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Upgrading with kubectl

If you installed Knative using YAML, you can use the kubectl apply command in this topic to upgrade your Knative components and plugins. If you installed using the Operator, see Upgrading using the Knative Operator.

Before you begin

Before upgrading, there are a few steps you must take to ensure a successful upgrade process.

Identify breaking changes

You should be aware of any breaking changes between your current and desired versions of Knative. Breaking changes between Knative versions are documented in the Knative release notes. Before upgrading, review the release notes for the target version to learn about any changes you might need to make to your Knative applications:

Release notes are published with each version on the "Releases" page of their respective repositories in GitHub.

View current pod status

Before upgrading, view the status of the pods for the namespaces you plan on upgrading. This allows you to compare the before and after state of your namespace. For example, if you are upgrading Knative Serving and Eventing, enter the following commands to see the current state of each namespace:

kubectl get pods -n knative-serving
kubectl get pods -n knative-eventing

Upgrade plugins

If you have a plugin installed, make sure to upgrade it at the same time as you upgrade your Knative components.

Run pre-install tools before upgrade

For some upgrades, there are steps that must be completed before the actual upgrade. These steps, where applicable, are identified in the release notes.

Upgrade existing resources to the latest stored version

Knative custom resources are stored within Kubernetes at a particular version. As we introduce newer and remove older supported versions, you must migrate the resources to the designated stored version. This ensures removing older versions will succeed when upgrading.

For the various subprojects there is a K8s job to help operators perform this migration. The release notes for each release will state explicitly whether a migration is required.

Performing the upgrade

To upgrade, apply the YAML files for the subsequent minor versions of all your installed Knative components and features, remembering to only upgrade by one minor version at a time.

Before upgrading, check your Knative version.

For a cluster running version 1.1 of the Knative Serving and Knative Eventing components, the following command upgrades the installation to version 1.2:

kubectl apply -f \
-f \

Run post-install jobs when necessary

When the release notes point out that a Knative custom resource is transitioned to a new version, for example like:

DomainMapping/v1alpha1 is deprecated - use v1beta1 APIs

you need to run post-install jobs (see here for details):

# Serving
kubectl create -f

# Eventing
kubectl create -f

Make sure that the jobs complete successfully before continuing:

# Serving
kubectl get job -n knative-serving

# Eventing
kubectl get job -n knative-eventing


You also have to transition the version in your custom resource YAML files if you store them externally, e.g. in git via GitOps.

Verifying the upgrade

To confirm that your components and plugins have successfully upgraded, view the status of their pods in the relevant namespaces. All pods will restart during the upgrade and their age will reset. If you upgraded Knative Serving and Eventing, enter the following commands to get information about the pods for each namespace:

kubectl get pods -n knative-serving
kubectl get pods -n knative-eventing

These commands return something similar to:

NAME                                READY   STATUS        RESTARTS   AGE
activator-79f674fb7b-dgvss          2/2     Running       0          43s
autoscaler-96dc49858-b24bm          2/2     Running       1          43s
autoscaler-hpa-d887d4895-njtrb      1/1     Running       0          43s
controller-6bcdd87fd6-zz9fx         1/1     Running       0          41s
net-istio-controller-7fcdf7-z2xmr   1/1     Running       0          40s
webhook-747b799559-4sj6q            1/1     Running       0          41s
NAME                                READY   STATUS        RESTARTS   AGE
eventing-controller-69ffcc6f7d-5l7th   1/1     Running   0          83s
eventing-webhook-6c56fcd86c-42dr8      1/1     Running   0          81s
imc-controller-6bcf5957b5-6ccp2        1/1     Running   0          80s
imc-dispatcher-f59b7c57-q9xcl          1/1     Running   0          80s
sources-controller-8596684d7b-jxkmd    1/1     Running   0          83s

If the age of all your pods has been reset and all pods are up and running, the upgrade was completed successfully. You might notice a status of Terminating for the old pods as they are cleaned up.

If necessary, repeat the upgrade process until you reach your desired minor version number.

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