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Distributing Policies

Kubewarden policies are Wasm binaries that are evaluated by the Kubewarden Policy Server.

The Kubewarden policy server can load policies from these sources:

  • Local filesystem
  • HTTP(s) server
  • OCI compliant registry like Distribution and other container registries (GitHub container registry, Azure Container Registry, Amazon ECR, Google Container Registry, ...)

We think distributing Kubewarden policies via a regular OCI compliant registry is the best choice. Container registries are basically a mandatory requirement for any Kubernetes cluster. Having a single place to store, and secure, all the artifacts required by a cluster can be really handy.

Pushing policies to an OCI compliant registry

The OCI Artifacts specification allows to store any kind of binary blob inside of a regular OCI compliant container registry.

The target OCI compliant registry must support artifacts in order to successfully push a Kubewarden Policy to it.

The kwctl command line tool can be used to push a Kubewarden Policy to an OCI compliant registry.

Annotating the policy

Annotating a policy is done by the kwctl CLI tool as well. The process of annotating a Kubewarden policy is done by adding WebAssembly custom sections to the policy binary. This means that the policy metadata travels with the policy itself.

The kwctl annotate command needs two main inputs:

  • The Kubewarden policy to be annotated, in the form of a local file in the filesystem.

  • The annotations file, a file containing a YAML with the policy metadata. This file is located somewhere in your filesystem, usually in the root project of your policy.

An example follows; we save this file as metadata.yml in the current directory:

- apiGroups: ["*"]
apiVersions: ["*"]
resources: ["*"]
operations: ["*"]
mutating: false
io.kubewarden.policy.title: palindromify
io.kubewarden.policy.description: Allows you to reject palindrome names in resources and namespace names, or to only accept palindrome names Name Surname <>
io.kubewarden.policy.license: Apache-2.0
io.kubewarden.policy.usage: |
This is markdown text and as such allows you to define a free form usage text.

This policy allows you to reject requests if:
- The name of the resource is a palindrome name.
- The namespace name where this resource is created has a palindrome name.

This policy accepts the following settings:

- `invert_behavior`: bool that inverts the policy behavior. If enabled, only palindrome names will be accepted.

Now, let's annotate the policy:

$ kwctl annotate policy.wasm \
--metadata-path metadata.yml \
--output-path annotated-policy.wasm

This process performs some optimizations on the policy, so it's not uncommon to end up with a smaller annotated policy than the original one. This depends a lot on the toolchain that was used to produce the unannotated WebAssembly object.

You can check with kwctl inspect that everything looks correct:

$ kwctl inspect annotated-policy.wasm
# here you will see a colored output of the metadata you provided on the `metadata.yml` file. This information is now read from the WebAssembly custom sections

Pushing the policy

Pushing an annotated policy can be done in this way:

$ kwctl push annotated-policy.wasm \

It is discouraged to push unannotated policies. This is why by default kwctl push will reject to push such a policy to an OCI registry. If you really want to push an unannotated policy you can use the --force flag of kwctl push.

The policy can then be referenced from the Kubewarden Policy Server or kwctl as registry://<oci-registry>/kubewarden-policies/palindromify-policy:v0.0.1.