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About the Knative CLI offline mode

When you execute kn service commands, the changes immediately propagate to the cluster. However, as an alternative, you can execute kn service commands in offline mode. When you create a service in offline mode, no changes happen on the cluster, and instead the service descriptor file is created on your local machine.

The offline mode of the Knative CLI is a Technology Preview feature only. Technology Preview features are not supported with Red Hat production service level agreements (SLAs) and might not be functionally complete. Red Hat does not recommend using them in production. These features provide early access to upcoming product features, enabling customers to test functionality and provide feedback during the development process.

For more information about the support scope of Red Hat Technology Preview features, see Technology Preview Features Support Scope.

After the descriptor file is created, you can manually modify it and track it in a version control system. You can also propagate changes to the cluster by using the kn service create -f, kn service apply -f, or oc apply -f commands on the descriptor files.

The offline mode has several uses:

  • You can manually modify the descriptor file before using it to make changes on the cluster.

  • You can locally track the descriptor file of a service in a version control system. This enables you to reuse the descriptor file in places other than the target cluster, for example in continuous integration (CI) pipelines, development environments, or demos.

  • You can examine the created descriptor files to learn about Knative services. In particular, you can see how the resulting service is influenced by the different arguments passed to the kn command.

The offline mode has its advantages: it is fast, and does not require a connection to the cluster. However, offline mode lacks server-side validation. Consequently, you cannot, for example, verify that the service name is unique or that the specified image can be pulled.

Creating a service using offline mode

You can execute kn service commands in offline mode, so that no changes happen on the cluster, and instead the service descriptor file is created on your local machine. After the descriptor file is created, you can modify the file before propagating changes to the cluster.

The offline mode of the Knative CLI is a Technology Preview feature only. Technology Preview features are not supported with Red Hat production service level agreements (SLAs) and might not be functionally complete. Red Hat does not recommend using them in production. These features provide early access to upcoming product features, enabling customers to test functionality and provide feedback during the development process.

For more information about the support scope of Red Hat Technology Preview features, see Technology Preview Features Support Scope.

Prerequisites
  • OpenShift Serverless Operator and Knative Serving are installed on your cluster.

  • You have installed the Knative (kn) CLI.

Procedure
  1. In offline mode, create a local Knative service descriptor file:

    $ kn service create event-display \
        --image quay.io/openshift-knative/knative-eventing-sources-event-display:latest \
        --target ./ \
        --namespace test
    Example output
    Service 'event-display' created in namespace 'test'.
    • The --target ./ flag enables offline mode and specifies ./ as the directory for storing the new directory tree.

      If you do not specify an existing directory, but use a filename, such as --target my-service.yaml, then no directory tree is created. Instead, only the service descriptor file my-service.yaml is created in the current directory.

      The filename can have the .yaml, .yml, or .json extension. Choosing .json creates the service descriptor file in the JSON format.

    • The --namespace test option places the new service in the test namespace.

      If you do not use --namespace, and you are logged in to an OpenShift Dedicated cluster, the descriptor file is created in the current namespace. Otherwise, the descriptor file is created in the default namespace.

  2. Examine the created directory structure:

    $ tree ./
    Example output
    ./
    └── test
        └── ksvc
            └── event-display.yaml
    
    2 directories, 1 file
    • The current ./ directory specified with --target contains the new test/ directory that is named after the specified namespace.

    • The test/ directory contains the ksvc directory, named after the resource type.

    • The ksvc directory contains the descriptor file event-display.yaml, named according to the specified service name.

  3. Examine the generated service descriptor file:

    $ cat test/ksvc/event-display.yaml
    Example output
    apiVersion: serving.knative.dev/v1
    kind: Service
    metadata:
      creationTimestamp: null
      name: event-display
      namespace: test
    spec:
      template:
        metadata:
          annotations:
            client.knative.dev/user-image: quay.io/openshift-knative/knative-eventing-sources-event-display:latest
          creationTimestamp: null
        spec:
          containers:
          - image: quay.io/openshift-knative/knative-eventing-sources-event-display:latest
            name: ""
            resources: {}
    status: {}
  4. List information about the new service:

    $ kn service describe event-display --target ./ --namespace test
    Example output
    Name:       event-display
    Namespace:  test
    Age:
    URL:
    
    Revisions:
    
    Conditions:
      OK TYPE    AGE REASON
    • The --target ./ option specifies the root directory for the directory structure containing namespace subdirectories.

      Alternatively, you can directly specify a YAML or JSON filename with the --target option. The accepted file extensions are .yaml, .yml, and .json.

    • The --namespace option specifies the namespace, which communicates to kn the subdirectory that contains the necessary service descriptor file.

      If you do not use --namespace, and you are logged in to an OpenShift Dedicated cluster, kn searches for the service in the subdirectory that is named after the current namespace. Otherwise, kn searches in the default/ subdirectory.

  5. Use the service descriptor file to create the service on the cluster:

    $ kn service create -f test/ksvc/event-display.yaml
    Example output
    Creating service 'event-display' in namespace 'test':
    
      0.058s The Route is still working to reflect the latest desired specification.
      0.098s ...
      0.168s Configuration "event-display" is waiting for a Revision to become ready.
     23.377s ...
     23.419s Ingress has not yet been reconciled.
     23.534s Waiting for load balancer to be ready
     23.723s Ready to serve.
    
    Service 'event-display' created to latest revision 'event-display-00001' is available at URL:
    http://event-display-test.apps.example.com