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Getting Started

This guide assumes you are familiar with Argo CD and its basic concepts. See the Argo CD documentation for more information.


  • Installed kubectl command-line tool
  • Have a kubeconfig file (default location is ~/.kube/config).


There are a few options for installing the ApplicationSet controller.

A) Install ApplicationSet into an existing Argo CD install

The ApplicationSet controller must be installed into the same namespace as the Argo CD it is targetting.

Presuming that Argo CD is installed into the argocd namespace, run the following command:

kubectl apply -n argocd -f

Once installed, the ApplicationSet controller requires no additional setup.

The manifests/install.yaml file contains the Kubernetes manifests required to install the ApplicationSet controller:

  • CustomResourceDefinition for ApplicationSet resource
  • Deployment for argocd-applicationset-controller
  • ServiceAccount for use by ApplicationSet controller, to access Argo CD resources
  • Role granting RBAC access to needed resources, for ServiceAccount
  • RoleBinding to bind the ServiceAccount and Role

B) Install ApplicationSet and Argo CD together

You may instead install both the ApplicationSet controller and the latest stable Argo CD together, by creating a namespace and applying manifests/install-with-argo-cd.yaml:

kubectl create namespace argocd
kubectl apply -n argocd -f

Once installed, follow the Argo CD Getting Started to access Argo CD and log-in to the Web UI.

The ApplicationSet controller requires no additional setup.

C) Install development builds of ApplicationSet controller for access to the latest features

Development builds of the ApplicationSet controller can be installed by running the following command:

kubectl apply -n argocd -f

With this option you will need to ensure that Argo CD is already installed into the argocd namespace.

How it works:


Development builds contain newer features and bug fixes, but are more likely to be unstable, as compared to release builds.

See the master branch Read the Docs page for documentation on post-release features.

D) Customized install using Kustomize

To extend or customize the ApplicationSet controller installation, Kustomize may be used with the existing namespace install manifests/namespace-install/kustomize.yaml file.

Upgrading to a Newer Release

To upgrade from an older release (eg 0.1.0, 0.2.0) to a newer release (eg 0.3.0), you only need to kubectl apply the install.yaml for the new release, as described under Installation above.

There are no manual upgrade steps required between any release of ApplicationSet controller, (including 0.1.0, 0.2.0, and 0.3.0) as of this writing, however, see the behaviour changes in ApplicationSet controller v0.3.0, below.


If you installed using the combined 'ApplicationSet and Argo CD' bundle, you may wish to consult the Argo CD release upgrade docs as well, to familiarize yourself with Argo CD upgrades, and to confirm if there is anything on the Argo CD side you need to be aware of.

Behaviour changes in ApplicationSet controller v0.3.0

There are no breaking changes, however, a couple of behaviours have changed from v0.2.0 to v0.3.0. See the v0.3.0 upgrade page for details.

Optional: Additional Post-Upgrade Safeguards

See the Controlling Resource Modification page for information on additional parameters you may wish to add to the ApplicationSet install.yaml, to provide extra security against any initial, unexpected post-upgrade behaviour.

For instance, to temporarily prevent the upgraded ApplicationSet controller from making any changes, you could:

  • Enable dry-run
  • Use a create-only policy
  • Enable preserveResourcesOnDeletion on your ApplicationSets
  • Temporarily disable automated sync in your ApplicationSets' template

These parameters would allow you to observe/control the behaviour of the new version of the ApplicationSet controller in your environment, to ensure you are happy with the result (see the ApplicationSet log file for details). Just don't forget to remove any temporary changes when you are done testing!

However, as mentioned above, these steps are not strictly necessary: upgrading the ApplicationSet controller should be a minimally invasive process, and these are only suggested as an optional precaution for extra safety.

Next Steps

Once your ApplicationSet controller is up and running, proceed to Use Cases to learn more about the supported scenarios, or proceed directly to Generators to see example ApplicationSet resources.