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Kustomize support

Kustomize provides a solution for customizing Kubernetes manifests in YAML.

Even though Grafana Tanka uses the Jsonnet language for resource definition, you can still consume kustomizations, as described below.

Consuming a Kustomization from Jsonnet

Kustomize support is provided using the library. Install it with:

Terminal window
jb install

The following example shows how to extract the individual resources of the flux2/source-controller kustomization:

local tanka = import '';
local kustomize =;

Kustomize takes a kustomization manifest as input. Go on an create this file flux2/kustomization.yaml relative to above jsonnet:

kind: Kustomization

Once invoked, the $.source_controller key holds the individual resources of the kustomization as a regular Jsonnet object that looks roughly like so:

'': {/* ... */ },
'': {/* ... */ },
'': {/* ... */ },
'': {/* ... */ },
deployment_source_controller: {/* ... */ },
service_source_controller: {/* ... */ },

Above can be manipulated in the same way as any other Jsonnet data.

Working with Kustomize

Tanka, like Jsonnet, is hermetic. It always yields the same resources when the project is strictly self-contained.

Kustomize however has the ability to pull resources from different sources at runtime, which violates above requirement. This is also apparent in the example above.


Kustomize executable missing

Kustomize support in Tanka requires the kustomize binary installed on your system and available on the $PATH. If Kustomize is not installed, you will see this error message:

evaluating jsonnet: RUNTIME ERROR: Expanding Kustomize: exec: "kustomize": executable file not found in $PATH

To solve this, you need to install Kustomize. If you cannot install it system-wide, you can point Tanka at your executable using TANKA_KUSTOMIZE_PATH

opts.calledFrom unset

This occurs, when Tanka was not told where it was invoked from. This most likely means you didn’t call new(std.thisFile) when importing tanka-util:

local tanka = import "";
local kustomize =;
↑ This is important

Failed to find kustomization

Error: unable to find one of 'kustomization.yaml', 'kustomization.yml' or 'Kustomization' in directory '/home/user/stuff/tanka/environments/default/flux2'

Tanka failed to locate your kustomization on the filesystem. It looked at the relative path you provided in, starting from the directory of the file you called from.

Please check there is actually a valid kustomization at this place.