Overview

Many applications require configuration using some combination of configuration files, command line arguments, and environment variables. These configuration artifacts should be decoupled from image content in order to keep containerized applications portable.

The ConfigMap object provides mechanisms to inject containers with configuration data while keeping containers agnostic of OpenShift Enterprise. A ConfigMap can be used to store fine-grained information like individual properties or coarse-grained information like entire configuration files or JSON blobs.

The ConfigMap API object holds key-value pairs of configuration data that can be consumed in pods or used to store configuration data for system components such as controllers. ConfigMap is similar to secrets, but designed to more conveniently support working with strings that do not contain sensitive information.

For example:

Example 1. ConfigMap Object Definition
kind: ConfigMap
apiVersion: v1
metadata:
  creationTimestamp: 2016-02-18T19:14:38Z
  name: example-config
  namespace: default
data: (1)
  example.property.1: hello
  example.property.2: world
  example.property.file: |-
    property.1=value-1
    property.2=value-2
    property.3=value-3
1 Contains the configuration data.

Configuration data can be consumed in pods in a variety of ways. A ConfigMap can be used to:

  1. Populate the value of environment variables.

  2. Set command-line arguments in a container.

  3. Populate configuration files in a volume.

Both users and system components may store configuration data in a ConfigMap.

Creating ConfigMaps

You can use the following command to create a ConfigMap easily from directories, specific files, or literal values:

$ oc create configmap <configmap_name> [options]

The following sections cover the different ways you can create a ConfigMap.

Creating from Directories

Consider a directory with some files that already contain the data with which you want to populate a ConfigMap:

$ ls example-files
game.properties
ui.properties

$ cat example-files/game.properties
enemies=aliens
lives=3
enemies.cheat=true
enemies.cheat.level=noGoodRotten
secret.code.passphrase=UUDDLRLRBABAS
secret.code.allowed=true
secret.code.lives=30

$ cat example-files/ui.properties
color.good=purple
color.bad=yellow
allow.textmode=true
how.nice.to.look=fairlyNice

You can use the following command to create a ConfigMap holding the content of each file in this directory:

$ oc create configmap game-config \
    --from-file=example-files/

When the --from-file option points to a directory, each file directly in that directory is used to populate a key in the ConfigMap, where the name of the key is the file name, and the value of the key is the content of the file.

For example, the above command creates the following ConfigMap:

$ oc describe configmaps game-config
Name:           game-config
Namespace:      default
Labels:         <none>
Annotations:    <none>

Data

game.properties:        121 bytes
ui.properties:          83 bytes

You can see the two keys in the map are created from the file names in the directory specified in the command. Because the content of those keys may be large, the output of oc describe only shows the names of the keys and their sizes.

If you want to see the values of the keys, you can oc get the object with the -o option:

$ oc get configmaps game-config -o yaml

apiVersion: v1
data:
  game.properties: |-
    enemies=aliens
    lives=3
    enemies.cheat=true
    enemies.cheat.level=noGoodRotten
    secret.code.passphrase=UUDDLRLRBABAS
    secret.code.allowed=true
    secret.code.lives=30
  ui.properties: |
    color.good=purple
    color.bad=yellow
    allow.textmode=true
    how.nice.to.look=fairlyNice
kind: ConfigMap
metadata:
  creationTimestamp: 2016-02-18T18:34:05Z
  name: game-config
  namespace: default
  resourceVersion: "407"-
  selflink: /api/v1/namespaces/default/configmaps/game-config
  uid: 30944725-d66e-11e5-8cd0-68f728db1985

Creating from Files

You can also pass the --from-file option with a specific file, and pass it multiple times to the CLI. The following yields equivalent results to the Creating from Directories example:

  1. Create the ConfigMap specifying a specific file:

    $ oc create configmap game-config-2 \
        --from-file=example-files/game.properties \
        --from-file=example-files/ui.properties
  2. Verify the results:

