Getting Started
To best understand the benefits of Akri and jump into using it, we recommend you start off by completing the end to end demo. In the demo, you will see Akri discover mock video cameras and a streaming app display the footage from those cameras. It includes instructions on K8s cluster setup.

The Journey Begins

To get started using Akri, you must first decide what you want to discover and whether Akri currently supports a Discovery Handler that can be used to discover resources of that type. Akri discovers devices via Discovery Handlers, which are often protocol implementations that understand filter information passed via an Akri Configuration. To see the list of currently supported Discovery Handlers, see our roadmap.

Understanding Akri Helm charts

Akri is most easily deployed with Helm charts. Helm charts provide convenient packaging and configuration.
Starting in v0.0.36, an akri-dev Helm chart will be published for each build version. Each Akri build is verified with end-to-end tests on Kubernetes, K3s, and MicroK8s. These builds may be less stable than our Releases. You can deploy these versions of Akri with this command (note: akri-dev):
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helm repo add akri-helm-charts https://project-akri.github.io/akri/
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helm install akri akri-helm-charts/akri-dev \
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$AKRI_HELM_CRICTL_CONFIGURATION
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Note: See the cluster setup steps for information on how to set the crictl configuration variable AKRI_HELM_CRICTL_CONFIGURATION
Starting in Release v0.0.44, an akri Helm chart will be published for each Release. Releases will generally reflect milestones and will have more rigorous testing. You can deploy Release versions of Akri with this command (note: akri):
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helm repo add akri-helm-charts https://project-akri.github.io/akri/
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helm install akri akri-helm-charts/akri \
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$AKRI_HELM_CRICTL_CONFIGURATION
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To use the latest containers of the Akri components, add --set useLatestContainers=true when installing Akri like so:
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helm install akri akri-helm-charts/akri \
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$AKRI_HELM_CRICTL_CONFIGURATION \
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--set useLatestContainers=true
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Before v0.4.0, all of Akri's Discovery Handlers were embedded in the Agent. As more Discovery Handlers are added to Akri, this will become unsustainable and cause the Agent to have a larger footprint than oftentimes necessary (if only one of the many Discovery Handlers is being leveraged). Starting in v0.4.0, Akri is starting the transition to mainly supporting an Agent image without any embedded Discovery Handlers, which will be the image used by Akri's Helm chart by default. The required Discovery Handlers can be deployed as DaemonSets by setting <discovery handler name>.discovery.enabled=true when installing Akri, as explained in the user flow. To instead use the previous strategy of an Agent image with embedded udev, OPC UA, and ONVIF Discovery Handlers, set agent.full=true.
To see which version of the akri and akri-dev Helm charts are stored locally, run helm inspect chart akri-helm-charts/akri and helm inspect chart akri-helm-charts/akri-dev, respectively.
To grab the latest Akri Helm charts, run helm repo update.

Setting up your cluster

Before deploying Akri, you must have a Kubernetes cluster (v1.16 or higher) running with kubectl and Helm installed. Reference our cluster setup docuentation to set up a cluster or adapt your currently existing cluster. Akri currently supports Linux Nodes on amd64, arm64v8, or arm32v7.

