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This chapter contains tips and tricks for re-using generic reconcilers.

Generic Reconcilers#

It is possible to create generic reconcilers by abstracing away the underlying type by using either DynamicObject or PartialObjectMeta.

This is a useful technique for controllers that need to do the same thing to a bunch of resources, like for instance adding consistent labels / annotations.


This is the easiest and cheapest way to create a generic reconciler because it still retains type information, and you do not have to devolve into a fully dynamic api.

You can create generic reconcilers:

pub async fn reconcile<K>(obj: Arc<PartialObjectMeta<K>>, ctx: Arc<Context>)
-> Result<Action>
    K: Resource<Scope = NamespaceResourceScope, DynamicType = ()>
        + Clone
        + DeserializeOwned
        + Debug,
    let kind = K::kind(&()).to_string();
    let ns = obj.namespace().unwrap();
    let object_name = obj.name_any();
    let api: Api<PartialObjectMeta<K>> = Api::namespaced(ctx.client, &ns);

    // example work; apply some labels to the object
    let patch: Patch<serde_json::Value> = get_standard_labels_for(&obj)?;
    let serverside = PatchParams::apply("labeller");
    api.patch(&object_name, &serverside, &patch).await?;

    Ok(Action::requeue(Duration::from_secs(5 * 60)))

The generic constraints on the associated type of the Resource here means this is a namespaced resource (hence the unwrap). You could remove this bound (or change it for a cluster scoped only bound), but then you could not unwrap.

The DynamicType = () constraint is to indicate that this is one of the normal statically generated api types that we have api information for at the type level (i.e. they come from k8s-openapi).

For information about the resource we rely on the generic Resource and ResourceExt traits which is implemented by PartialObjectMeta.

Diverging Logic

You will only get access to metadata of the object doing this. This can be mitigated by doing a match on kind and creating a more specific Api<K> inside a match arm.

This reconciler can be hooked up to infallabily start a Controller<K> in a generic way:

async fn run_controller<K>(client: Client)
    K: Resource<Scope = NamespaceResourceScope, DynamicType = ()>
        + Clone
        + DeserializeOwned
        + Debug
        + Sync
        + Send
        + 'static,
    let kind = K::kind(&()).to_string();
    tracing::info!("Starting controller for {kind}");

    let api = Api::<K>::all(client.clone());
    let (reader, writer) = reflector::store();

    // controller main stream from metadata_watcher
    let stream = metadata_watcher(api, watcher::Config::default())
        .modify(|x| {
            x.managed_fields_mut().clear(); // ResourceExt pruning

    Controller::for_stream(stream, reader)
        .run(reconcile, error_policy, Arc::new(Context::new(client)))
        .for_each(|_| futures::future::ready(()))

    warn!("controller for {kind} shutdown");

This example assumes no relations between the main controller object, so that each controller can be started in isolation without worrying about inefficiencies in streams usage.

It uses metadata_watcher to provide a consistent input stream of PartialObjectMeta<K> with pruning (optimization#pruning-fields) and Store management through WatchStreamExt.

We can start and control the lifecycle of all the controllers with a tokio::join!:

pub async fn run_all_controllers(client: Client) {
    let _ = tokio::join!(
    info!("controllers all exited");

This returns when all controller fns return. This happens once shutdown_on_signal has safely propagated through all the controllers.