    $ oc get configmaps game-config-2 -o yaml
    
    apiVersion: v1
    data:
      game.properties: |-
        enemies=aliens
        lives=3
        enemies.cheat=true
        enemies.cheat.level=noGoodRotten
        secret.code.passphrase=UUDDLRLRBABAS
        secret.code.allowed=true
        secret.code.lives=30
      ui.properties: |
        color.good=purple
        color.bad=yellow
        allow.textmode=true
        how.nice.to.look=fairlyNice
    kind: ConfigMap
    metadata:
      creationTimestamp: 2016-02-18T18:52:05Z
      name: game-config-2
      namespace: default
      resourceVersion: "516"
      selflink: /api/v1/namespaces/default/configmaps/game-config-2
      uid: b4952dc3-d670-11e5-8cd0-68f728db1985

You can also set the key to use for an individual file with the --from-file option by passing an expression of key=value. For example:

  1. Create the ConfigMap specifying a key-value pair:

    $ oc create configmap game-config-3 \
        --from-file=game-special-key=example-files/game.properties
  2. Verify the results:

    $ oc get configmaps game-config-3 -o yaml
    
    apiVersion: v1
    data:
      game-special-key: |-
        enemies=aliens
        lives=3
        enemies.cheat=true
        enemies.cheat.level=noGoodRotten
        secret.code.passphrase=UUDDLRLRBABAS
        secret.code.allowed=true
        secret.code.lives=30
    kind: ConfigMap
    metadata:
      creationTimestamp: 2016-02-18T18:54:22Z
      name: game-config-3
      namespace: default
      resourceVersion: "530"
      selflink: /api/v1/namespaces/default/configmaps/game-config-3
      uid: 05f8da22-d671-11e5-8cd0-68f728db1985

Creating from Literal Values

You can also supply literal values for a ConfigMap. The --from-literal option takes a key=value syntax that allows literal values to be supplied directly on the command line:

  1. Create the ConfigMap specifying a literal value:

    $ oc create configmap special-config \
        --from-literal=special.how=very \
        --from-literal=special.type=charm
  2. Verify the results:

    $ oc get configmaps special-config -o yaml
    
    apiVersion: v1
    data:
      special.how: very
      special.type: charm
    kind: ConfigMap
    metadata:
      creationTimestamp: 2016-02-18T19:14:38Z
      name: special-config
      namespace: default
      resourceVersion: "651"
      selflink: /api/v1/namespaces/default/configmaps/special-config
      uid: dadce046-d673-11e5-8cd0-68f728db1985

Use Cases: Consuming ConfigMaps in Pods

The following sections describe some uses cases when consuming ConfigMap objects in pods.

Consuming in Environment Variables

A ConfigMap can be used to populate the value of command line arguments. For example, consider the following ConfigMap:

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
metadata:
  name: special-config
  namespace: default
data:
  special.how: very
  special.type: charm

You can consume the keys of this ConfigMap in a pod using configMapKeyRef sections:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: dapi-test-pod
spec:
  containers:
    - name: test-container
      image: gcr.io/google_containers/busybox
      command: [ "/bin/sh", "-c", "env" ]
      env:
        - name: SPECIAL_LEVEL_KEY
          valueFrom:
            configMapKeyRef:
              name: special-config
              key: special.how
        - name: SPECIAL_TYPE_KEY
          valueFrom:
            configMapKeyRef:
              name: special-config
              key: special.type
  restartPolicy: Never

When this pod is run, its output will include the following lines:

SPECIAL_LEVEL_KEY=very
SPECIAL_TYPE_KEY=charm

Setting Command-line Arguments

A ConfigMap can also be used to set the value of the command or arguments in a container. This is accomplished using the Kubernetes substitution syntax $(VAR_NAME). Consider the following ConfigMap:

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
metadata:
  name: special-config
  namespace: default
data:
  special.how: very
  special.type: charm

To inject values into the command line, you must consume the keys you want to use as environment variables, as in the Consuming in Environment Variables use case. Then you can refer to them in a container’s command using the $(VAR_NAME) syntax.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: dapi-test-pod
spec:
  containers:
    - name: test-container
      image: gcr.io/google_containers/busybox
      command: [ "/bin/sh", "-c", "echo $(SPECIAL_LEVEL_KEY) $(SPECIAL_TYPE_KEY)" ]
      env:
        - name: SPECIAL_LEVEL_KEY
          valueFrom:
            configMapKeyRef:
              name: special-config
              key: special.how
        - name: SPECIAL_TYPE_KEY
          valueFrom:
            configMapKeyRef:
              name: special-config
              key: special.type
  restartPolicy: Never

