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Migration from v2 to v3

Make sure you understand the differences between Kubebuilder v2 and v3 before continuing.

Please ensure you have followed the installation guide to install the required components.

The recommended way to migrate a v2 project is to create a new v3 project and copy over the API and the reconciliation code. The conversion will end up with a project that looks like a native v3 project. However, in some cases, it’s possible to do an in-place upgrade (i.e. reuse the v2 project layout, upgrading controller-runtime and controller-tools).

Initialize a v3 Project

Create a new directory with the name of your project. Note that this name is used in the scaffolds to create the name of your manager Pod and of the Namespace where the Manager is deployed by default.

$ mkdir migration-project-name
$ cd migration-project-name

Now, we need to initialize a v3 project. Before we do that, though, we’ll need to initialize a new go module if we’re not on the GOPATH. While technically this is not needed inside GOPATH, it is still recommended.

go mod init

Then, we can finish initializing the project with kubebuilder.

kubebuilder init --domain

Migrate APIs and Controllers

Next, we’ll re-scaffold out the API types and controllers.

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

Migrate the APIs

Now, let’s copy the API definition from api/v1/<kind>_types.go in our old project to the new one.

These files have not been modified by the new plugin, so you should be able to replace your freshly scaffolded files by your old one. There may be some cosmetic changes. So you can choose to only copy the types themselves.

Migrate the Controllers

Now, let’s migrate the controller code from controllers/cronjob_controller.go in our old project to the new one. There is a breaking change and there may be some cosmetic changes.

The new Reconcile method receives the context as an argument now, instead of having to create it with context.Background(). You can copy the rest of the code in your old controller to the scaffolded methods replacing:

func (r *CronJobReconciler) Reconcile(req ctrl.Request) (ctrl.Result, error) {
    ctx := context.Background()
    log := r.Log.WithValues("cronjob", req.NamespacedName)


func (r *CronJobReconciler) Reconcile(ctx context.Context, req ctrl.Request) (ctrl.Result, error) {
	log := r.Log.WithValues("cronjob", req.NamespacedName)

Migrate the Webhooks

Now let’s scaffold the webhooks for our CRD (CronJob). We’ll need to run the following command with the --defaulting and --programmatic-validation flags (since our test project uses defaulting and validating webhooks):

kubebuilder create webhook --group batch --version v1 --kind CronJob --defaulting --programmatic-validation

Now, let’s copy the webhook definition from api/v1/<kind>_webhook.go from our old project to the new one.


If there are any manual updates in main.go in v2, we need to port the changes to the new main.go. We’ll also need to ensure all of the needed schemes have been registered.

If there are additional manifests added under config directory, port them as well.

Change the image name in the Makefile if needed.


Finally, we can run make and make docker-build to ensure things are working fine.