Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes, and a Helm Chart is a manifest that represents the desired state of application resources deployed to a Kubernetes cluster. See the Helm website for the latest version and commands.

Helm Commands (v3.10)

REGISTRY_NAME='helm_registry_name' (e.g. rancher-latest, acrteam.azurecr.io)
REGISTRY_URL='path_to_registry' (e.g. https://releases.rancher.com/server-charts/latest, https://acrteam.azurecr.io/helm/v1/repo)

Often used flags

--debug --> show output on screen
--dry-run --> test, but don't run
--namespace --> $NAMESPACE
--output -o --> output to json, yaml (defaults to table)
--values -f --> a YAML file with value variables

Create a chart

helm create $NAME

Install, upgrade or remove a chart

helm install --values $VALUES $NAME $CHART
helm install --values $VALUES $NAME $CHART --dry-run --debug
helm install --values $VALUES $NAME-$RELEASE $CHART
helm install --values $VALUES $NAME $REGISTRY_NAME/$CHART

An upgrade requires knowing the installed $NAME-$RELEASE>, and can run an install if the named release does not already exist
helm upgrade --values $VALUES $NAME-$RELEASE $CHART
helm upgrade --values $VALUES $NAME-$RELEASE $CHART --dry-run --debug
helm upgrade --values $VALUES $NAME-$RELEASE $CHART --install

helm delete $NAME $CHART <flags>
helm remove $NAME $CHART <flags>

List running Helm charts

helm list
helm list | grep $NAME
helm list --all-namespaces

Download a chart

helm pull $CHART
helm pull $REGISTRY/$CHART

Download a chart and extract the archive’s contents into a directory

helm pull $CHART --untar --untardir $DIRECTORY

Inspect a chart and list its contents

helm show all $CHART

Display the chart’s definition

helm show chart $CHART

Display the chart’s values

helm show values $CHART
helm get values $NAME

Package a chart into a chart archive

helm package $CHART
helm package $CHART | awk -F'[:]' '{gsub(/ /, "", $2); print $2}'

Display or update a chart’s dependencies

helm dependency list $CHART
helm dependency update

Initialize a Helm Chart repository

helm repo add $REGISTRY_NAME $REGISTRY_URL --username username --password password

helm repo list

helm repo update

Run tests to examine a chart and identify possible issues

helm lint $PATH


  • Indentation -> follow the indentation style displayed in Helm debug and ArgoCD outputs.
  • Annotation order -> order annotations alphabetically like they are displayed in Helm debug and ArgoCD outputs.
  • YAML file names -> follow kubectl commands like 'ing', 'deployment'
  • Limit .helmignore to single file in the root directory.
  • Templatize identical YAML files

Helm References

Helm commands cheat sheet
Chart template guide
Azure Helm

ArgoCD References

Argo automatically fetches desired state from a Helm repo
ArgoCD - user guide
ArgoCD - private repos
ArgoCD - health checks