clusterctl upgrade

The clusterctl upgrade command can be used to upgrade the version of the Cluster API providers (CRDs, controllers) installed into a management cluster.

Background info: management groups

The upgrade procedure is designed to ensure all the providers in a management group use the same API Version of Cluster API (contract), e.g. the v1alpha 3 Cluster API contract.

A management group is a group of providers composed by a CoreProvider and a set of Bootstrap/ControlPlane/Infrastructure providers watching objects in the same namespace.

Usually, in a management cluster there is only a management group, but in case of n-core multi tenancy there can be more than one.

upgrade plan

The clusterctl upgrade plan command can be used to identify possible targets for upgrades.

clusterctl upgrade plan

Produces an output similar to this:

Checking new release availability...

Management group: capi-system/cluster-api, latest release available for the v1alpha3 API Version of Cluster API (contract):

NAME                NAMESPACE                       TYPE                     CURRENT VERSION   TARGET VERSION
cluster-api         capi-system                     CoreProvider             v0.3.0            v0.3.1
kubeadm             capi-kubeadm-bootstrap-system   BootstrapProvider        v0.3.0            v0.3.1
docker              capd-system                     InfrastructureProvider   v0.3.0            v0.3.1


You can now apply the upgrade by executing the following command:

   clusterctl upgrade apply --management-group capi-system/cluster-api  --contract v1alpha3

The output contains the latest release available for each management group in the cluster/for each API Version of Cluster API (contract) available at the moment.

upgrade apply

After choosing the desired option for the upgrade, you can run the provided command.

clusterctl upgrade apply --management-group capi-system/cluster-api  --cluster-api-version v1alpha3

The upgrade process is composed by two steps:

  • Delete the current version of the provider components, while preserving the namespace where the provider components are hosted and the provider’s CRDs.
  • Install the new version of the provider components.

Please note that clusterctl does not upgrade Cluster API objects (Clusters, MachineDeployments, Machine etc.); upgrading such objects are the responsibility of the provider’s controllers.