Getting started with VMware Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced

This section describes how to use VMware Tanzu Application Catalog (Tanzu Application Catalog) for Tanzu Advanced. It explains how to sign in, obtain your registry credentials, and start using containers and Helm charts on your local machine via Docker or Helm.

Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced enables organizations to simplify delivery and deployment of custom applications on Kubernetes. Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced provides a catalog based on a hardened base image (Ubuntu 22.04) which can be accessed and consumed by all the users. All containers and Helm charts are stored in a common registry. You can access this by using your account credentials.

What to do first

Ensure:

To get started with Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu advanced, follow the steps as explained in the sections below:

  1. Sign in to the Tanzu Application Catalog with your VMware account
  2. Browse the Tanzu Application Catalog
  3. Obtain registry credentials
  4. Consume Tanzu Application Catalog artifacts

Sign in to the Tanzu Application Catalog with your VMware account

Go to Tanzu Application Catalog and sign in using your VMware Account.

Tanzu Application Catalog login page

Browse the Tanzu Application Catalog

Tanzu Application Catalog has an extensive collection of continuously maintained and tested container images and Helm charts.

Note

The actions you can perform after you log in are based on the roles assigned to your account. There are two types of roles:

  1. App Catalog Admin: This role allows a user to manage the catalog and see all the information regarding it. A user with this role can create application requests and manage base images and registries.
  2. App Catalog User: This role allows a user to see data through the catalog but not make any changes to it. They can’t perform application requests or manage registries and base images.

To view which role is assigned to you:

  1. In your VMWare Cloud Services account, on the Cloud Services Console toolbar, click your user name and select “My Account”.
  2. Click the “My Roles” tab.
  3. Under Service Roles expand Tanzu Application Catalog to view the type of role assigned to you.

To browse the Tanzu Application Catalog:

  1. After signing into Tanzu Application Catalog, in the left navigation pane, click “Applications”.

A list of all the applications available on Tanzu Application Catalog appears.

Tanzu Application Catalog overview

These applications are continuously updated and so that you can consume them for development and deployment.

Browse the container image catalog

To browse the extensive list of container images available on Tanzu Application Catalog, on the left pane, click the Container Image filter. List of all the container images available on Tanzu Application Catalog is displayed with the following information:

  • Base image
  • Container image version
  • Release status of the container
  • Date of the most recent release
  • “Details” link to view more information associated with that container image

Container information

If a container image has more than one version, you also see the different versions available for that image:

Container versions

You can use the following filters to search the container of your choice in the catalog:

  • By Type
  • By Status
  • By Operating System

Container catalog filters

Clicking on the “Details” link next to a container image displays the following additional information:

  • The name of the container image and the dependent Helm charts
  • The status of the release
  • Example Docker commands to consume the container image
  • A list of available releases, with the digest and tags
  • A list of reports that includes:
    • An asset specification report describing the contents of the image
    • A test results report
    • An antivirus scan report
    • CVE Scan reports, in both scanner-native and CVRF formats
  • Release relationship that includes dependents and dependencies

An example of a container image detail page is shown below:

Container detail

Browse the Helm charts catalog

To browse the extensive list of Helm charts available on Tanzu Application Catalog, on the left pane, click the Helm Chart filter. List of all the Helm charts available on Tanzu Application Catalog is displayed with the following information:

  • Base image
  • Chart version
  • Status of chart’s release
  • Date of the latest release
  • Dependencies: container image included in the chart and its related information such as status, base image, and release version
  • “Details” link to view more information associated with that chart or its container image

Helm chart information

You can use the following filters to search the Helm charts of your choice in the catalog:

  • By Type
  • By Status
  • By Operating System

The following image shows the catalog filtered by type, operating system, and status:

Helm charts catalog filtered by status

You can view the following information when you click “Details” next to a Helm chart:

  • Name of the Helm chart and if it has any container image as a dependency
  • Status of the release
  • Release information: commands to install the chart
  • Chart information: digest, name, version, and repository URL
  • Build Time Reports: Click “Download” to save a copy of the available reports in your local machine. There are two types of reports for charts:
    • Asset Specification
    • Test Results
  • Dependencies: container images included in the chart and its related information such as status, base image and release version

An example of a Helm chart detail page is shown below:

Chart detail

You can inspect the Helm chart’s dependencies by clicking the container images shown in the “Dependencies” section. This redirects to the container details page (described in the previous section).

Helm chart dependencies

Obtain registry credentials

Before using the Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced, it is necessary to obtain credentials for the Tanzu Application Catalog registry. These credentials allow you to access the registry, and pull the container images and Helm charts.

