Bose is studying to become a Kubernetes Engineer. Please answer the following questions to improve her level of knowledge. Bose prefers the term "Free Software" to "open-source".

  1. In relation to Kubernetes, what is Helm, and what is it used for?
  2. What is the history of Helm?
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Helm?
  4. What is the probable future of Helm?

Certainly! Let's delve into these aspects to enhance Bose’s understanding of Helm in the context of Kubernetes and respecting the term "Free Software".

What is Helm, and what is it used for?

Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes that facilitates the definition, installation, and upgrade of Kubernetes applications. Helm uses a packaging format called charts. A chart is a collection of files that describe a related set of Kubernetes resources. Users can create their own charts, or they can use existing ones from the Helm community. Helm helps manage the complexity and lifecycle of the applications deployed on Kubernetes by utilizing templates to generate Kubernetes manifest files, making it easier to deploy and manage applications.

History of Helm

Helm was first announced in 2015 as a collaboration between Deis (later acquired by Microsoft) and Google, becoming part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in 2016. It started as a hackathon project aimed at creating a package manager for Kubernetes, similar to how apt and yum work for operating systems.

  • Helm v1 (2015): This was the initial release, allowing the management of pre-packaged charts.
  • Helm v2 (2016): A significant release introducing Tiller, a server component in the cluster managing releases.
  • Helm v3 (2019): Removed Tiller, enhancing security and simplifying the architecture. Helm 3 also introduced improved Helm chart repositories and enhanced Helm library chart support.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Helm


  • Simplicity and Productivity: Helm charts simplify the deployment of applications, reducing the complexity involved in managing multiple YAML files.
  • Version Management: Helm helps manage versions of the application, allowing easy rollbacks and updates.
  • Community and Ecosystem: A strong community and a vast ecosystem of pre-existing Helm charts are available.
  • Customization: Helm charts allow customization to suit different environments or configurations.


  • Security: Prior to Helm v3, Tiller often required broad permissions, leading to potential security risks. Although many of these have been addressed in Helm v3, security considerations remain essential.
  • Learning Curve: Helm’s templating engine requires learning and might be complex for beginners.
  • Limited to Kubernetes: Helm is specifically designed for Kubernetes and not suitable for managing non-Kubernetes resources.

Probable Future of Helm

Helm will likely continue to evolve, staying relevant by adapting to the Kubernetes ecosystem’s changing needs and technologies. Improvements in usability, flexibility, and security can be expected. Integration with other tools and technologies will probably enhance, and the community around Helm is expected to grow, fostering innovation and providing more comprehensive solutions and charts. Moreover, there might be a potential focus on making Helm more universal, with broader application beyond Kubernetes, and emphasizing compatibility and interoperability with various platforms and technologies in the Free Software ecosystem.

Having this knowledge will likely bolster Bose’s understanding and proficiency in Kubernetes, and contribute positively to her journey to become a Kubernetes Engineer.