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Conceptually, all Gardener components are designed to run as a Pod inside a Kubernetes cluster. The Gardener API server extends the Kubernetes API via the user-aggregated API server concepts. However, if you want to develop it, you may want to work locally with the Gardener without building a Docker image and deploying it to a cluster each and every time. That means that the Gardener runs outside a Kubernetes cluster which requires providing a Kubeconfig in your local filesystem and point the Gardener to it when starting it (see below).

Further details can be found in

  1. Principles of Kubernetes, and its components
  2. Kubernetes Development Guide
  3. Architecture of Gardener

This guide is split into two main parts:

Preparing the Setup

[macOS only] Installing homebrew

The copy-paste instructions in this guide are designed for macOS and use the package manager Homebrew.

On macOS run

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

[macOS only] Installing GNU bash

Built-in apple-darwin bash is missing some features that could cause shell scripts to fail locally.

brew install bash

Installing git

We use git as VCS which you need to install. On macOS run

brew install git

For other OS, please check the Git installation documentation.

Installing Go

Install the latest version of Go. On macOS run

brew install go

For other OS, please check Go installation documentation.

Installing kubectl

Install kubectl. Please make sure that the version of kubectl is at least v1.25.x. On macOS run

brew install kubernetes-cli

For other OS, please check the kubectl installation documentation.

Installing Docker

You need to have docker installed and running. On macOS run

brew install --cask docker

For other OS please check the docker installation documentation.

Installing iproute2

iproute2 provides a collection of utilities for network administration and configuration. On macOS run

brew install iproute2mac

Installing jq

jq is a lightweight and flexible command-line JSON processor. On macOS run

brew install jq

Installing yq

yq is a lightweight and portable command-line YAML processor. On macOS run

brew install yq

Installing GNU Parallel

GNU Parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel, used by the code generation scripts (make generate). On macOS run

brew install parallel

[macOS only] Install GNU Core Utilities

When running on macOS, install the GNU core utilities and friends:

brew install coreutils gnu-sed gnu-tar grep gzip

This will create symbolic links for the GNU utilities with g prefix on your PATH, e.g., gsed or gbase64. To allow using them without the g prefix, add the gnubin directories to the beginning of your PATH environment variable (brew install and brew info will print out instructions for each formula):

export PATH=$(brew --prefix)/opt/coreutils/libexec/gnubin:$PATH
export PATH=$(brew --prefix)/opt/gnu-sed/libexec/gnubin:$PATH
export PATH=$(brew --prefix)/opt/gnu-tar/libexec/gnubin:$PATH
export PATH=$(brew --prefix)/opt/grep/libexec/gnubin:$PATH
export PATH=$(brew --prefix)/opt/gzip/bin:$PATH

[Windows Only] WSL2

Apart from Linux distributions and macOS, the local gardener setup can also run on the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2.

While WSL1, plain docker for Windows and various Linux distributions and local Kubernetes environments may be supported, this setup was verified with:

The Gardener repository and all the above-mentioned tools (git, golang, kubectl, …) should be installed in your WSL2 distro, according to the distribution-specific Linux installation instructions.

Get the Sources

Clone the repository from GitHub into your $GOPATH.

mkdir -p $(go env GOPATH)/src/github.com/gardener
cd $(go env GOPATH)/src/github.com/gardener
git clone git@github.com:gardener/gardener.git
cd gardener

Note: Gardener is using Go modules and cloning the repository into $GOPATH is not a hard requirement. However it is still recommended to clone into $GOPATH because k8s.io/code-generator does not work yet outside of $GOPATH - kubernetes/kubernetes#86753.

Start the Gardener

Please see getting_started_locally.md how to build and deploy Gardener from your local sources.