This page contains information about various tools and technologies that are useful to anyone developing on Knative.

Community Resources

This section contains tools and technologies developed by members of the Knative community specifically for use with Knative.


knctl is an under-development CLI for working with Knative.

Other Resources

This section contains other tools and technologies that are useful when working with Knative.


go-containerregistry is a Go library used by ko, kaniko, skaffold and others, which enables support for pushing, pulling and managing images in a container image registry, without requiring Docker to be installed.

It also provides packages to interact with images in a local Docker daemon, which does require that Docker be installed.

This library also provides a CLI tool called crane, which can be used to interact with and inspect images in a registry.


jib is a tool, packaged as a Maven plugin and a Gradle plugin, that efficiently builds container images from Java source, without a Dockerfile, without requiring access to the Docker daemon.

Like ko, when jib is invoked, it builds your Java source and pushes an image with that built source atop a distroless base image to produce small images that support fast incremental image builds.

There are BuildTemplates that wraps jib for use with Maven and Gradle, at It expects that your pom.xml or build.gradle describes to jib where to push your image. The build templates take no parameters.


kaniko is a tool that enables building a container image from source using the Dockerfile format, without requiring access to a Docker daemon. Removing this requirement means that kaniko is safe to run on a Kubernetes cluster.

By contrast, building an image using docker build necessarily requires the Docker daemon, which would give the build complete access to your entire cluster. So that’s a very bad idea.

kaniko expects to run inside a container, so it’s a natural fit for the Build CRD builder contract. kaniko is available as a builder at, and there’s a BuildTemplate that wraps it at It exposes one required parameter, IMAGE, which describes the name of the image to push to.

More information here:

kaniko is unrelated to ko.


ko is a tool designed to make development of Go apps on Kubernetes easier, by abstracting away the container image being used, and instead referring to Go packages by their import paths (e.g.,

The typical usage is ko apply --filename config.yaml, which reads in the config YAML, and looks for Go import paths representing runnable commands (i.e., package main). When it finds a matching import path, ko builds the package using go build then pushes a container image containing that binary on top of a base image (by default, to $KO_DOCKER_REPO/unique-string. After pushing those images, ko replaces instances of matched import paths with fully-qualified references to the images it pushed.

So if ko apply was passed this config:


…it would produce YAML like:

image: # image by digest

(This assumes that you have set the environment variable

ko apply then passes this generated YAML config to kubectl apply.

ko also supports:

  • ko publish to simply push images and not produce configs.
  • ko resolve to push images and output the generated configs, but not kubectl apply them.
  • ko delete to simply passthrough to kubectl delete for convenience.

ko is used during development and release of Knative components, but is not intended to be required for users of Knative – they should only need to kubectl apply released configs generated by ko.


skaffold is a CLI tool to aid in iterative development for Kubernetes. Typically, you would write a YAML config describing to Skaffold how to build and deploy your app, then run skaffold dev, which will watch your local source tree for changes and continuously builds and deploys based on your config when changes are detected.

Skaffold supports many pluggable implementations for building and deploying. Skaffold contributors are working on support for Knative Build as a build plugin, and could support Knative Serving as a deployment plugin.