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In the Radix pipeline, optionally a sub-pipeline can be run. It is run after "Build components step" (if components need to be built) or after "Prepare pipeline" step. This sub-pipeline is based on the Tekton CI/CD framework.


Note on nomenclature! The content in this guide concerns a Tekton pipeline which is defined as a pipeline within a parent Radix pipeline. In the context of the Radix platform, a Tekton pipeline is referred to as a sub-pipeline or Tekton pipeline, while the parent Radix pipeline is referred to as a pipeline or Radix pipeline.

Configure sub-pipeline

Sub-pipeline is configured with file pipeline.yaml. This file will in turn have references to one or several other YAML-files which define tasks for the sub-pipeline.

Pipeline and task files

  • Default folder for sub-pipeline is tekton, next to the Radix configuration file of the application.
  • Default name for the sub-pipeline is pipeline.yaml.
  • Files with sub-pipeline task configurations should be located next to the file pipeline.yaml.

Example: a sub-pipeline pipeline.yaml refers to tasks in files clone.yaml, build.yaml, migration.yaml

├── component1
├── component2
├── tekton/
│ ├── pipeline.yaml
│ ├── clone.yaml
│ ├── build.yaml
│ └── migration.yaml
└── radixconfig.yaml

Suppose an app has a sub-pipeline defined, like the example above. Within the Radix pipeline step "Prepare pipeline", the following logic will be executed:

  1. the sub-pipeline defined in pipeline.yaml is loaded
  2. task files referred to inside the pipeline.yaml file are loaded, which are clone.yaml, build.yaml and migration.yaml
  3. if an error occurred during loading of the sub-pipeline or its tasks, the step "Prepare pipeline" and entire Radix pipeline job is considered failed
  4. the sub-pipeline is run
  5. if any step of any task is failed - the pipeline gets status "failed", the step "Run sub-pipeline" and entire Radix pipeline job gets the status "failed"

Errors in stage (3) can be caused by:

  • an invalid format of a sub-pipeline or tasks files
  • an empty list of tasks in a sub-pipeline
  • a missing task, referenced in a sub-pipeline
  • empty step list in a task

Follow the Tekton documentation to configure a sub-pipeline and its tasks, particularly Tekton pipeline and task documentation.


In Radix platform, the following limitations are applied to sub-pipelines:

  • sub-pipeline does not support workspaces. However, it is possible to use volumes in sub-pipeline tasks.
  • sub-pipeline Task step cannot mount secrets as volumes, with some exceptions:
  • sub-pipeline Task step cannot run as a privileged container (e.g. cannot run as root) or with a host network
    • if a container image used in a step is configured to run as a root, this user can (and should) be changed to a non-root user with a field securityContext.runAsUser in the step definition, securityContext.runAsGroup is also supported. runAsUser and runAsGroup cannot have value 0 (= root user).
    kind: Task
    name: my-task
    - image: alpine
    name: show-user-id
    script: |
    #!/usr/bin/env sh
    runAsUser: 1000

    The following command can be used to find out with which user the image runs its container:

    docker run -it alpine id


  • Tekton pipeline and tasks can be developed and tested on PC within local Kubernetes cluster.

  • Name of a task, file name of a task and a name of a task in the Tekton pipeline task list - all can be different. It is important only to use the same name in the task field and in the Tekton pipeline field In the example below it is name build-image:

  • File pipeline.yaml:

    kind: Pipeline
    name: pipeline
    - name: some-build-task
    name: build-image

    File build-image-task.yaml:

    kind: Task
    name: build-image
  • It is not important in which order to put tasks in the sub-pipeline - tasks can run in parallel or in sequences, defined by fields runAfter, conditions, from.

  • If a task has a field runAfter - it will be started on;yy when all tasks, referenced in the field runAfter are complete.

  • Task details:

    • Each sub-pipeline task runs in its own Kubernetes pod (replica).

    • Task step runs in its own container of this task's pod.

    • Task step can be configured individually: which container image and how many resources to use, how to proceed on an error, specify a timeout, if the task runs script - is it bash or PowerShell script, etc.

    • When task step uses script - it would be recommended to finish this script with the no-op command: put : (column) on the last new line of the script. It will help to avoid some irrelevant errors (e.g. in the example below: run of this task raises an error, when the command printenv|grep "DB" is on the last line of the script and there are no environment variables with a fragment "DB" in names). Or just put a command like echo ""

      - image: alpine
      name: show-db-env-vars
      script: |
      #!/usr/bin/env sh
      printenv|grep "DB"