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Migration from v1 to v2

Make sure you understand the differences between Kubebuilder v1 and v2 before continuing

Please ensure you have followed the installation guide to install the required components.

The recommended way to migrate a v1 project is to create a new v2 project and copy over the API and the reconciliation code. The conversion will end up with a project that looks like a native v2 project. However, in some cases, it’s possible to do an in-place upgrade (i.e. reuse the v1 project layout, upgrading controller-runtime and controller-tools.

Let’s take as example an V1 project and migrate it to Kubebuilder v2. At the end, we should have something that looks like the example v2 project.


We’ll need to figure out what the group, version, kind and domain are.

Let’s take a look at our current v1 project structure:

├── apis
│   ├── addtoscheme_batch_v1.go
│   ├── apis.go
│   └── batch
│       ├── group.go
│       └── v1
│           ├── cronjob_types.go
│           ├── cronjob_types_test.go
│           ├── doc.go
│           ├── register.go
│           ├── v1_suite_test.go
│           └── zz_generated.deepcopy.go
├── controller
└── webhook

All of our API information is stored in pkg/apis/batch, so we can look there to find what we need to know.

In cronjob_types.go, we can find

type CronJob struct {...}

In register.go, we can find

SchemeGroupVersion = schema.GroupVersion{Group: "", Version: "v1"}

Putting that together, we get CronJob as the kind, and as the group-version

Initialize a v2 Project

Now, we need to initialize a v2 project. Before we do that, though, we’ll need to initialize a new go module if we’re not on the gopath:

go mod init

Then, we can finish initializing the project with kubebuilder:

kubebuilder init --domain

Migrate APIs and Controllers

Next, we’ll re-scaffold out the API types and controllers. Since we want both, we’ll say yes to both the API and controller prompts when asked what parts we want to scaffold:

kubebuilder create api --group batch --version v1 --kind CronJob

If you’re using multiple groups, some manual work is required to migrate. Please follow this for more details.

Migrate the APIs

Now, let’s copy the API definition from pkg/apis/batch/v1/cronjob_types.go to api/v1/cronjob_types.go. We only need to copy the implementation of the Spec and Status fields.

We can replace the +k8s:deepcopy-gen:interfaces=... marker (which is deprecated in kubebuilder) with +kubebuilder:object:root=true.

We don’t need the following markers any more (they’re not used anymore, and are relics from much older versions of KubeBuilder):

// +genclient
// +k8s:openapi-gen=true

Our API types should look like the following:

// +kubebuilder:object:root=true
// +kubebuilder:subresource:status
// CronJob is the Schema for the cronjobs API
type CronJob struct {...}

// +kubebuilder:object:root=true

// CronJobList contains a list of CronJob
type CronJobList struct {...}

Migrate the Controllers

Now, let’s migrate the controller reconciler code from pkg/controller/cronjob/cronjob_controller.go to controllers/cronjob_controller.go.

We’ll need to copy

  • the fields from the ReconcileCronJob struct to CronJobReconciler
  • the contents of the Reconcile function
  • the rbac related markers to the new file.
  • the code under func add(mgr manager.Manager, r reconcile.Reconciler) error to func SetupWithManager

Migrate the Webhooks

If you don’t have a webhook, you can skip this section.

Webhooks for Core Types and External CRDs

If you are using webhooks for Kubernetes core types (e.g. Pods), or for an external CRD that is not owned by you, you can refer the controller-runtime example for builtin types and do something similar. Kubebuilder doesn’t scaffold much for these cases, but you can use the library in controller-runtime.

Scaffold Webhooks for our CRDs

Now let’s scaffold the webhooks for our CRD (CronJob). We’ll need to run the following command with the --defaulting and --programmatic-validation flags (since our test project uses defaulting and validating webhooks):

kubebuilder create webhook --group batch --version v1 --kind CronJob --defaulting --programmatic-validation

Depending on how many CRDs need webhooks, we may need to run the above command multiple times with different Group-Version-Kinds.

Now, we’ll need to copy the logic for each webhook. For validating webhooks, we can copy the contents from func validatingCronJobFn in pkg/default_server/cronjob/validating/cronjob_create_handler.go to func ValidateCreate in api/v1/cronjob_webhook.go and then the same for update.

Similarly, we’ll copy from func mutatingCronJobFn to func Default.

Webhook Markers

When scaffolding webhooks, Kubebuilder v2 adds the following markers:

// These are v2 markers

// This is for the mutating webhook
// +kubebuilder:webhook:path=/mutate-batch-tutorial-kubebuilder-io-v1-cronjob,mutating=true,failurePolicy=fail,,resources=cronjobs,verbs=create;update,versions=v1,


// This is for the validating webhook
// +kubebuilder:webhook:path=/validate-batch-tutorial-kubebuilder-io-v1-cronjob,mutating=false,failurePolicy=fail,,resources=cronjobs,verbs=create;update,versions=v1,

The default verbs are verbs=create;update. We need to ensure verbs matches what we need. For example, if we only want to validate creation, then we would change it to verbs=create.

We also need to ensure failure-policy is still the same.

Markers like the following are no longer needed (since they deal with self-deploying certificate configuration, which was removed in v2):

// v1 markers
// +kubebuilder:webhook:port=9876,cert-dir=/tmp/cert
// +kubebuilder:webhook:service=test-system:webhook-service,selector=app:webhook-server
// +kubebuilder:webhook:secret=test-system:webhook-server-secret
// +kubebuilder:webhook:mutating-webhook-config-name=test-mutating-webhook-cfg
// +kubebuilder:webhook:validating-webhook-config-name=test-validating-webhook-cfg

In v1, a single webhook marker may be split into multiple ones in the same paragraph. In v2, each webhook must be represented by a single marker.


If there are any manual updates in main.go in v1, we need to port the changes to the new main.go. We’ll also need to ensure all of the needed schemes have been registered.

If there are additional manifests added under config directory, port them as well.

Change the image name in the Makefile if needed.


Finally, we can run make and make docker-build to ensure things are working fine.