Customizing your Kubernetes Deployment #

Overview #

We go over common ways to customize your Dagster Helm deployment, including adding Kubernetes configuration at the job and op level, and configuring your Helm release to use external resources.

Walkthrough #

Job or Op Kubernetes Configuration #

The dagster-k8s/config allows users to pass custom configuration to the Kubernetes Job, Job metadata, JobSpec, PodSpec, and PodTemplateSpec metadata. We can specify this information in an op or job's tags.

  tags = {
    'dagster-k8s/config': {
      'container_config': {
        'resources': {
          'requests': { 'cpu': '250m', 'memory': '64Mi' },
          'limits': { 'cpu': '500m', 'memory': '2560Mi' },
      'pod_template_spec_metadata': {
        'annotations': { "cluster-autoscaler.kubernetes.io/safe-to-evict": "true"}
      'pod_spec_config': {
        'affinity': {
          'nodeAffinity': {
            'requiredDuringSchedulingIgnoredDuringExecution': {
              'nodeSelectorTerms': [{
                'matchExpressions': [{
                  'key': 'beta.kubernetes.io/os', 'operator': 'In', 'values': ['windows', 'linux'],
def my_op(context):

  tags = {
    'dagster-k8s/config': {
      'container_config': {
        'resources': {
          'requests': { 'cpu': '200m', 'memory': '32Mi' },
def my_job():

Configuring an External Database #

In a real deployment, users will likely want to set up an external PostgreSQL database and configure the postgresql section of values.yaml.

  enabled: false
  postgresqlHost: "postgresqlHost"
  postgresqlUsername: "postgresqlUsername"
  postgresqlPassword: "postgresqlPassword"
  postgresqlDatabase: "postgresqlDatabase"
    port: 5432

Supplying .Values.postgresql.postgresqlPassword will create a Kubernetes Secret with key postgresql-password, containing the encoded password. This secret is used to supply the Dagster infrastructure with an environment variable that's used when creating the storages for the Dagster instance.

If you use a secrets manager like Vault, it may be convenient to manage this Secret outside of the Dagster Helm chart. In this case, the generation of this Secret within the chart should be disabled, and .Values.global.postgresqlSecretName should be set to the name of the externally managed Secret.

  postgresqlSecretName: "dagster-postgresql-secret"

generatePostgresqlPasswordSecret: false

Security #

Users will likely want to permission a ServiceAccount bound to a properly scoped Role to launch Jobs and create other Kubernetes resources.

Users will likely want to use Secrets for managing secure information such as database logins.

Separately Deploying Dagster infrastructure and User Code #

It may be desirable to manage two Helm releases for your Dagster deployment: one release for the Dagster infrastructure, which consists of Dagit and the Daemon, and another release for your User Code, which contains the definitions of your pipelines written in Dagster. This way, changes to User Code can be decoupled from upgrades to core Dagster infrastructure.

To do this, we offer the dagster chart and the dagster-user-deployments chart.

$ helm search repo dagster
NAME                                CHART VERSION   APP VERSION DESCRIPTION
dagster/dagster                     0.11.0          0.11.0      Dagster is a system for building modern data ap...
dagster/dagster-user-deployments    0.11.0          0.11.0      A Helm subchart to deploy Dagster User Code dep...

To manage these separate deployments, we first need to isolate Dagster infrastructure to its own deployment. This can be done by disabling the subchart that deploys the User Code in the dagster chart. This will prevent the dagster chart from creating the services and deployments related to User Code, as these will be managed in a separate release.

  enableSubchart: false

Next, the workspace for Dagit must be configured with the future hosts and ports of the services exposing access to the User Code.

    enabled: true
      - host: "k8s-example-user-code-1"
        port: 3030
      - ...

Finally, the dagster-user-deployments subchart can now be managed in its own release. The list of possible overrides for the subchart can be found in its values.yaml.

helm upgrade --install user-code dagster/dagster-user-deployments -f /path/to/values.yaml

Kubernetes Job and Pod TTL management #

If you use a Kubernetes distribution that supports the TTL Controller, then Completed and Failed Jobs (and their associated Pods) will be deleted after 1 day.

If you do not use a Kubernetes distribution that supports the TTL Controller, then you can run the following commands:

Delete dagster Jobs older than one day

kubectl get job | grep -e dagster-run -e dagster-job | awk 'match($4,/[0-9]+d/) {print $1}' | xargs kubectl delete job

Delete completed Pods older than one day

kubectl get pod | grep -e dagster-run -e dagster-job | awk 'match($3,/Completed/) {print $0}' | awk 'match($5,/[0-9]+d/) {print $1}' | xargs kubectl delete pod

Conclusion #

You should now be familiar with the common ways to customize your Dagster Helm deployment.