Helm Plugin - Install Helm Charts strait from Git repositories

Primary LanguageShellApache License 2.0Apache-2.0


GitHub Actions License MIT GitHub release semantic-release

The Helm downloader plugin that provides GIT protocol support.

This fits multiple use cases:

  • Need to keep charts private
  • Doesn't want to package charts before installing
  • Charts in a sub-path, or with another ref than master
  • Pull values files directly from (private) Git repository


Use helm CLI to install this plugin:

helm plugin install https://github.com/aslafy-z/helm-git --version 1.3.0

To use the plugin, you only need git. If you want to build the plugin from source, or you want to contribute to the plugin, please see these instructions.


helm plugin remove helm-git


helm-git will package any chart that is not so you can directly reference paths to original charts.

Here's the Git urls format, followed by examples:



Add your repository:

helm repo add cert-manager git+https://github.com/jetstack/cert-manager@deploy/charts?ref=v0.6.2

You can use it as any other Helm chart repository. Try:

$ helm search repo cert-manager
NAME                                    CHART VERSION   APP VERSION     DESCRIPTION
cert-manager/cert-manager               v0.6.6          v0.6.2          A Helm chart for cert-manager

$ helm install cert-manager/cert-manager --version "0.6.6"

Fetching also works:

helm fetch cert-manager/cert-manager --version "0.6.6"
helm fetch git+https://github.com/jetstack/cert-manager@deploy/charts/cert-manager-v0.6.2.tgz?ref=v0.6.2

Pulling value files:

helm install . -f git+https://github.com/aslafy-z/helm-git@tests/fixtures/example-chart/values.yaml

Environment variables

name description default
HELM_GIT_HELM_BIN Path to the helm binary. If not set, $HELM_BIN will be used. helm
HELM_GIT_DEBUG Setting this value to 1 increases helm-git log level. 0
HELM_GIT_TRACE Setting this value to 1 increases helm-git log level to the maximum and keeps temporary dirs at shutdown. 0
HELM_GIT_REPO_CACHE Path to use as a Git repository cache to avoid fetching repos more than once. If empty, caching of Git repositories is disabled. ""
HELM_GIT_CHART_CACHE Path to use as a Helm chart cache to avoid re-packaging/re-indexing charts. If empty, caching of Helm charts is disabled. ""


name description default
ref Set git ref to a branch or tag. Also works for commits with sparse=0. Discover from remote
sparse Set git strategy to sparse. Will try to fetch only the needed commits for the target path. If set to 0, default git strategy will be used. 1
depupdate Run helm dependency update on the retrieved chart. If set to 0, this step is skipped. 1
package Run helm package on the retrieved chart. If set to 0, this step is skipped. 1

Note on Git authentication

As this plugin uses git CLI to clone repos. You can configure private access in the same manner that with any git repo.

Note on SSH relative paths

Helm parses the input URL before passing it down to the Helm downloader plugins (which is the type of this helm-git plugin). It does so by using the net/url.Parse Golang method, which does not support the full IETF specification. Specifically, it does not support : as the first path separator like in git+ssh://git@github.com:aslafy-z/helm-git as Git supports it. This means that you'll have to use an absolute path instead by using the / separator as in git+ssh://git@github.com/aslafy-z/helm-git. This should not be an issue in most case as major hosts supports the use of absolute paths instead of relative ones. If this becomes an issue for you, please open an issue and we may implement something to fill the gap until Golang or Helm does so.


You can enable debug output by setting HELM_GIT_DEBUG environment variable to 1:

HELM_GIT_DEBUG=1 helm repo add cert-manager git+https://github.com/jetstack/cert-manager@deploy/charts?ref=v0.6.2

In order to debug in a more efficient maneer, I advise you use helm fetch instead of helm repo add.

You can enable more advanced output by setting HELM_GIT_TRACE environment variable to 1.


Contributions are welcome! Please see these instructions that will help you to develop the plugin.



Apache License 2.0