Upgrade the Jenkins X cluster managed by GitOps


Automatic upgrades

To enable automatic upgrades of your cluster you need to modify your jx-requirements.yml file in your development git cluster repository:

kind: Requirements
    enabled: true
    schedule: "0 0 * * *"
    autoMerge: true

Once you commit and push that change and your boot job has completed you should have a CronJob running at the above schedule (every night at midnight) creating a Pull Request to upgrade your cluster’s versions of charts and images.

If you set autoMerge: true then the upgrade Pull Requests will get auto merged if the CI/CD pipelines all succeed; otherwise you need to manually approve the Pull Requests when you are happy for the upgrade to be applied.

For more help on the Cron scheduler syntax check out

Manual upgrades

The following demo walks through how to manually upgrade your cluster:


  • make sure you have upgraded your jx CLI to make sure you are using the correct version for the next steps.

You can upgrade your Jenkins X installation at any time by running the jx gitops upgrade command inside a git checkout of your cluster GitOps repository:

First make sure you have the latest git contents as the boot job will push changes:

git pull

Make sure you have no pending git commits….

git status

Now if your git clone is clean run the following:

jx gitops upgrade

This will:

After running this command you will usually have some changes in git you can review. If you are happy with the changes commit them and create a Pull Request so that they can get applied on your cluster.

git add *
git commit -a -m "fix: upgrade versions"
git push

The jx-git-operator will trigger a boot job in the jx-git-operator namespace, to track the progress of the upgrade you can run:

jx admin logs

Merge conflicts

It is possible that you will have merge conflicts. You can follow the inline git helper messages to resolve conflicts - or use your IDE to help figure out the merge issues. Usually if there are conflicts its safest to use the upstream version; particularly from the versionStream dir.

Under the hood Kpt is used to fetch changes from the upstream defined in each Kptfile.
By default the versionStream directory has a Kpt strategy of force-delete-replace which removes all your changes in that folder. In order to merge your changes with the ones coming from upstream, add a file: .jx/gitops/kpt-strategy.yaml with the following content:

  - relativePath: versionStream
    strategy: resource-merge

Once ready, make a pull request onto your cluster repository, review changes and merge. The Jenkins X git operator will automatically apply the upgrades into your cluster.

Replacing your local versionStream

If you are having merge conflicts trying to upgrade your installation you could just replace the versionStream directory with the latest version stream folder. NOTE this will overwrite any local changes you have made inside the verisonStream folder. Though everything is versioned in git so you can always review the changes.

Inside your cluster git repository run this command:

kpt pkg update --strategy force-delete-replace versionStream

That will update your versionStream directory to be in line with the latest version stream. You can always then review the changes before committing them.

Configure merge strategy

You can configure the kpt strategy used to apply changes from the version stream into your versionStream folder via a custom configuration file.

Create a file called .jx/gitops/kpt-strategy.yaml in your dev cluster git repository that looks like this:

- relativePath: versionStream
  strategy: alpha-git-patch

this will configure that the alpha-git-patch strategy will be used whenever you try jx gitops upgrade which should preserve any local changes; though you may have to resolve some git conflicts in your IDE (as described above).

To avoid any possible git merge issues its a good idea to try keep local source changes out of the versionStream folder if you can.

Locking versions

To prevent manual changes from being overwritten during an upgrade, add the lock label to a chart in your helmfile.yaml:

- chart: ingress-nginx/ingress-nginx
  version: 3.12.0
  name: nginx-ingress
    - ../../versionStream/charts/ingress-nginx/ingress-nginx/values.yaml.gotmpl
    - jx-values.yaml
  labels: lock

Last modified February 21, 2022: chore: add docs for locking versions (9f9e9a0dc5)