Helm Charts: What They Are + How to Troubleshoot Them

Last updated
May 23, 2024

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Helm charts are a popular way to package and deploy applications on Kubernetes clusters. They are especially useful for developers and platform engineers who are deploying backend infrastructure, such as databases, caching systems, and load balancers.

What is a Helm Chart?

Helm charts are a way of packaging and deploying applications on Kubernetes clusters. They are composed of a set of templates that define the Kubernetes manifest files for the application and its dependencies. Helm charts also include metadata, such as the chart name, version, description, and dependencies.

Helm charts can be installed on a Kubernetes cluster using the `helm install` command, which creates a helm release. A Helm release is an instance of a chart running on a cluster. Each release has a unique name and can be managed by Helm commands, such as helm list, helm upgrade, helm uninstall, etc.

Helm charts can simplify the deployment and management of complex applications on Kubernetes, but they can also introduce some challenges and errors. In this article, we will discuss some common troubleshooting issues when deploying Helm charts to Kubernetes clusters and how to resolve them.

Helm Chart Troubleshooting: Failed with Error Message

One of the most common issues when deploying helm charts is that the `helm install` command fails with an error message. This can happen for various reasons, such as:

Helm Chart Not Found

Having trouble finding Helm Charts? Botkube can Help!

This error occurs when Helm cannot find the chart that you are trying to install. You can fix this error by adding the chart repository to your local Helm client.

Invalid YAML

If there is an error in your YAML file, Helm will not be able to create the Kubernetes resources. You can use a YAML validator to check your file for errors. Check into Botkube's solution YAML validator.

Invalid Chart

If there is an error in your chart, Helm will not be able to create the Kubernetes resources. You can use a chart linter to check your chart for errors.

Insufficient Permissions

If you do not have sufficient permissions to create Kubernetes resources, Helm will not be able to create them. You can check your permissions by running `kubectl auth can-i create <resource>`.

To troubleshoot these issues, you should first check the error message and see if it provides any clues about the cause of the failure.

You can also use the `--debug` flag to get more detailed information about the helm install process. At this point, Helm will show you all of the Kubernetes resources that it is creating. If there is an error, it will be displayed in the output.

The Easy Way: Botkube, Your Kubernetes Troubleshooting Assistant

Up until this point, troubleshooting Helm has sounded like a very manual process of looking through error messages. Not to mention, most of this is done from within the command line interface. What if troubleshooting didn’t have to be that manual?

If you are having an issue deploying Helm to your cluster, install Botkube’s Helm Plugin to your cluster and connect it to your preferred productivity tool (Slack, Teams, or Mattermost). Now let Botkube read through all the error messages and give you the solution. Botkube can quickly fix things like wrong Helm version or problem with helm packaging.

In addition to finding the solution for Helm errors, Botkube’s ChatOps functions let you take action directly from your productivity tool. Need to rename the Helm chart to match the version? No problem! Botkube found that solution and lets you fix it in one click!

Kubernetes ChatOps now with ChatGPT!

Believe the hype around ChatGPT troubleshooting code? Botkube thinks it is pretty useful for suggesting solutions to common K8s errors as well. Our new Doctor plugin allows operation engineers to bring ChatGPT directly into their cluster!

With Botkube's other powerful chat integrations, you can now prompt the power of ChatGPT directly from your Slack Channel. Between Botkube's helpful suggestions and ChatGPT, you should be able to navigate deploying helm charts in no time. Simply utilize Botkube's web interface to begin deploying your initial chart today!

See how others are using Botkube with Helm Charts

Check out this case study that we did with Shawn Garret where he talks about using Botkube to combine helm charts into a single deployment.

About Botkube

Botkube is a collaborative troubleshooting tool designed specifically for Kubernetes users. With Botkube, you can seamlessly receive and act on alerts directly within your preferred messaging and collaboration platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Discord, and Mattermost. In addition, Botkube enables you to automate actions based on events, run kubectl and Helm commands, receive recommendations for best practices and much more. Get started with Botkube for free.