GitOps - Argo CD

- Thomas Jungbauer Thomas Jungbauer ( Lastmod: 2024-05-08 ) - 5 min read

Argo CD is a declarative, GitOps continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes. GitOps itself uses Git pull request to manager infrastructure and application configuration.

Let’s try to install and use a simple usecase in order to demonstrate the basic possibilities.

Without going into the very detail, typical GitOps usecases are:

  • Apply configurations from Git

  • Detect, (auto-)sync and notify configuration drifts

  • Manage multiple clusters and keep the configuration equal

  • …​

and much more. Further information about the theory behind can be found at

In short: there is no reason why not to use GitOps and to leverage tools like Argo CD to manage configurations. In this tutorial, the Argo CD operator gets installed and a simple use case is shown to demonstrate the possibilities of this software.

As for architectural overview of Argo CD, please read the official documentation:, which explains very well the core components. No need to rewrite it here.


You need an Openshift 4 cluster. :)

Install Argo CD operator

Before you begin, create a new project:

oc new-project argocd

In this project the operator will be deployed.

Look for the Operatorhub in the OpenShift WebUI and "argocd" and select the "Argo CD Community" operator. Subscribe to this operator. Just be sure that the newly created project is selected. Other settings can stay as default.

Operator Install
Figure 1. Argo CD: Operator

This will install the operator. You can monitor this process by clicking "Installed Operators". After a while it should switch from "Installing" to "Succeeded".

Deploy ArgoCD instance

Select the installed operator "Argo CD", select the tab "ArgoCD" and hit the button "Create ArgoCD"

Enter the following yaml:

kind: ArgoCD
  name: argocd
  namespace: argocd
    openShiftOAuth: true
    version: v2.22.0-openshift
    policy: |
      g, argocdadmins, role:admin
    scopes: '[groups]'
      enabled: true

This yaml extends the default example by:

  • using OpenShift authentication

  • Allow all users from the group "argocdadmins" admin permissions inside Argo CD

  • create a route to access argocd web interface

Once this configuration is created, the operator will automatically start to roll out the different pods, which are required. No worries, it will take quite long until everything is up and running.

Create a new group and assign a user to it

In the ArgoCD resource we have defined the group argocdadmins and all users in this group will get administrator privileges in Argo CD. This group must be created and in addition we assign the user admin to it.

For example with the following commands:

oc adm groups new argocdadmins
oc adm groups add-users argocdadmins admin

Login to Argo CD

Now it is time to login to Argo CD. Just fetch the route which was created by the operator (for example with: oc get routes -n argocd).

On the login page select "Login via OpenShift" and enter the credentials of the user you would like to use. (well, the one which you can admin permissions in the step above).

ArgoCD Login
Figure 2. Argo CD: Login Screen

This will open the Argo CD Interface.

First test with Argo CD

Let’s create an application in Argo CD to demonstrate the possibilities about application management with GitOps. We will use a simple application which draws a blue (or green) box in your browser.

Click on the button "Create App" and enter the following parameters:

At the end, it should look like this:

ArgoCD Create App
Figure 3. Argo CD: Create an Application

Press the "Create" button and your application is ready to be synchronized. Since no synchronization happens yet, Argo CD will complain that the application is out of sync.

Sync application

Since we set the Sync Policy to manual, the synchronization process must be started, guess what, manually. Click on the "Sync" button and Argo CD will open a side panel, which shows the resources are out of sync and other options.

ArgoCD Sync App
Figure 4. Argo CD: Sync an Application

One notable option is the "Prune" setting. By selecting this, changes which have been done directly on OpenShift, are removed and replaced by the ones which are stored at Git.

This is a very good option, to force everyone to follow the GitOps process :)

Press the "Synchronize" button and select the application. As you see the sync process has started and after a while, all resources are synced to OpenShift.

ArgoCD App Syncing
Figure 5. Argo CD: Application Syncing
ArgoCD App Synced
Figure 6. Argo CD: Application Synced

Verifying objects

Now that Argo CD says that the application has been synchronized, we should check the objects, which have been created in OpenShift.

As you can see in the Git repository, there are 4 objects which should exist now:

  • a namespace (bgd)

  • a deployment

  • a service

  • a route

ArgoCD Git Repo
Figure 7. Argo CD: Git Repo

To verify the existence either check via the WebUI or simply try:

oc get all -n bgd
NAME                       READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
pod/bgd-6b9b64d94d-5fqdg   1/1     Running   0          6m2s

NAME          TYPE        CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)    AGE
service/bgd   ClusterIP   <none>        8080/TCP   6m7s

NAME                  READY   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
deployment.apps/bgd   1/1     1            1           6m4s

NAME                             DESIRED   CURRENT   READY   AGE
replicaset.apps/bgd-6b9b64d94d   1         1         1       6m3s

NAME                           HOST/PORT                      PATH   SERVICES   PORT   TERMINATION   WILDCARD   bgd-bgd.apps.ocp.example.test          bgd        8080                 None

Obviously, the namespace exists and with it also the other objects, which hae been synchronized.

When you now open the route http://bgd-bgd.apps.ocp.example.test in your browser, you will see a nice blue box.

ArgoCD Blue Box
Figure 8. Argo CD: The Blue Box

As you can see all objects have been synchronized and the application has been deployed correctly. The source of truth is in Git and all changes should be done there.

I want a green box

So you want a green box? Maybe you think of doing this:

Modify the Deployment and change the environment COLOR from blue to green:

        - name: bgd
          image: ''
            - name: COLOR
              value: green # change from blue to green

This will trigger a re-deployment and …​ fine …​ you have a green box:

ArgoCD Green Box
Figure 9. Argo CD: The Green Box

But is this the correct way to do that? NO, it is not. Argo CD will immediately complain that the application is out of sync.

ArgoCD Out of Sync
Figure 10. Argo CD: Out of Sync

When you sync the application it will end up with a blue box again.

ArgoCD Blue Box
Figure 11. Argo CD: The Blue Box

But you really really want a green box? Fair enough, the correct way would be to change the deployment configuration on Git. Simply change the file bgd/bgd-deployment.yaml and set the COLOR to green:

      - image:
        name: bgd
        - name: COLOR
          value: "green"
        resources: {}

Again Argo CD will complain that it is out of sync.

ArgoCD Git Update
Figure 12. Argo CD: Git Update

By synchronizing the changes, it will deploy the latest version found at Git and …​ yes, you have a green box now (When deployment on OpenShift side has finished).

ArgoCD Green Box
Figure 13. Argo CD: The Green Box