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Version: 1.17

Okteto Manifest

The Okteto manifest is how you configure the behavior for building, deploying, and developing your application in an Okteto development environment. If you already have a Docker Compose file for your application, then the Okteto manifest is optional.

There are five sections of the Okteto manifest that define how your development environments and containers behave.

buildConfigure a list of images to build for your application's development environment.Learn more
deployConfigure a list of commands to execute within the development environment to deploy your application.Learn more
destroyConfigure a list of commands to destroy all resources created in the deploy and external sections.Learn more
devConfigure a list of development containers and their behavior to define how okteto up works when you start working on a specific, configured service in your development environment.Learn more
externalConfigure a list of external resources used by your application's development environment. These are resources that exist outside of the Okteto cluster (e.g. cloud resources, dashboards).Learn more.

There are other sections to help you build your ideal development experience in Okteto, but this document focuses solely on introducing you to the core concepts of the Okteto manifest. You can learn more about the other Okteto manifest options in the manifest reference.


This section contains the instructions for Okteto to build the images for each service in your application. You can specify a specific subfolder for the image context and use other configuration options to customize how your images are built.

Your build section might look like this:

context: .
context: api
context: frontend
dockerfile: Dockerfile
target: dev
depends_on: base
npmrc: .npmrc

This configuration defines images to be built for three services: base, api, and frontend. It also defines a context for each image, which tells Okteto which folder/subfolder to use for building each container image. For example: default (.) tells Okteto to use the current folder for the base image, the api subfolder for the api image, and the frontend subfolder for the frontend image.

You can learn more about these additional parameters here.


This section tells Okteto how, specifically, to deploy your development environment. It typically uses a combination of helm, kubectl, and okteto commands. You can execute multiple commands and label them.

All services defined in this section will appear in the Okteto UI as part of a single development environment that represents the whole of your application. Each individual service will appear as its own development container that’s part of the development environment for your application.

Note: If you have external resources you'd like to configure and show within the Okteto development environment, you must configure those in this section.

Your deploy section might look like this:

- name: Deploy PostgreSQL
command: helm upgrade --install postgresql postgresql/postgresql-11.6.21.tgz -f postgresql/values.yml --version 11.6.21
- name: Deploy Frontend
command: helm upgrade --install frontend frontend/chart --set image=${OKTETO_BUILD_FRONTEND_IMAGE}
- name: Deploy API
command: helm upgrade --install api api/chart --set image=${OKTETO_BUILD_API_IMAGE} --set load=${API_LOAD_DATA:-true}

In this section the manifest instructs Okteto to execute three commands: deploy a postgresql database, deploy the frontend image (using an environment variable), and deploy the api image (also using environment variables).

These commands are executed within the development environment created by Okteto enabling you to create a production-like environment for developing your application.

You can learn more about this section here.


The commands you define in this section will ensure any resources external to the Kubernetes cluster Okteto manages are destroyed when deleting the development environment.

Note: The Okteto CLI command okteto destroy will automatically destroy any Kubernetes resources created by the okteto deploy command.

Your destroy section might look like this:

image: okteto/pipeline-runner:1.0.0-sam
- name: destroy worker service
command: |
sam delete --no-prompts --stack-name "${OKTETO_NAMESPACE}-voting-texkhnclxd" --region us-east-1

In this example destroy section we are deleting the worker service running on the image container specified in the image: attribute. When the development environment is deleted, Okteto will execute this command ensuring orphaned resources don't remain active.

You can learn more about this section here.


This section contains a list of resources external to the Okteto cluster such as cloud resources or dashboards, but that are part of your development environment. Configuring your external resources enables you to build a more complete development experience in Okteto.

Your external section might look like this:

icon: okteto
- name: Try it out!
icon: aws
notes: docs/
- name: function

This section provides only the metadata to represent and link to external resources in the Okteto UI and does not create any resources in a cloud provider. Creating or destroying the resources themselves is done in the deploy and destroy sections, respectively.

You can learn more about this section here.


This section contains a list of instructions that determine how the Okteto CLI and, specifically, the okteto up command behave. This section is how Okteto will synchronize the code between your local computer and the remote development container in Okteto.

Your dev section might look like this:

command: ["bash"]
- 8080:8080
- 9229:9229
- api:/usr/src/app
command: yarn start
- frontend:/usr/src/app

In this example, the api service you define is separate from the original api service created in the build and deploy sections. This api service in the dev section will tell Okteto to create a new development container that exists specifically to sync code between your local computer and the remote Okteto development container so you can see your changes in real-time within a production-like environment. This also enables you to share an endpoint for others to view and collaborate on your work with you without having to do any extra work.

You can learn more about this section here.

Using the Okteto CLI

Okteto will create a development environment with each of the services or components listed in your Okteto manifest. When you start working on any of these services you'll use the okteto up command. When issuing this command, you'll be presented with terminal output that looks like this:

Using your_user_name @ as context
'Movies App' was already deployed. To redeploy run 'okteto deploy' or 'okteto up --deploy'
Select which development container to activate:
Use the arrow keys to navigate: ↓ ↑ → ←
▸ api

In our example above, selecting the api service from this prompt tells Okteto to build the container image of the api microservice and deploy the application using the configuration in the api subfolder. Then it creates a dev container for the api microservice that can be synchronized with your local filesystem on the container path /usr/src/app.