Installing Akri Flow

Akri is installed using its Helm Chart, which contains settings for deploying the Akri Agents, Controller, Discovery Handlers, and Configurations. All these can be installed in one command, in several different Helm installations, or via consecutive helm upgrades. This section will focus on the latter strategy, helping you construct your Akri installation command, assuming you have already decided what you want Akri to discover.
Akri's Helm chart deploys the Akri Controller and Agent by default, so you only need to specify which Discovery Handlers and Configurations need to be deployed in your command. Akri discovers devices via Discovery Handlers, which are often protocol implementations. Akri currently supports three Discovery Handlers (udev, OPC UA and ONVIF); however, custom discovery handlers can be created and deployed as explained in Akri's Discovery Handler development document. Akri is told what to discover via Akri Configurations, which specify the name of the Discovery Handler that should be used, any discovery details (such as filters) that need to be passed to the Discovery Handler, and optionally any broker Pods and services that should be created upon discovery. For example, the ONVIF Discovery Handler can receive requests to include or exclude cameras with certain IP addresses.
Let's walk through building an Akri installation command:
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    Get Akri's Helm repo
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    helm repo add akri-helm-charts https://project-akri.github.io/akri/
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  2. 2.
    Install Akri's Controller and Agent, specifying the crictl configuration from the cluster setup steps in not using vanilla Kubernetes:
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    helm install akri akri-helm-charts/akri \
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    $AKRI_HELM_CRICTL_CONFIGURATION
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    Note: To use Akri's latest dev releases, specify akri-helm-charts/akri
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    Upgrade the installation to deploy the Discovery Handler you wish to use. Discovery Handlers are deployed as DaemonSets like the Agent when <discovery handler name>.discovery.enabled is set.
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    helm upgrade akri akri-helm-charts/akri \
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    $AKRI_HELM_CRICTL_CONFIGURATION \
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    --set <discovery handler name>.discovery.enabled=true
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    Note: To install a full Agent with embedded udev, OPC UA, and ONVIF Discovery Handlers, set agent.full=true instead of enabling the Discovery Handlers. Note, this we restart the Agent Pods.
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    helm upgrade akri akri-helm-charts/akri \
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    $AKRI_HELM_CRICTL_CONFIGURATION
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    --set agent.full=true
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  4. 4.
    Upgrade the installation to apply a Configuration, which requests discovery of certain devices by a Discovery Handler. A Configuration is applied by setting <discovery handler name>.configuration.enabled. While some Configurations may not require any discovery details to be set, oftentimes setting details is preferable for narrowing the Discovery Handlers' search. These are set under <discovery handler name>.configuration.discoveryDetails. For example, udev rules are passed to the udev Discovery Handler to specify which devices in the Linux device file system it should search for by setting udev.configuration.discoveryDetails.udevRules. Akri can be instructed to automatically deploy workloads called "brokers" to each discovered device by setting a broker Pod image in a Configuration via --set <protocol>.configuration.brokerPod.image.repository=<your broker image>. Learn more about creating brokers in the broker development document.
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    helm upgrade akri akri-helm-charts/akri \
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    $AKRI_HELM_CRICTL_CONFIGURATION
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    --set <discovery handler name>.discovery.enabled=true \
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    --set <discovery handler name>.configuration.enabled=true \
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    # set any discovery details in the Configuration
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    # specify any broker images in the Configuration
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Installation could have been done in one step rather than a series of upgrades:
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helm repo add akri-helm-charts https://project-akri.github.io/akri/
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helm install akri akri-helm-charts/akri \
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$AKRI_HELM_CRICTL_CONFIGURATION
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--set <discovery handler name>.discovery.enabled=true \
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--set <discovery handler name>.configuration.enabled=true \
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# set any discovery details in the Configuration
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# specify any broker images in the Configuration
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As a real example, Akri's Controller, Agents, udev Discovery Handlers, and a udev Configuration that specifies the discovery of only USB video devices and an nginx broker image are installed like so:
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helm install akri akri-helm-charts/akri \
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$AKRI_HELM_CRICTL_CONFIGURATION
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--set udev.discovery.enabled=true \
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--set udev.configuration.enabled=true \
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--set udev.configuration.discoveryDetails.udevRules[0]='KERNEL=="video[0-9]*"' \
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--set udev.configuration.brokerPod.image.repository=nginx
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Note: set <discovery handler name>.brokerPod.image.tag to specify an image tag (defaults to latest).
This installation can be expanded to install multiple Discovery Handlers and/or Configurations. See the documentation on udev, OPC UA, and ONVIF Configurations to learn more about setting the discovery details passed to their Discovery Handlers and more.
See modifying an Akri Installation to learn about how to use Akri's Helm chart to install additional Configurations and Discovery Handlers.

Inspecting an Akri Installation

  • Run kubectl get crd, and you should see Akri's two CRDs listed.
  • Run kubectl get pods -o wide, and you should see the Akri Controller, Agent, and (if specified) broker pods.
  • Run kubectl get akric, and you should see the Configuration for the protocol you specified.
  • If devices were discovered, the instances can be seen by running kubectl get akrii and further inspected by running kubectl get akrii <discovery handler name>-<ID> -o yaml.
  • List all that Akri has automatically created and deployed, namely the Akri Controller, Agents, Configurations, Instances (which are the Akri custom resource that represents each device), and if specified, broker Pods, a service for each broker Pod, and a service for all brokers.
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    watch microk8s kubectl get pods,akric,akrii,services -o wide
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    For K3s and vanilla Kubernetes
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    watch kubectl get pods,akric,akrii,services -o wide
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    Deleting Akri Configurations
    To tell Akri to stop discovering devices, simply delete the Configuration that initiated the discovery. Watch as all instances that represent the discovered devices are deleted.
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    kubectl delete akric akri-<discovery handler name>
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    kubectl get akrii
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Deleting Akri

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    If you are done using Akri, it can be uninstalled via Helm.
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    helm delete akri
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  2. 2.
    Delete Akri's CRDs.
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    kubectl delete crd instances.akri.sh
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    kubectl delete crd configurations.akri.sh
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Customizing where the Controller runs

By default the Controller can be deployed to any control plane or worker node. This can be changed by adding extra settings when installing Akri below. If you don't want the Controller to ever be scheduled to control plane nodes, add --set controller.allowOnControlPlane=false to your install command below. Conversely, if you only want the Controller to run on control plane nodes, add --set controller.onlyOnControlPlane=true. This will guarantee the Controller only runs on nodes with the label (key, value) of (node-role.kubernetes.io/master, ""), which is the default label for the control plane node for Kubernetes.
However, control plane nodes on MicroK8s and K3s may not have this exact label by default, so you can add it by running kubectl label node ${HOSTNAME,,} node-role.kubernetes.io/master=--overwrite=true. Or alternatively, in K3s, you can keep the default label value on the master and set controller.nodeSelectors."node-role\.kubernetes\.io/master"=true.
Last modified 1mo ago