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Create a Pipeline Using Graphical Editing Panels

A graphical editing panel in KubeSphere contains all the necessary operations used in Jenkins stages and steps. You can directly define these stages and steps on the interactive panel without creating any Jenkinsfile.

This tutorial demonstrates how to create a pipeline through graphical editing panels in KubeSphere. During the whole process, you do not need to create any Jenkinsfile manually as KubeSphere will automatically generate one based on your settings on the editing panels. When the pipeline runs successfully, it creates a Deployment and a Service accordingly in your development environment and pushes an image to Docker Hub.


Pipeline Overview

This example pipeline includes the following six stages.



  • Stage 1. Checkout SCM: Pull source code from a GitHub repository.
  • Stage 2. Unit test: It will not proceed with the next stage until the test is passed.
  • Stage 3. Code analysis: Configure SonarQube for static code analysis.
  • Stage 4. Build and push: Build an image and push it to Docker Hub with the tag snapshot-$BUILD_NUMBER, the $BUILD_NUMBER of which is the record serial number in the pipeline’s activity list.
  • Stage 5. Artifacts: Generate an artifact (JAR package) and save it.
  • Stage 6. Deploy to DEV: Create a Deployment and a Service in the development environment. It requires review in this stage. An email notification will be sent after the Deployment is successful.

Hands-on Lab

Step 1: Create credentials

  1. Log in to the KubeSphere console as project-regular. Go to your DevOps project and create the following credentials in Credentials under DevOps Project Settings. For more information about how to create credentials, see Credential Management.


    If there are any special characters such as @ and $ in your account or password, they can cause errors as a pipeline runs because they may not be recognized. In this case, you need to encode your account or password on some third-party websites first, such as urlencoder. After that, copy and paste the output for your credential information.
    Credential IDTypeWhere to use
    dockerhub-idUsername and passwordDocker Hub
  2. You need to create an additional credential ID (sonar-token) for SonarQube, which is used in stage 3 (Code analysis) mentioned above. Refer to Create SonarQube Token for New Project to enter your SonarQube token in the Token field for a credential of the Access token type. Click OK to finish.

  3. In total, you have three credentials in the list.

Step 2: Create a project

In this tutorial, the example pipeline will deploy the sample app to a project. Hence, you must create the project (for example, kubesphere-sample-dev) in advance. The Deployment and Service of the app will be created automatically in the project once the pipeline runs successfully.

You can use the user project-admin to create the project. Besides, this user is also the reviewer of the CI/CD pipeline. Make sure the account project-regular is invited to the project with the role of operator. For more information, see Create Workspaces, Projects, Users and Roles.

Step 3: Create a pipeline

  1. Make sure you have logged in to KubeSphere as project-regular, and then go to your DevOps project. Click Create on the Pipelines page.

  2. In the displayed dialog box, name it graphical-pipeline and click Next.

  3. On the Advanced Settings page, click Add to add three string parameters as follows. These parameters will be used in the Docker command of the pipeline. Click Create when you finish adding.

    Parameter TypeNameValueDescription
    StringREGISTRYdocker.ioThis is the image registry address. This example uses docker.io.
    StringDOCKERHUB_NAMESPACEDocker IDYou Docker Hub account or the organization name under the account.
    StringAPP_NAMEdevops-sampleThe app name.


    For other fields, use the default values directly or refer to Pipeline Settings to customize the configuration.
  4. The pipeline created is displayed in the list.

Step 4: Edit the pipeline

Click the pipeline to go to its details page. To use graphical editing panels, click Edit Pipeline under the tab Task Status. In the displayed dialog box, click Custom Pipeline. This pipeline consists of six stages. Follow the steps below to set each stage.


  • The pipeline details page shows Sync Status. It reflects the synchronization result between KubeSphere and Jenkins, and you can see the Successful icon if the synchronization is successful. You can also click Edit Jenkinsfile to create a Jenkinsfile manually for your pipeline.

  • You can also use the built-in pipeline templates provided by KubeSphere.

Stage 1: Pull source code (Checkout SCM)

A graphical editing panel includes two areas - canvas on the left and content on the right. It automatically generates a Jenkinsfile based on how you configure different stages and steps, which is much more user-friendly for developers.


Pipelines include declarative pipelines and scripted pipelines. Currently, you can create declarative pipelines through the panel. For more information about pipeline syntax, see Jenkins Documentation.
  1. On the graphical editing panel, select node from the Type drop-down list and select maven from the Label drop-down list.


    agent is used to define the execution environment. The agent directive tells Jenkins where and how to execute the pipeline. For more information, see Choose Jenkins Agent.


