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This example demonstrates how to define variables and constants in your package that will be templated across the manifests and charts your package uses during zarf package deploy with ###ZARF_VAR_*### and ###ZARF_CONST_*###, and also shows how package configuration templates can be used in the zarf.yaml during zarf package create with ###ZARF_PKG_TMPL_*###.

With these variables and templating features, you can define values in the zarf.yaml file without having to set them manually in every manifest and chart, and can prompt the deploy user for certain information you may want to make dynamic on zarf package deploy.

This becomes useful when you are working with an upstream chart that is often changing, or a lot of charts that have slightly different conventions for their values. Now you can standardize all of that from your zarf.yaml file.

Text files are also templated during zarf package deploy so you can use these variables in any text file that you want to be templated.


Because files can be deployed without a Kubernetes cluster, some built-in variables such as ###ZARF_REGISTRY### may not be available if no previous component has required access to the cluster. If you need one of these built-in variables, a prior component will need to have been called that requires access to the cluster, such as images, repos, manifests, dataInjections.

Deploy-Time Variables and Constants

To use variables and constants at deploy time you need to have two things:

  1. a manifest that you want to template a value in
  2. a defined variable in the zarf.yaml file from variables or setVariable

The manifest should have your desired variable name in ALL CAPS prefixed with ###ZARF_VAR for variables or prefixed with ###ZARF_CONST for constants and suffixed with ###. For example in a configmap that took a variable named DATABASE_USERNAME you would provide the following:

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
name: db-configmap

In the zarf.yaml, you would need to define the variable in the variables section or as output from an action with setVariable with the same name as above. Or for a constant you would use the constants section. For the same example as above, you would have the following for a variable defined by the deploy user:

description: 'The username for the database'

And the following for a variable defined as an output from an action:

- name: set-variable-example
- cmd: echo "username-value"

Zarf variables can also have additional fields that describe how Zarf will handle them which are described below:


Variables with type: file will be set to the filepath in actions due to constraints on the size of environment variables in the shell. This also allows for additional processing of the file by its filename.


The fields default, description and prompt are not available on setVariables since they always take the standard output of an action command and will not be interacted with directly by a deploy user.

Zarf constants are similar but have fewer options as they are static by the time zarf package deploy is run:


All names must match the regex pattern ^[A-Z0-9_]+$ Test).


When not specifying default, prompt, sensitive, autoIndent, or type Zarf will default to default: "", prompt: false, sensitive: false, autoIndent: false, and type: "raw"

For user-specified variables, you can also specify a default value for the variable to take in case a user does not provide one on deploy, and can specify whether to prompt the user for the variable when not using the --confirm or --set flags.

default: 'postgres'
prompt: true

Variables that do not have a default, are not --set and are not prompted for during deploy will be replaced with an empty string in manifests/charts/files

For constants, you must specify the value they will use at package create. These values cannot be overridden with --set during zarf package deploy, but you can use package template variables (described below) to variablize them during zarf package create.

value: 'users'

zarf package create only templates the zarf.yaml file, and zarf package deploy only templates other manifests, charts and files

Create-Time Package Configuration Templates

You can also specify package configuration templates at package create time by including ###_ZARF_PKG_TMPL_*### as the value for any string-type data in your package definition. These values are discovered during zarf package create and will always be prompted for if not using --confirm or --set. An example of this is below:

kind: ZarfPackageConfig
name: 'pkg-variables'
description: 'Prompt for a variables during package create'


- name: zarf-prompt-image
required: true

It is not recommended to use package configuration templates for any sensitive data as this will be baked into the package as plain text. Please use a deploy-time variable with the sensitive key set instead.


You can only template string values in this way as non-string values will not marshal/unmarshal properly through the yaml.


If you use --confirm and do not --set all of the package configuration templates you will receive an error


You cannot template the component import path using package configuration templates



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