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Adding a new API

To scaffold out a new Kind (you were paying attention to the last chapter, right?) and corresponding controller, we can use kubebuilder create api:

kubebuilder create api --group batch --version v1 --kind CronJob

Press y for “Create Resource” and “Create Controller”.

The first time we call this command for each group-version, it will create a directory for the new group-version.

In this case, the api/v1/ directory is created, corresponding to the (remember our --domain setting from the beginning?).

It has also added a file for our CronJob Kind, api/v1/cronjob_types.go. Each time we call the command with a different kind, it’ll add a corresponding new file.

Let’s take a look at what we’ve been given out of the box, then we can move on to filling it out.

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Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

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We start out simply enough: we import the meta/v1 API group, which is not normally exposed by itself, but instead contains metadata common to all Kubernetes Kinds.

package v1

import (
	metav1 ""

Next, we define types for the Spec and Status of our Kind. Kubernetes functions by reconciling desired state (Spec) with actual cluster state (other objects’ Status) and external state, and then recording what it observed (Status). Thus, every functional object includes spec and status. A few types, like ConfigMap don’t follow this pattern, since they don’t encode desired state, but most types do.

// NOTE: json tags are required.  Any new fields you add must have json tags for the fields to be serialized.

// CronJobSpec defines the desired state of CronJob
type CronJobSpec struct {
	// INSERT ADDITIONAL SPEC FIELDS - desired state of cluster
	// Important: Run "make" to regenerate code after modifying this file

// CronJobStatus defines the observed state of CronJob
type CronJobStatus struct {
	// INSERT ADDITIONAL STATUS FIELD - define observed state of cluster
	// Important: Run "make" to regenerate code after modifying this file

Next, we define the types corresponding to actual Kinds, CronJob and CronJobList. CronJob is our root type, and describes the CronJob kind. Like all Kubernetes objects, it contains TypeMeta (which describes API version and Kind), and also contains ObjectMeta, which holds things like name, namespace, and labels.

CronJobList is simply a container for multiple CronJobs. It’s the Kind used in bulk operations, like LIST.

In general, we never modify either of these – all modifications go in either Spec or Status.

That little +kubebuilder:object:root comment is called a marker. We’ll see more of them in a bit, but know that they act as extra metadata, telling controller-tools (our code and YAML generator) extra information. This particular one tells the object generator that this type represents a Kind. Then, the object generator generates an implementation of the runtime.Object interface for us, which is the standard interface that all types representing Kinds must implement.


// CronJob is the Schema for the cronjobs API
type CronJob struct {
	metav1.TypeMeta   `json:",inline"`
	metav1.ObjectMeta `json:"metadata,omitempty"`

	Spec   CronJobSpec   `json:"spec,omitempty"`
	Status CronJobStatus `json:"status,omitempty"`


// CronJobList contains a list of CronJob
type CronJobList struct {
	metav1.TypeMeta `json:",inline"`
	metav1.ListMeta `json:"metadata,omitempty"`
	Items           []CronJob `json:"items"`

Finally, we add the Go types to the API group. This allows us to add the types in this API group to any Scheme.

func init() {
	SchemeBuilder.Register(&CronJob{}, &CronJobList{})

Now that we’ve seen the basic structure, let’s fill it out!