  2. To add a stage, click the plus icon on the left. Click the box above the Add Step area and set a name (for example, Checkout SCM) for the stage in the field Name on the right.


  3. Click Add Step. Select git from the list as the example code is pulled from GitHub. In the displayed dialog box, fill in the required field. Click OK to finish.

    • URL. Enter the GitHub repository address https://github.com/kubesphere/devops-maven-sample.git. Note that this is an example and you need to use your own repository address.
    • Name. You do not need to enter the Credential ID for this tutorial.
    • Branch. It defaults to the master branch if you leave it blank. Enter sonarqube or leave it blank if you do not need the code analysis stage.


  4. The first stage is now set.


Stage 2: Unit test

  1. Click the plus icon on the right of stage 1 to add a new stage to perform a unit test in the container. Name it Unit Test.


  2. Click Add Step and select container from the list. Name it maven and then click OK.


  3. Click Add Nesting Steps to add a nested step under the maven container. Select shell from the list and enter the following command in the command line. Click OK to save it.

    mvn clean test


    You can specify a series of steps to be executed in a given stage directive on the graphical editing panel.

Stage 3: Code analysis (optional)

This stage uses SonarQube to test your code. You can skip this stage if you do not need the analysis.

  1. Click the plus icon on the right of the Unit Test stage to add a stage for SonarQube code analysis in the container. Name it Code Analysis.


  2. Click Add Step under Task in Code Analysis and select container. Name it maven and click OK.


  3. Click Add Nesting Steps under the maven container to add a nested step. Click withCredentials and select the SonarQube token (sonar-token) from the Name list. Enter SONAR_TOKEN for Text Variable, then click OK.


  4. Under the withCredentials step, click Add Nesting Steps to add a nested step for it.


  5. Click withSonarQubeEnv. In the displayed dialog box, do not change the default name sonar and click OK to save it.


  6. Under the withSonarQubeEnv step, click Add Nesting Steps to add a nested step for it.


  7. Click shell and enter the following command in the command line for the sonarqube branch and authentication. Click OK to finish.

    mvn sonar:sonar -Dsonar.login=$SONAR_TOKEN


  8. Click Add Nesting Steps (the third one) for the container step directly and select timeout. Enter 1 for time and select Hours for unit. Click OK to finish.



  9. Click Add Nesting Steps for the timeout step and select waitForQualityGate. Select Start the follow-up task after the inspection in the displayed dialog box. Click OK to save it.



Stage 4: Build and push the image

  1. Click the plus icon on the right of the previous stage to add a new stage to build and push images to Docker Hub. Name it Build and Push.


  2. Click Add Step under Task and select container. Name it maven, and then click OK.


  3. Click Add Nesting Steps under the maven container to add a nested step. Select shell from the list, and enter the following command in the displayed dialog box. Click OK to finish.

    mvn -Dmaven.test.skip=true clean package


  4. Click Add Nesting Steps again and select shell. Enter the following command in the command line to build a Docker image based on the Dockerfile. Click OK to confirm.


    DO NOT omit the dot . at the end of the command.
    docker build -f Dockerfile-online -t $REGISTRY/$DOCKERHUB_NAMESPACE/$APP_NAME:SNAPSHOT-$BUILD_NUMBER .


  5. Click Add Nesting Steps again and select withCredentials. Fill in the following fields in the displayed dialog box. Click OK to confirm.

    • Credential Name: Select the Docker Hub credentials you created, such as dockerhub-id.
    • Password Variable: Enter DOCKER_PASSWORD.
    • Username Variable: Enter DOCKER_USERNAME.


    For security reasons, the account information displays as variables in the script.


  6. Click Add Nesting Steps (the first one) in the withCredentials step created above. Select shell and enter the following command in the displayed dialog box, which is used to log in to Docker Hub. Click OK to confirm.

    echo "$DOCKER_PASSWORD" | docker login $REGISTRY -u "$DOCKER_USERNAME" --password-stdin


  7. Click Add nesting steps in the withCredentials step. Select shell and enter the following command to push the SNAPSHOT image to Docker Hub. Click OK to finish.



Stage 5: Generate the artifact

  1. Click the plus icon on the right of the Build and Push stage to add a new stage to save artifacts and name it Artifacts. This example uses a JAR package.


  2. With the Artifacts stage selected, click Add Step under Task and select archiveArtifacts. Enter target/*.jar in the displayed dialog box, which is used to set the archive path of artifacts in Jenkins. Click OK to finish.


Stage 6: Deploy to development

  1. Click the plus icon on the right of the stage Artifacts to add the last stage. Name it Deploy to Dev. This stage is used to deploy resources to your development environment (namely, the project of kubesphere-sample-dev).


