Application Catalog


The Application Catalog feature is currently under active development and is available starting from 5.4.0 alpha releases.

Gravity supports packaging Helm charts as self-contained application images that can be installed in a Gravity cluster or a generic Kubernetes cluster (provided it has an access to a Docker registry).

An application image is a tarball that contains:


The tele and gravity binaries have all required Helm functionality built-in so the helm binary isn't required to be installed on the server when building applications, or inside a deployed cluster. The tiller server (Helm's server component) does need to be deployed to the cluster.

Both tele version and gravity version commands report the embedded Helm version:

$ tele version
Edition:      open-source
Version:      5.4.0
Git Commit:   971d93b06da08c3b277fc033c1c4fdca55a0ec6b
Helm Version: v2.12

Build an Application Image

For this example we will be using a sample Helm chart. This chart spins up a single pod of Alpine Linux:

$ tree alpine
├── Chart.yaml
├── templates
│   ├── alpine-pod.yaml
│   └── _helpers.tpl
└── values.yaml

Before building an application image, we need to make sure that the pod's image reference includes a registry template variable which can be set to an appropriate registry during installation:

image: "{{ .Values.image.registry }}{{ .Values.image.repository }}:{{ .Values.image.tag }}"

We can now use tele to build an application image from this chart:

$ tele build alpine

The result is a tarball alpine-0.1.0.tar which includes a packaged Helm chart and the Alpine image layers.

Publish an Application Image


Publishing applications requires an Ops Center and is available only in the Enterprise edition of Gravity.

A built application image can be published to an Ops Center. This allows the Ops Center to perform the role of a distribution endpoint for application images.

To upload an application image to an Ops Center, first log into it:

$ tele login -o

Then push the application image tarball:

$ tele push alpine-0.1.0.tar

To view all currently published applications:

$ tele ls
Type        Name:Version    Created (UTC)
----        ------------    -------------
App image   alpine:0.1.0    01/16/19 23:31

Interacting with Docker Registry and Helm Chart Repository

A Gravity Ops Center (and any Gravity cluster for that matter) acts as a Docker registry and a Helm chart repository so it is possible to pull Docker images and fetch Helm charts for published applications directly from the Ops Center. Note that you have to be logged into the Ops Center with tele login for this to work.

First let's try to pull a Docker image for the alpine application:

$ docker pull
3.3: Pulling from alpine
da1f53af4030: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:014c089bd8b453b6870d2994eb4240ee69555fc5d760ffe515ef3079f5bcdad8
Status: Downloaded newer image for


Pushing Docker images directly to the Ops Center registry with docker push is not supported. Use tele push to publish application image along with its charts and layers to the Ops Center.

Next make sure that the Ops Center was configured as a Helm charts repository:

$ helm repo list
NAME                URL

To search for a particular chart the standard Helm command can be used:

$ helm search alpine
NAME                        CHART VERSION   APP VERSION DESCRIPTION      0.1.0           3.3         Deploy a basic Alpine Linux pod

Helm can also be used to retrieve a Helm chart package archive, in the standard Helm format:

$ helm fetch --version 0.1.0  # will produce alpine-0.1.0.tgz

Execute tele logout to clear login information for the Ops Center, including Docker registry and Helm chart repository credentials.

Search Application Images

For the purpose of discovering applications to install in a deployed cluster, Gravity provides a search command:

$ gravity app search [-r|--remote] [-a|--all] [pattern]

By default the command will show application images that are available in the local cluster. Provide -r flag to the command to display applications from remote application catalog in the search results.

Note that the meaning of the "remote application catalog" differs between the Open-Source and Enterprise versions of Gravity:

The -a flag makes the command to display both local and remote applications.

Here's an example search result in a cluster that is connected to the Ops Center

$ gravity app search -r
Name                    Version Description                      Created
----                    ------- -----------                      -------  0.1.0   Deploy a basic Alpine Linux pod  Wed Jan 16 23:31 UTC   0.1.0   A basic NGINX HTTP server        Tue Jan 15 20:58 UTC

The search command also accepts an optional application name pattern:

$ gravity app search -r alpine
Name                    Version Description                      Created
----                    ------- -----------                      -------  0.1.0   Deploy a basic Alpine Linux pod  Wed Jan 16 23:31 UTC

Install a Release

To deploy an application image from a tarball, transfer it onto a cluster node and execute the install command:

$ gravity app install alpine-0.1.0.tar

The install command can also download the specified application from a remote application catalog. Following up on the search example above, the alpine application can be installed directly from the remote Ops Center:

$ gravity app install

When executed inside a Gravity cluster, it will automatically push the application to the local cluster controller which will keep the images synchronized with the local Docker registries.

When deploying into a generic Kubernetes cluster, the install command needs to know where to push the images and where the chart resources should pull them from:

$ gravity app install alpine-0.1.0.tar \
    --registry \
    --set image.registry=

Gravity manages application lifecycle using the embedded Helm which means that it creates a "release" for each deployed application image. The same application image can be installed into a cluster multiple times, and a new release will be created to track each installation.

To view all currently deployed releases, run:

$ gravity app ls
Release         Status      Chart          Revision  Namespace  Updated
test-release    DEPLOYED    alpine-0.1.0   1         default    Thu Dec  6 21:13:14 UTC


The gravity app set of sub-commands support many of the same flags of the respective helm commands such as --set, --values, --namespace and so on. Check --help for each command to see which are supported.

Upgrade a Release

To upgrade a release, build a new application image (alpine-0.2.0.tar), upload it to a cluster node and execute the upgrade command:

$ gravity app upgrade test-release alpine-0.2.0.tar \
    --registry \
    --set image.registry=

Or, download and install the upgrade application image from the connected Ops Center:

$ gravity app upgrade test-release

Similar to app install, registry flags need to be provided only when installing in a generic Kubernetes cluster. When running in a Gravity cluster, application will be synced with the local cluster registries automatically.

Rollback a Release

Each release has an incrementing version number which is bumped every time a release is upgraded. To rollback a release, first find out the revision number to roll back to:

$ gravity app history test-release
Revision    Chart           Status      Updated                  Description
2           alpine-0.2.0    DEPLOYED    Thu Dec  6 22:53:10 UTC  Upgrade complete
1           alpine-0.1.0    SUPERSEDED  Thu Dec  6 21:13:14 UTC  Install complete

Then rollback to a given revision:

$ gravity app rollback test-release 1

This command will rollback the specified release test-release to the revision number 1.

Uninstall a Release

To uninstall a release, execute the following command:

$ gravity app uninstall test-release

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