you through the installation of

Verify Knative installation

Verify Istio pods are running

$ kubectl get pods --namespace istio-system
NAME                                       READY     STATUS      RESTARTS   AGE
cluster-local-gateway-547467ccf6-p8n72     1/1       Running     1          4d21h
istio-citadel-7d64db8bcf-m7gsj             1/1       Running     0          4d21h
istio-cleanup-secrets-8lzj4                0/1       Completed   0          4d21h
istio-egressgateway-6ddf4c8bd6-2dxhc       1/1       Running     1          4d21h
istio-galley-7dd996474-pdd6h               1/1       Running     1          4d21h
istio-ingressgateway-84b89d647f-cxrwx      1/1       Running     1          4d21h
istio-pilot-86bb4fcbbd-5ns5q               2/2       Running     0          4d21h
istio-pilot-86bb4fcbbd-vd2xr               2/2       Running     0          4d21h
istio-pilot-86bb4fcbbd-zstrw               2/2       Running     0          4d21h
istio-policy-5c4d9ff96b-559db              2/2       Running     1          4d21h
istio-sidecar-injector-6977b5cf5b-94hj5    1/1       Running     0          4d21h
istio-statsd-prom-bridge-b44b96d7b-kzkzc   1/1       Running     0          4d21h
istio-telemetry-7676df547f-jp952           2/2       Running     1          4d21h
knative-ingressgateway-75644679c7-c2kxj    1/1       Running     1          4d21h

Verify your default namespace uses Istio for all services

Check the default namespace has the label istio-injection and it is set to enabled:

$ kubectl get namespace default -o yaml

Example output:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Namespace
  creationTimestamp: 2019-01-29T19:30:44Z
    istio-injection: enabled
  name: default
  resourceVersion: "3928"
  selfLink: /api/v1/namespaces/default
  uid: 5ecb1bb0-23fc-11e9-bed6-025000000001
  - kubernetes
  phase: Active

Note: If you do not see the istio-injection label, verify you issued the ‘kubectl’ command to set this label to the default namespace. See Troubleshooting section for more information.

Building and Serving OpenWhisk Runtime Build Templates

All OpenWhisk Runtime Build Templates require a valid Kubernetes Service Account with access to a Kubernetes Secret that containst base64 encoded versions of your Docker Hub username and password. This credential will be used as part of the Knative Build process to “push” your Knative application image containing your OpenWhisk Action to Docker Hub.

Clone this repository

$ git clone
$ cd openwhisk-devtools/knative-build

Register Secrets for Docker Hub

Use the following commands to generate base64 encoded values of your Docker Hub username and password required to register a new secret in Kubernetes.

$ export DOCKERHUB_USERNAME_PLAIN_TEXT=<your docker hub username>
$ export DOCKERHUB_PASSWORD_PLAIN_TEXT=<your docker hub password>

# make sure that DOCKERHUB_USERNAME_BASE64_ENCODEDE is set to something similar to abcqWeRTy2gZApB==

# make sure that DOCKERHUB_PASSWORD_BASE64_ENCODED is set to something similar to t80szzToPshrpDr3sdMn==

Use the following sed command which will generate a docker-secrets.yaml file from the file docker-secret.yaml.tmpl and replace the username and password values with the base64 encoded versions of your Docker Hub username and password from the environment variables you exported above:


Apply the Secret resource manifest for Docker Hub:

$ kubectl apply -f docker-secret.yaml
secret/dockerhub-user-pass created

Verify Secret exists:

$ kubectl get secret
NAME                    TYPE                                  DATA      AGE
dockerhub-user-pass              2         21s

Create Service Account for our Knative Builds

Knative requires a valid ServiceAccount resource that will be used when building and serving OpenWhisk Serverless Actions using the OpenWhisk runtimes. For convenience, all Knative builds for all runtimes are configured to use the same ServiceAccount as defined in service-account.yaml.

$ kubectl apply -f service-account.yaml
serviceaccount/openwhisk-runtime-builder created

Verify the Service account has 2 secrets (i.e., username and password):

$ kubectl get serviceaccount/openwhisk-runtime-builder
NAME                        SECRETS   AGE
openwhisk-runtime-builder   2         3m46s

Building Knative runtimes and executing functions

At this point, you have completed all the pre-reqs to build and run OpenWhisk runtimes on Knative. In order to actually build and run them, you will need to continue following the instructions on the READMEs for the respective language runtimes listed below:


Knative and Istio Install

PROBLEM: Kubernetes default namespace does not have “istio-injection: enabled” key-value

If the default namespace does not have this value under the metadata section, you may have forgotton to issue the following command as part of the Knative setup:

$ kubectl label namespace default istio-injection=enabled
namespace "default" labeled

PROBLEM: Kubernetes and Istio resources do not all say “created” on “apply”

  1. Verify that you have configured Docker Desktop to have the required CPU and Memory values recommended above.
  2. Verify that all resources installed by applying either tha Knative or Istio YAML files show “created” during the installation.
  • If any of your resources were NOT created, then we recommend uninstalling Knative and Istio and trying again until you get the created result for all resources WITHOUT trying to apply a second time. Below is an example of successful creation of Knative resources:
clusterrole "knative-build-admin" created
serviceaccount "build-controller" created
clusterrolebinding "build-controller-admin" created
customresourcedefinition "" created
customresourcedefinition "" created
customresourcedefinition "" created
customresourcedefinition "" created
service "build-controller" created
service "build-webhook" created
image "creds-init" created
image "git-init" created
rolebinding "prometheus-system" created
rolebinding "prometheus-system" created
rolebinding "prometheus-system" created
rolebinding "prometheus-system" created
clusterrolebinding "prometheus-system" created
service "prometheus-system-np" created
statefulset "prometheus-system" created

PROBLEM: Knative build fails initializing at Init:1/4

Check the GitHub revision is set to right branch within your build.yaml file:

      url: <repo>
      revision: <branch>