Get Started with MPAS

This tutorial shows you how to bootstrap MPAS to a Kubernetes cluster and deploy a simple application.


  • A Kubernetes cluster
  • A GitHub access token with repo scope
  • kubectl


  • Bootstrap MPAS to a Kubernetes cluster
  • Deploy a simple application

Install the MPAS CLI

The MPAS CLI is the primary tool for interacting with MPAS. It can be used to bootstrap MPAS to a Kubernetes cluster.

To install the MPAS CLI using brew:

brew install open-component-model/tap/mpas

For other installation methods, see the installation guide.

Bootstrap MPAS

Export your GitHub access token

The MPAS CLI uses your GitHub access token to authenticate with GitHub. To create a GitHub access token, see the GitHub documentation. In addition to that we need to export your GitHub user and an your email address as they are used later.

export GITHUB_TOKEN=<your-github-access-token>
export GITHUB_USER=<your-username>
export MY_EMAIL=<your-email-address>

Bootstrap MPAS

To bootstrap MPAS to your Kubernetes cluster, run the following command. If nothing is specified it will use the KUBECONFIG specified in the user’s environment. It is also possible to specify a dedicated config using the –kubeconfig option.

mpas bootstrap github \
  --owner=$GITHUB_USER \
  --repository=mpas-bootstrap \
  --path=./clusters/my-cluster \

This command will create a new Github repository called mpas-bootstrap and bootstrap MPAS to your Kubernetes cluster. The following components will be installed:

  • Flux: A Kubernetes operator that will install and manage the other components.
  • ocm-controller: A Kubernetes controller that enables the automated deployment of software components using the Open Component Model and Flux.
  • git-controller: A Kubernetes controller that will create pull requests in the target Github repository when changes are made to the cluster.
  • replication-controller: A Kubernetes controller that keeps keep component versions in the cluster up-to-date with a version defined by the consumer in the ComponentSubscription resource.
  • mpas-product-controller: A Kubernetes controller, responsible for creating a product. Reconciles the Product resource.
  • mpas-project-controller: A Kubernetes controller responsible for bootstrapping a whole project. Creates relevant access credentials, service accounts, roles and the main GitOps repository and reconciles the Project resource.

The output of the bootstrap is similar to the following:

Running mpas bootstrap ...
 ✓   Preparing Management repository mpas-bootstrap
 ✓   Fetching bootstrap component from
 ✓   Installing flux with version v2.1.0
 ✓   Installing cert-manager with version v1.13.1
 ✓   Reconciling infrastructure components
 ✓   Waiting for cert-manager to be available
 ✓   Generating external-secrets-operator manifest with version v0.9.6
 ✓   Generating git-controller manifest with version v0.9.0
 ✓   Generating mpas-product-controller manifest with version v0.6.0
 ✓   Generating mpas-project-controller manifest with version v0.5.0
 ✓   Generating ocm-controller manifest with version v0.14.1
 ✓   Generating replication-controller manifest with version v0.8.0
 ✓   Generate certificate manifests
 ✓   Reconciling infrastructure components
 ✓   Waiting for components to be ready

Bootstrap completed successfully!

After completing the bootstrap process, the target github repository will contain yaml manifests for the components to be installed on the cluster and Flux will apply all of them to get the components installed. Furthermore the installed Flux components will be configured to watch the target github repository for changes in the path ./clusters/my-cluster.

Clone the git repository

Clone the mpas-bootstrap repository to your local machine:

git clone$GITHUB_USER/mpas-bootstrap
cd mpas-bootstrap

Deploy podinfo application

The podinfo application has been packaged as an OCM component and can be retrieved from Github.

  1. Create a secret containing your GitHub credentials that will be used by MPAS to create your project repository.
kubectl create secret generic \
  github-access \
  --from-literal=username=$GITHUB_USER \
  --from-literal=password=$GITHUB_TOKEN \
  -n mpas-system
  1. Create a project that will contain the podinfo application.

Let’s create a directory for the project:

mkdir -p ./clusters/my-cluster/podinfo

Then, create a project.yaml file in the ./clusters/my-cluster/podinfo directory:

mpas create project podinfo-application \
  --owner=$GITHUB_USER \
  --provider=github \
  --visibility=public \
  --already-exists-policy=fail \
  --branch=main \
  --secret-ref=github-access \
  --email=$MY_EMAIL \
  --message=xxx \
  --author=mpas-admin \
  --maintainers=$GITHUB_USER \
  --prune \
  --personal \
  --export  >> ./clusters/my-cluster/podinfo/project.yaml

Then, apply the project to the cluster in a GitOps fashion:

git add --all && git commit -m "Add podinfo project" && git push

Flux will detect the changes and apply the project to the cluster.

