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An intro to Argo CD

30 Mar 2023

min read

Argo CD is a declarative, GitOps continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes. The core idea of GitOps is having a Git repository that always contains declarative descriptions of the infrastructure currently desired in the production environment, and an automated process to make the production environment match the described state in the repository. Argo CD follows the GitOps pattern of using Git repositories as the source of truth for defining the desired application state. It is implemented as a kubernetes controller which continuously monitors running applications, and compares the current live state against the desired target state (as specified in the Git repo).Any modifications made to the desired target state in the Git repo can be automatically applied, and reflected in the specified target environments.

Difference with other CD pipelines

Argo CD, in contrast to push-based CD solutions, is able to detect changes in the project, and deploy it to Kubernetes. By using the push method, deployments to the cluster are initiated by an external system (often CD pipelines) following the successful completion of a prior CI pipeline or the commit to a git repository. In this method, the cluster is accessible to the pipeline system. With pull-based systems, there is an operator inside the cluster that periodically monitors the related git repositories, and docker registries; if a change is detected, the cluster state is changed from within. Due to the fact that no external client possesses credentials that grant admin access to the cluster, this technique is widely regarded as being very secure.

How to get Started with Argo CD?

The minimum requirement to get started using argo CD is an application custom resource definition (CRD). The Application CRD is the Kubernetes resource object representing a deployed application instance in an environment. It is defined by two key pieces of information:

  1. Source reference to the desired state in Git (repository, revision, path, environment)

  2. Destination reference to the target cluster, and namespace.


This example assumes that you’re familiar with core Git, Docker, Kubernetes, and Continuous Delivery. In addition, you must have minikube configured locally. You can create your own docker image or use the docker mentioned in the example.

We first need to install Argo CD. The most common way is to use kubectl command.

kubectl create namespace argocd
kubectl apply -n argocd -f
kubectl create namespace argocd
kubectl apply -n argocd -f

secondly, We need to create a kubernetes deployment ,and service file, then push it on out git repo.

Deployment File

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: luna-deployment
    app: luna
  replicas: 3
      app: luna
        app: luna
      - name: spring-boot-app
        image: natanstb/gs-spring-boot-docker
        - containerPort: 3000

Service File

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: my-app-service
  type: NodePort
  - port: 3000
    targetPort: 3000
    nodePort: 30004
    app: luna

We then create Argo CD application file which points to the git repo we just created

Application CRD

kind: Application
  name: luna-app
  namespace: argocd
  project: default
    targetRevision: HEAD
    path: dev
    server: https://kubernetes.default.svc
    namespace: myapp
      selfHeal: true
      prune: true
      - CreateNamespace=true

Lastly, apply application CRD using

kubectl apply -n argocd -f application.yaml

We just need to verify the created kubernetes resource using kubectl get pods command, and using kubectl get svc to check the services created.

For fetching the minikube IP, and a service’s Node port we can use:

minikube service my-app-service --url

Argo CD also comes with A UI which makes it suitable to visualize deployment processes. It can be accessed locally by port forwarding. To access the admin UI, we can

  1. First we get the decoded password using:

kubectl -n argocd get secret argocd-initial-admin-secret -o jsonpath="{.data.password}" | base64 -d
  1. Port forwarding using:

kubectl port-forward svc/argocd-server -n argocd 8080:443
  1. Then browse https://localost:8080

Argo CD admin ui

This was a short Introduction to Argo CD, which makes deployment process faster, and safer.