When this pod is run, the output from the test-container container will be:

very charm

Consuming in Volumes

A ConfigMap can also be consumed in volumes. Returning again to the following example ConfigMap:

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
metadata:
  name: special-config
  namespace: default
data:
  special.how: very
  special.type: charm

You have a couple different options for consuming this ConfigMap in a volume. The most basic way is to populate the volume with files where the key is the file name and the content of the file is the value of the key:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: dapi-test-pod
spec:
  containers:
    - name: test-container
      image: gcr.io/google_containers/busybox
      command: [ "/bin/sh", "cat", "/etc/config/special.how" ]
      volumeMounts:
      - name: config-volume
        mountPath: /etc/config
  volumes:
    - name: config-volume
      configMap:
        name: special-config
  restartPolicy: Never

When this pod is run, the output will be:

very

You can also control the paths within the volume where ConfigMap keys are projected:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  name: dapi-test-pod
spec:
  containers:
    - name: test-container
      image: gcr.io/google_containers/busybox
      command: [ "/bin/sh", "cat", "/etc/config/path/to/special-key" ]
      volumeMounts:
      - name: config-volume
        mountPath: /etc/config
  volumes:
    - name: config-volume
      configMap:
        name: special-config
        items:
        - key: special.how
          path: path/to/special-key
  restartPolicy: Never

When this pod is run, the output will be:

very

Example: Configuring Redis

For a real-world example, you can configure Redis using a ConfigMap. To inject Redis with the recommended configuration for using Redis as a cache, the Redis configuration file should contain the following:

maxmemory 2mb
maxmemory-policy allkeys-lru

If your configuration file is located at example-files/redis/redis-config, create a ConfigMap with it:

  1. Create the ConfigMap specifying the configuration file:

    $ oc create configmap example-redis-config \
        --from-file=example-files/redis/redis-config
  2. Verify the results:

    $ oc get configmap example-redis-config -o yaml
    
    apiVersion: v1
    data:
      redis-config: |
        maxmemory 2mb
        maxmemory-policy allkeys-lru
    kind: ConfigMap
    metadata:
      creationTimestamp: 2016-04-06T05:53:07Z
      name: example-redis-config
      namespace: default
      resourceVersion: "2985"
      selflink: /api/v1/namespaces/default/configmaps/example-redis-config
      uid: d65739c1-fbbb-11e5-8a72-68f728db1985

Now, create a pod that uses this ConfigMap:

  1. Create a pod definition like the following and save it to a file, for example redis-pod.yaml:

    apiVersion: v1
    kind: Pod
    metadata:
      name: redis
    spec:
      containers:
      - name: redis
        image: kubernetes/redis:v1
        env:
        - name: MASTER
          value: "true"
        ports:
        - containerPort: 6379
        resources:
          limits:
            cpu: "0.1"
        volumeMounts:
        - mountPath: /redis-master-data
          name: data
        - mountPath: /redis-master
          name: config
      volumes:
        - name: data
          emptyDir: {}
        - name: config
          configMap:
            name: example-redis-config
            items:
            - key: redis-config
              path: redis.conf
  2. Create the pod:

    $ oc create -f redis-pod.yaml

The newly-created pod has a ConfigMap volume that places the redis-config key of the example-redis-config ConfigMap into a file called redis.conf. This volume is mounted into the /redis-master directory in the Redis container, placing our configuration file at /redis-master/redis.conf, which is where the image looks for the Redis configuration file for the master.

If you oc exec into this pod and run the redis-cli tool, you can check that the configuration was applied correctly:

$ oc exec -it redis redis-cli
127.0.0.1:6379> CONFIG GET maxmemory
1) "maxmemory"
2) "2097152"
127.0.0.1:6379> CONFIG GET maxmemory-policy
1) "maxmemory-policy"
2) "allkeys-lru"

Restrictions

A ConfigMap must be created before they are consumed in pods. Controllers can be written to tolerate missing configuration data; consult individual components configured via ConfigMap on a case-by-case basis.

ConfigMap objects reside in a project. They can only be referenced by pods in the same project.

The Kubelet only supports use of a ConfigMap for pods it gets from the API server. This includes any pods created using the CLI, or indirectly from a replication controller. It does not include pods created using the OpenShift Enterprise node’s --manifest-url flag, its --config flag, or its REST API (these are not common ways to create pods).