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Getting Started

Developing for Ingress-Nginx Controller

This document explains how to get started with developing for Ingress-Nginx Controller.

For the really new contributors, who want to contribute to the INGRESS-NGINX project, but need help with understanding some basic concepts, that are needed to work with the Kubernetes ingress resource, here is a link to the New Contributors Guide. This guide contains tips on how a http/https request travels, from a browser or a curl command, to the webserver process running inside a container, in a pod, in a Kubernetes cluster, but enters the cluster via a ingress resource. For those who are familiar with those basic networking concepts like routing of a packet with regards to a http request, termination of connection, reverseproxy etc. etc., you can skip this and move on to the sections below. (or read it anyways just for context and also provide feedbacks if any)


Install Go 1.14 or later.


The project uses Go Modules

Install Docker (v19.03.0 or later with experimental feature on)


The majority of make tasks run as docker containers

Quick Start

  1. Fork the repository
  2. Clone the repository to any location in your work station
  3. Add a GO111MODULE environment variable with export GO111MODULE=on
  4. Run go mod download to install dependencies

Local build

Start a local Kubernetes cluster using kind, build and deploy the ingress controller

make dev-env
- If you are working on the v1.x.x version of this controller, and you want to create a cluster with kubernetes version 1.22, then please visit the documentation for kind, and look for how to set a custom image for the kind node (image: kindest/node...), in the kind config file.


Run go unit tests

make test

Run unit-tests for lua code

make lua-test

Lua tests are located in the directory rootfs/etc/nginx/lua/test


Test files must follow the naming convention <mytest>_test.lua or it will be ignored

Run e2e test suite

make kind-e2e-test

To limit the scope of the tests to execute, we can use the environment variable FOCUS

FOCUS="no-auth-locations" make kind-e2e-test


The variable FOCUS defines Ginkgo Focused Specs

Valid values are defined in the describe definition of the e2e tests like Default Backend

The complete list of tests can be found here

Custom docker image

In some cases, it can be useful to build a docker image and publish such an image to a private or custom registry location.

This can be done setting two environment variables, REGISTRY and TAG

export TAG="dev"

make build image

and then publish such version with

docker push $REGISTRY/controller:$TAG