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Tomasz Torcz: At some point UI loses usefulness

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Development

When it comes to configurability, modern software often hits a sweet spot. We are given nice, usable User Interface (UI) helping with configuration – by hinting, auto-filling and validating fields. Additionaly, the configuration itself is stored in text format, making it easy to backup and track changes. For example in git version control system.

[...]

Argo CD is a wonderful tool to implement GitOps with you Kubernetes cluster.

Kubernetes is configured by plain text files in YAML format. That's a perfect form to track in git. Argo CD provides synchronization service: what you have in git repository is applied to kubernetes. Synchronization could be automatic or you can opt to sync manually. In later case, Argo CD provides a nice diff view, showing what's currently configured and how should it be.

Argo CD also has a nice concept of responsibility boundaries: it cares only about YAML sections and fields present in the git repo. If you add new section on the running cluster, it won't be touched. It may be a single field, for example – replicas:

Above can be utilized when you manage Argo CD by Argo CD. install.yaml file defines configuration resources likes ConfigMaps and Secrets, yet it doesn't provide actual data: sections. When you configure Argo CD installation – using nice web UI, no less - data: sections are created and configuration is stored into k8s cluster.

Those sections are not part of what is stored in git repository, so they will neither be touched nor rewritten.

But what happens when we want to store the Argo CD configuration in the repository, and gitops it to the Moon and back?

If we add data: sections, they will be synced. But we will lose ability to use nice UI directly! As UI makes changes on the running cluster, Argo CD will notice live configuration differs from git repository one. It will overwrite our new configuration, undoing changes.

If we want to gitops configuration, we basically must stop using UI and manually add all changes to the text files in the repository!

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