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How to Deploy Backstage Using Helm

It's hard to deploy Backstage, especially for demo or testing purposes. In this guide, we will show you how to deploy Backstage easily using a Helm chart in less than 5 minutes.

Why is it Hard to Deploy Backstage?

1 - Backstage is a code-based project - if you take a look at the Bacsktage releases you will find only tar with the code, this is because Backstage is designed to be a project where you should take the main Backstage code and create your application out of it. There are no images or binaries released that you can just run and use.

2 - Plugins should be added to the code - Plugins are required to be added to the code & application. To add your plugins, you should add them to the code, pack everything in the container image, and deploy. This architecture allows you to mix and match your plugins but it also increases the entry-level to run Backstage for the first time.

3 - Config is hard-coded - Out of the box, the configuration of Backstage is packed in the code. You can change it but it's not obvious for people using it for the first time.

What do you need to do to deploy Backstage? without the chart

To run Backstage on Kubernetes on your local machine for the first time, you need to:

  1. Clone the Backstage repo

  2. Install local dependencies like Yarn version 1 and NPM on a specific version

  3. Create a Backstage application

  4. Add Plugins and change the code of the Backstage

  5. Configure the app-config.yaml file

  6. Test locally

  7. Build an image

  8. Deploy Postgres

  9. Create Kubernetes manifests for Backstage

  10. Deploy

  11. Test

This is the happy flow, try to estimate how long it going to take you when something breaks.

What's Included in the Helm chart?

The Platformers Community created the unofficial batteries-included Backstage Helm chart. A Helm chart that is packed with everything you need to run Backstage in less than 5 minutes.

What is in the Helm chart:

  • Pre-created image of Backstage including

    • External configuration file

    • Catalog

    • TechDocs

    • Templates

    • Kubernetes Plugin

  • Easy configuration using Helm values

  • Demo catalog data

How to deploy Backstage using the Helm chart?

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