Setting up Dagster on Minikube with Terraform

February 24, 2022
kubernetes tutorials

Dagster is a data orchestration platform similar to Airflow and Prefect I won’t go into the difference or similarity amongst the tools, but after using both Airflow and Dagster, I happen to realy like Dagsters API and easy of use. Especially when it comes to the deployment.

The following tutorial is a step by step guide on getting started with Dagster on Kubernetes specifically minikube.


In order to keep things simple, a local cluster with minikube is going to be the environment of choice. Minikube has a comprehensive guide on getting started on all platforms, but for this tutorial I will be focusing on OSX.

brew install minikube

Start our local kubernetes cluster:

minikube start

Starting a local minikube cluster will automatically create an entry in: ~/.kube/config ( this will be useful in a little while, so remember that path )


Great, now that we have a Kubernetes cluster running on our machine, next up is “hooking” terraform to it, so that we can manage resources with it. Lets do that:

Create the following structure in any folder you want, to keep things simple, I just named the folder: dagster-orchestration

└── dagster-orchestration
    ├── opt
       └── values.yaml

Alright, now that we got the structre out of the way and all the folders time to take a look at what is inside.

Usually, I like to keep in here information about the different providers I am going to use, in our case kubernetes and helm:

terraform {
	required_providers {
		kubernetes = {
			source = "hashicorp/kubernetes"
			version = ">= 2.0.0"

provider "kubernetes" {
	config_path = "~/.kube/config"
	config_context = "minikube"

provider "helm" {
	kubernetes {
		config_path = "~/.kube/config"
		config_context = "minikube"

Everything above should look fairl standard except maybe config_context in the helm provider and the kubernetes provider, this is used to to specify which kuberntes in our config file we will be targeting, useful if you have multiple kubernetse configs ( production / staging / local ).

Alright, now that we have the all set up, we can quickly run: terraform init to initialize terraforms state backend and download any providers we will be using.

I have a convention to name the file if the resource is using a helm chart, in our case, to keep things simple we’re using the official helm chart from dagster. More information can be found here on their official website

resource "helm_release" "dagster" {
	name = "dagster"
	repository = ""
	chart = "dagster"

	values = [

The value array holds the values.yaml file, this file is used to store configuration about the helm chart we will be deploying, a full and up-to-date file can be found on dagsters github.

There is a very small change we’re going to make, in values.yaml we need to add a tag to the example user code:

  - name: "k8s-example-user-code-1"
	# When a tag is not supplied, it will default as the Helm chart version.
	repository: ""
	tag: ~ <- change to latest

Now that the chart is in place and to test that everything is working, we can keep the default values for now in values.yaml and run terraform apply. This is goint to create the resources defined in the helm chart, on our kubernetes cluster, pretty neat no?

It should take about 4ish minutes to complete, but if that is done with success we can run minikube dashbaord this will open a browser, here we can see our pods happily running.

Accessing Dagster

Although we do not have an ingress set-up we can quickly access dagster UI running the following.

minikube service dagster-dagit --url

🙌 Great job you have sucessfully deployed Dagster on Kubernetes!