  2. Click Add Step under the Deploy to Dev stage. Select input from the list and enter @project-admin in the Message field, which means the account project-admin will review this pipeline when it runs to this stage. Click OK to save it.



    In KubeSphere 3.4, the account that can run a pipeline will be able to continue or terminate the pipeline if there is no reviewer specified. Pipeline creators and the account you specify will be able to continue or terminate a pipeline.
  3. Click Add Step under the Deploy to Dev stage again. Select container from the list, name it maven, and click OK.

  4. Click Add Nesting Steps in the maven container step. Select withCredentials from the list, fill in the following fields in the displayed dialog box, and click OK.

    • Credential Name: Select the kubeconfig credential you created, such as demo-kubeconfig.
    • Kubeconfig Variable: Enter KUBECONFIG_CONTENT.
  5. Click Add Nesting Steps in the withCredentials step. Select shell from the list, enter the following commands in the displayed dialog box, and click OK.

    mkdir ~/.kube
    echo "$KUBECONFIG_CONTENT" > ~/.kube/config
    envsubst < deploy/dev-ol/devops-sample-svc.yaml | kubectl apply -f -
    envsubst < deploy/dev-ol/devops-sample.yaml | kubectl apply -f -
  6. If you want to receive email notifications when the pipeline runs successfully, click Add Step and select mail to add email information. Note that configuring the email server is optional, which means you can still run your pipeline if you skip this step.


    For more information on configuring your email server, see Set Email Server for KubeSphere Pipelines.
  7. When you finish the steps above, click Save in the lower-right corner. You can see the pipeline now has a complete workflow with each stage clearly listed on the pipeline. When you define a pipeline using the graphical editing panel, KubeSphere automatically creates its corresponding Jenkinsfile. Click Edit Jenkinsfile to view the Jenkinsfile.


    On the Pipelines page, you can click icon on the right side of the pipeline and then select Copy to create a copy of it. If you need to concurrently run multiple pipelines that don't contain multiple branches, you can select all of these pipelines and then click Run to run them in a batch.

Step 5: Run a pipeline

  1. You need to manually run the pipeline that is created through the graphical editing panel. Click Run, and you can see three string parameters defined in Step 3. Click OK to run the pipeline.


  2. To see the status of a pipeline, go to the Run Records tab and click the record you want to view.

  3. Wait for a while and the pipeline stops at the stage Deploy to Dev if it runs successfully. As the reviewer of the pipeline, project-admin needs to approve it before resources are deployed to the development environment.


  4. Log out of KubeSphere and log back in to the console as project-admin. Go to your DevOps project and click the pipeline graphical-pipeline. Under the Run Records tab, click the record to be reviewed. To approve the pipeline, click Proceed.

Step 6: View pipeline details

  1. Log in to the console as project-regular. Go to your DevOps project and click the pipeline graphical-pipeline. Under the Run Records tab, click the record marked with Successful under Status.

  2. If everything runs successfully, you can see that all stages are completed.

  3. Click View Logs in the upper-right corner to inspect all the logs. Click each stage to see detailed logs of it. You can debug any problems based on the logs which also can be downloaded locally for further analysis.

Step 7: Download the artifact

Click the Artifacts tab and then click the icon on the right to download the artifact.


Step 8: View code analysis results

On the Code Check page, view the code analysis result of this example pipeline, which is provided by SonarQube. If you do not configure SonarQube in advance, this section is not available. For more information, see Integrate SonarQube into Pipelines.


Step 9: Verify Kubernetes resources

  1. If every stage of the pipeline runs successfully, a Docker image will be automatically built and pushed to your Docker Hub repository. Ultimately, the pipeline automatically creates a Deployment and a Service in the project you set beforehand.

  2. Go to the project (for example, kubesphere-sample-dev in this tutorial), click Workloads under Application Workloads, and you can see the Deployment appears in the list.

  3. In Services, you can find the port number of the example Service is exposed through a NodePort. To access the Service, visit <Node IP>:<NodePort>.


    You may need to configure port forwarding rules and open the port in your security group before you access the Service.
  4. Now that the pipeline has run successfully, an image will be pushed to Docker Hub. Log in to Docker Hub and check the result.


  5. The app is named devops-sample as it is the value of APP_NAME and the tag is the value of SNAPSHOT-$BUILD_NUMBER. $BUILD_NUMBER is the serial number of a record under the Run Records tab.

  6. If you set the email server and add the email notification step in the final stage, you can also receive the email message.

See Also

Create a Pipeline Using a Jenkinsfile

Choose Jenkins Agent

Set Email Server for KubeSphere Pipelines

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