Follow these steps:

  1. On the left navigation pane, click “Registries”.
  2. On the “Tanzu Advanced Registry” tile, click “DETAILS”.

    Registry credentials

  3. In the “Registry Credentials” tab, click “GENERATE NEW CREDENTIALS”.

    Generate Registry credentials

  4. In the resulting dialog box, enter a description for the new credentials. Click “GENERATE THE NEW CREDENTIALS”.

    Enter Registry credentials description

The credentials are generated and displayed.

Registry credentials

Note the username and token, or click “Download as JSON file” to download them as a JSON file. The default name of the file that is downloaded is called ‘_json_key.json’.

For a cluster to use the registry, it must have a secret that contains the registry key that was created: For example, to create a secret called ‘mydockercfg’ run the following commands:

  kubectl create secret docker-registry mydockercfg
  n --docker-server "https://us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-e4c6ba6fd76"
  n --docker-username "_json_key"
  n --docker-password="$(cat _json_key.json)"

When deploying deploying a helm chart, it’s necessary to instruct the pods to pull images using the registry secret. This is done by setting the imagePullSecrets value in the helm command. For example, if you want to deploy Apache from your VMware registry using a secret named mydockercfg, use the following commands:

helm install oci://us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-e4c6ba6fd76/charts/photon-4/apache --version 11.0.10 --generate-name --set "global.imagePullSecrets[0]=mydockercfg"
Note

These credentials will not be displayed again, so ensure that you download or copy them to a secure location, as you will need them in subsequent steps.

Consume Tanzu Application Catalog artifacts

The Tanzu Application Catalog builds trusted and continuously maintained content that can be consumed in many different ways. The easiest way to get started is to use Tanzu Application Catalog container images and Helm charts in your local development environment using the Docker or Helm CLI.

Consume container images

To use a container image from the Tanzu Application Catalog:

  1. Find the container image in the catalog listing and click its “Details” link.
  2. Select the release version you wish to use (if more than one release is available).
  3. Copy and execute the commands found for that release, in the “Consume your Container” section, as shown below:

    Container commands

    Here is an example of how to run a Tanzu Application Catalog container image for MySQL. Enter the registry credentials obtained in Step 3 when prompted.

    $ cat _json_key.json | docker login -u _json_key --password-stdin us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-5682e11a02d
    $ docker run --rm us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-5682e11a02d/containers/ubuntu-22/mysql:latest
    

Consume Helm charts

Before deploying a Helm chart from Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced, it is necessary to create a Kubernetes ImagePullSecret for us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-5682e11a02d with the registry credentials obtained in Step 3.

Here is an example of how to create an ImagePullSecret. Make sure the “_json_key.json” file obtained in Step 3 is available in the folder you run the command below.

    $ kubectl create secret docker-registry tac4adv \
      --docker-server https://us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-5682e11a02d \
      --docker-username "_json_key" \
      --docker-password "$(cat _json_key.json)"

Charts can then be deployed either by adding the global.imagePullSecrets[0]=tac4adv parameter to each Helm deployment command, or by configuring the ImagePullSecret globally.

To use a Helm chart from the Tanzu Application Catalog:

  1. Find the Helm chart in the catalog listing and click its “Details” link.
  2. Select the release version you wish to use (if more than one release is available).
  3. Copy and execute the commands found for that release, in the “Consume your Helm chart” section, as shown below:

    Helm commands

Here is an example of how to deploy a Tanzu Application Catalog Helm chart for Apache Kafka using the ImagePullSecret created earlier:

If you are using Helm CLI version older than 3.8.0

$ export HELM_EXPERIMENTAL_OCI=1
$ cat "_json_key" | helm registry login -u _json_key --password_stdin us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-5682e11a02d/charts/ubuntu-22
$ helm chart pull us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-5682e11a02d/charts/ubuntu-22/kafka:28.0.3
$ helm chart export us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-5682e11a02d/charts/ubuntu-22/kafka:28.0.3
$ helm install kafka/ --generate-name --set "global.imagePullSecrets[0]=tac4adv"

If you are using Helm CLI version 3.8.0 or later

$ cat "_json_key" | helm registry login -u _json_key --password_stdin us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-5682e11a02d/charts/ubuntu-22
$ helm install oci://us-east1-docker.pkg.dev/vmw-app-catalog/hosted-registry-5682e11a02d/charts/ubuntu-22/kafka --version 28.0.3 --generate-name --set "global.imagePullSecrets[0]=tac4adv"

You should now have a good understanding of how to begin using the Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced, including browsing the catalog, obtained detailed information on container images and Helm charts and using these artifacts for development.

Useful links

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