Helm Overview

deepak kapse
3 min readSep 6, 2022

Helm Overview


Helm has 4 basic concepts:

  • Chart: a collection of YAML files; bundle of the Kubernetes resources needed to build a Kubernetes application. For ease of visualization, Helm Chart can be compared like a Docker Image. Of course, Helm also has a Helm Hub where to search and share Charts for popular apps.

The structure of a regular Helm Chart

  • Config: a configuration in the values.yaml file, which contains configuration explicit to a release of Kubernetes application. It can be the config for service, ingress, deployment, etc. until specific applications such as Kafka, Consul, Vault, NATS-streaming, etc.

Config value for different environments of Kafka

  • Release: a chart instance is loaded into Kubernetes. It can be viewed as a version of the Kubernetes application running based on Chart and associated with a specific Config.

Release of Helm at Dwarves Foundation

  • Repositories: a repository of published Charts. These can be private repositories that are only used within the company or public through the Helm Hub. Some Charts may have different versions of many companies or publishers. Particularly, Charts in a Stable repository must always meet the criteria from the Technical Requirements of Helm.

I used to deploy Vault Chart, which belongs to Banzaicloud or Incubator depending on the use-case


Helm has a fairly simple client-server architecture, including a CLI client and an in-cluster server running in the Kubernetes cluster:

Helm Architecture

  • Helm Client: Provides the developer to use it a command-line interface (CLI) to work with Charts, Config, Release, Repositories. Helm Client will interact with Tiller Server, to perform various actions such as install, upgrade and rollback with Charts, Release.
  • Tiller Server: an in-cluster server in the Kubernetes cluster, interacting with the Helm Client and communicating with the Kubernetes API server. Thus, Helm can easily manage Kubernetes with tasks such as install, upgrade, query and remove for Kubernetes resources.

Here are some basic concepts and architectures to help you understand and grasp Helm more quickly. In the next section, we’ll take some tutorials to deep dive into Helm. Let’s do it!

Helm in Action