How to set up Helm for Kubernetes Cluster

Helm is the package manager for kubernetes, in this tutorial we will set up Helm on GKE cluster for installing charts with Helm. Below are the steps for installing and set up Helm on GKE.

Login to Google Cloud Console

Activate Cloud Shell to open Cloud Shell.

Create Cluster on GKE (Google Kubernetes Engine)


gcloud container clusters create test-cluster --num-nodes 2 --enable-ip-alias --zone us-central1-a

Download Latest Helm Binary from github


Wget https://get.Helm.sh/Helm-v2.16.8-linux-amd64.tar.gz

Unpack downloaded Helm archive


tar zxfv Helm-v2.16.8-linux-amd64.tar.gz

Copy Helm binary to home directory


cp -rp linux-amd64/Helm ~

Get current user account details and save into environment variable


export user_account=$(gcloud config get-value account)

Check value of user_account


echo $user_account

Create clusterrolebinding with cluster-admin role for your user account that is saved in $user_account


kubectl create clusterrolebinding admin-binding  --clusterrole=cluster-admin  --user=$user_account

For deploying charts with Helm , server side of Helm that is tiller is required, create tiller service account with name tiller in kube-system namespace


kubectl create serviceaccount tiller  --namespace kube-system

For deploying charts kubernetes service account tiller requires cluster-admin role in the cluster, create clusterrolebinding for tiller account with below command


kubectl create clusterrolebinding tiller-binding --clusterrole=cluster-admin  --serviceaccount=kube-system:tiller

Now initialize Helm with service account tiller


~/helm init --service-account=tiller

Check Helm version


~/helm version

Install nginx with Helm


~/helm install --name release-1 stable/nginx-ingress

If you get below error, than upgrade tiller Error: incompatible versions client[v2.16.8] server[v2.14.1] Upgrade Tiller with ~/helm init -–upgrade


~/helm init -–upgrade

Try again installing nginx with Helm


~/helm install --name release-1 stable/nginx-ingress

Check running pods


Kubectl get pods

Categories: GCP