Generation and release cycle of clientset

Client-gen is an automatic tool that generates clientset based on API types. This doc introduces the use of client-gen, and the release cycle of the generated clientsets.

Using client-gen

The workflow includes three steps:

1. Marking API types with tags: in pkg/apis/${GROUP}/${VERSION}/types.go, mark the types (e.g., Pods) that you want to generate clients for with the // +genclient tag. If the resource associated with the type is not namespace scoped (e.g., PersistentVolume), you need to append the // +genclient:nonNamespaced tag as well.

The following // +genclient are supported:

  • // +genclient - generate default client verb functions (create, update, delete, get, list, update, patch, watch and depending on the existence of .Status field in the type the client is generated for also updateStatus).
  • // +genclient:nonNamespaced - all verb functions are generated without namespace.
  • // +genclient:onlyVerbs=create,get - only listed verb functions will be generated.
  • // +genclient:skipVerbs=watch - all default client verb functions will be generated except watch verb.
  • // +genclient:noStatus - skip generation of updateStatus verb even thought the .Status field exists.

In some cases you want to generate non-standard verbs (eg. for sub-resources). To do that you can use the following generator tag:

  • // +genclient:method=Scale,verb=update,subresource=scale,, - in this case a new function Scale(string, *v1beta.Scale) *v1beta.Scale will be added to the default client and the body of the function will be based on the update verb. The optional subresource argument will make the generated client function use subresource scale. Using the optional input and result arguments you can override the default type with a custom type. If the import path is not given, the generator will assume the type exists in the same package.

In addition, the following optional tags influence the client generation:

  • // – used in the fake client as the full group name (defaults to the package name),
  • // +groupGoName=AuthorizationPolicy – a CamelCase Golang identifier to de-conflict groups with non-unique prefixes like and These would lead to two Policy() methods in the clientset otherwise (defaults to the upper-case first segement of the group name).

2a. If you are developing in the repository, you just need to run hack/

2b. If you are running client-gen outside of, you need to use the command line argument --input to specify the groups and versions of the APIs you want to generate clients for, client-gen will then look into pkg/apis/${GROUP}/${VERSION}/types.go and generate clients for the types you have marked with the genclient tags. For example, to generated a clientset named “my_release” including clients for api/v1 objects and extensions/v1beta1 objects, you need to run:

$ client-gen --input="api/v1,extensions/v1beta1" --clientset-name="my_release"

3. Adding expansion methods: client-gen only generates the common methods, such as CRUD. You can manually add additional methods through the expansion interface. For example, this file adds additional methods to Pod’s client. As a convention, we put the expansion interface and its methods in file ${TYPE}_expansion.go. In most cases, you don’t want to remove existing expansion files. So to make life easier, instead of creating a new clientset from scratch, you can copy and rename an existing clientset (so that all the expansion files are copied), and then run client-gen.

Output of client-gen

  • clientset: the clientset will be generated at pkg/client/clientset_generated/ by default, and you can change the path via the --clientset-path command line argument.

  • Individual typed clients and client for group: They will be generated at pkg/client/clientset_generated/${clientset_name}/typed/generated/${GROUP}/${VERSION}/

Released clientsets

If you are contributing code to, try to use the generated clientset here.

If you need a stable Go client to build your own project, please refer to the client-go repository.

We are migrating to use client-go as well, see issue #35159.