This will create a namespace for the project, a serviceaccount, and RBAC in the cluster. It will also create a GitHub repository for the project, and configure Flux to manage the project’s resources.

  1. Add the needed secrets to the namespace

Flux is used to deploy all workloads in a GitOps way. Flux needs a secret in the project namespace that will be used to communicate with github:

kubectl create secret generic \
  github-access \
  --from-literal=username=$GITHUB_USER \
  --from-literal=password=$GITHUB_TOKEN \
  -n mpas-podinfo-application

Note The credentials should have access to GitHub packages.

As part of step 2, a serviceaccount was created for the project. We will use this service account to provide the necessary permissions to pull from the ghcr registry.

First, create a secret containing the credentials for the service account:

kubectl create secret docker-registry github-registry-key \
  --docker-username=$GITHUB_USER --docker-password=$GITHUB_TOKEN \
  --docker-email=$MY_EMAIL -n mpas-podinfo-application

Then, patch the service account to use the secret:

kubectl patch serviceaccount mpas-podinfo-application -p '{"imagePullSecrets": [{"name": "github-registry-key"}]}' \
  -n mpas-podinfo-application
  1. Clone the project repository
git clone$GITHUB_USER/mpas-podinfo-application
cd mpas-podinfo-application
  1. Add the podinfo ComponentSubscription

Create a file under ./subscriptions/ that will contain the subscription declaration.

mpas create cs podinfo-subscription \ \
  --semver=">=v1.0.0" \ \
  --source-secret-ref=github-access \$GITHUB_USER \
  --target-secret-ref=github-access \
  --namespace=mpas-podinfo-application  \
  --export >> ./subscriptions/podinfo.yaml

Then, apply the ComponentSubscription to the project in a GitOps fashion:

git add --all && git commit -m "Add podinfo subscription" && git push

Flux will detect the changes and apply the subscription to the cluster.

This will replicate the product referenced by the field spec.component in the ComponentSubscription resource from the defined registry in spec.source.url to the spec.destination.url registry.

  1. Add a Target for the podinfo application

The target will define where the application will be installed

cat <<EOF >> ./targets/podinfo.yaml
kind: Target
  name: podinfo-kubernetes-target
  namespace: mpas-podinfo-application
  labels: "true" # This label is defined by the component that will use it to select an appropriate target to deploy to.
  type: kubernetes
    targetNamespace: podinfo
  serviceAccountName: podinfo-sa
    matchLabels: podinfo-kubernetes-target
  interval: 5m0s

Then, apply the Target to the project in a GitOps fashion:

git add --all && git commit -m "Add a target for podinfo" && git push

Flux will detect the changes and apply the target to the cluster.

In order for the Target to reach a Ready state, the needed secrets should be created in the podinfo namespace.

First, create a secret containing the credentials for the service account:

kubectl create secret docker-registry github-registry-key \
  --docker-username=$GITHUB_USER --docker-password=$GITHUB_TOKEN \
  --docker-email=$MY_EMAIL -n podinfo

Then, add a label to allow the target to select it using the label selector:

kubectl label secret github-registry-key -n podinfo
  1. Deploy the podinfo application

In order to deploy the podinfo application, we need to create a ProductDeploymentGenerator resource:

mpas create pdg podinfo \
  --service-account=mpas-podinfo-application \
  --subscription-name=podinfo-subscription \
  --subscription-namespace=mpas-podinfo-application  \
  --namespace=mpas-podinfo-application \
  --export >> ./generators/podinfo.yaml

Then, apply the ProductDeploymentGenerator to the project in a GitOps fashion:

git add --all && git commit -m "Add podinfo deployment generator" && git push

Flux will detect the changes and apply the resource to the cluster.

This will create a pull request in the project repository with the ProductDeployment resource that will deploy the podinfo application.

Go to the project repository and retrieve the pull request. It should contain a ProductDeployment declaration that provides the configuration and all steps needed to deploy the product, as well as a values.yaml file. The values file contains values that should be used to configure the different resources that are part of the product to be deployed. There is a check that should pass before merging the pull request.

Once the pull request is merged, Flux will detect the changes and deploy the application to the cluster.

After a moment the ProductDeployment should be deployed successfully. It is possible to verify this with the command:

k describe productdeployment -n mpas-podinfo-application

The result should look something like:

Name:         podinfo
Namespace:    mpas-podinfo-application
API Version:
Kind:         ProductDeployment
    Last Transition Time:  2023-09-14T10:14:41Z
    Message:               Reconciliation success
    Observed Generation:   1
    Reason:                Succeeded
    Status:                True
    Type:                  Ready
  Observed Generation:     1

The application is deployed in the podinfo namespace.