Working with Shipyard


The Shipyard project provides common tooling for creating Kubernetes clusters with kind (Kubernetes in Docker) and provides a common Go framework for creating end to end tests. Shipyard contains common functionality shared by other projects. Any project specific functionality should be part of that project.

A base image is created from Shipyard and contains all the tooling to build other projects and run tests in a consistent environment.

Shipyard has several folders at the root of the project:

  • package: Contains the ingredients to build the base images.
  • scripts: Contains general scripts for Shipyard make targets.
    • shared: Contains all the shared scripts that projects can consume. These are copied into the base image under $SCRIPTS_DIR.
      • lib: Library functions that shared scripts, or consuming projects, can use.
      • resources: Resource files to be used by the shared scripts.
  • test: Test library to be used by other projects.

Shipyard ships with some shared and image related Make targets which can be used by developers in consuming projects.


A developer can use the make command to interact with a project (which in turn uses Shipyard).

To see all targets defined in a project, run:

make targets

The most common targets would be clusters, deploy and e2e which are built as a “dependency graph” - e2e will deploy Submariner if its not deployed, which in turn calls clusters to create the deployment environment. Therefore, variables used in any “dependent” target will be propagated to it’s dependencies.

Simplified Usage Options

For ease of use and convenience, many of the shared targets support a simplified usage model using the special USING variable. The value is a space separated string of usage options. Specifying conflicting options (e.g. wireguard and libreswan) will work, but the outcome should not be considered predictable. Any non-existing options will be silently ignored.

For example, to deploy an environment that uses Globalnet, Lighthouse and a WireGuard cable driver use:

make deploy USING='globalnet lighthouse wireguard'

Highlighted USING Options

  • General deployment:
    • aws-ocp: Deploy on top of AWS using OCP (OpenShift Container Platform).
    • globalnet: Deploy clusters with overlapping CIDRs, and Submariner in Globalnet mode.
    • lighthouse: Deploy service discovery (Lighthouse) in addition to the basic deployment.
    • ovn: Deploy the clusters with the OVN CNI.
    • air-gap: Deploy clusters in a simulated air-gapped (disconnected) environment.
  • Deployment tools.
    • helm: Deploy clusters using Helm.
    • operator: Deploy clusters using the Submariner Operator.
  • Cable drivers:
    • libreswan: Use the Libreswan cable driver when deploying the clusters.
    • vxlan: Use the VXLAN cable driver when deploying the clusters.
    • wireguard: Use the WireGuard cable driver when deploying the clusters.
  • Testing:
    • subctl-verify: Force end-to-end tests to run with subctl verify, irrespective of any possible project-specific tests.

How to Add Shipyard to a Project

The project should have a Makefile that contains all the projects targets, and imports all the Shipyard targets.

In case you’re adding Shipyard to a project that doesn’t have it yet, use the following skeleton:

BASE_BRANCH ?= devel

# Running in Dapper
ifneq (,$(DAPPER_HOST_ARCH))
include $(SHIPYARD_DIR)/

### All your specific targets and settings go here. ###

# Not running in Dapper

        @echo Downloading $@
        @curl -sfLO$(BASE_BRANCH)/$@

include Makefile.dapper


You can also refer to the project’s own Makefile as an example.

Use Shipyard in Your Project

Once Shipyard has been added to a project, you can use any of the shared targets that it provides.

Have Shipyard Targets Depend on Your Project’s Targets

Having any of the Shipyard Makefile targets rely on your project’s specific targets can be done easily by adding the dependency in your project’s Makefile. For example:

clusters: <pre-cluster-target>

Use an Updated Images in Your Project

Test an Updated Shipyard Image

If you’ve made changes to Shipyard’s targets and need to test them in your project, run this command in the Shipyard directory:

make images

This creates a local image with your changes available for consumption in other projects.

Test Updated Images from Sibling Project(s)

In case you made changes in a sibling project and wish to test with that project’s images, first rebuild the images:

cd <path/to/sibling project>
make images

These images will be available in the local docker image cache, but not necessarily used by the project when deploying. To use these images, set the PRELOAD_IMAGES variable to the projects images and any sibling images.

For example, to use updated gateway images when deploying on the operator repository:

make deploy PRELOAD_IMAGES='submariner-operator submariner-gateway'