Build from source


  • Access to a Kubernetes cluster, version 1.7 or later.
  • A DNS server on the cluster
  • kubectl installed
  • Go installed (minimum version 1.8)

Getting the source

mkdir $HOME/go
export GOPATH=$HOME/go
go get

Where go is your import path for Go.

For Go development, it is recommended to add the Go import path ($HOME/go in this example) to your path.

Option 2) Release archive

Download the archive named Source code from the release page and extract it in your Go import path as src/

Note that the Makefile targets assume building from a git repository. When building from an archive, you will be limited to the go build commands described below.


There are a number of different ways to build velero depending on your needs. This section outlines the main possibilities.

To build the velero binary on your local machine, compiled for your OS and architecture, run:

go build ./cmd/velero


make local

The latter will place the compiled binary under $PWD/_output/bin/$GOOS/$GOARCH, and will splice version and git commit information in so that velero version displays proper output. velero install will also use the version information to determine which tagged image to deploy.

To build the velero binary targeting linux/amd64 within a build container on your local machine, run:

make build

See the Cross compiling section below for details on building for alternate OS/architecture combinations.

To build a Velero container image, first set the $REGISTRY environment variable. For example, if you want to build the image, set $REGISTRY to Optionally, set the $VERSION environment variable to change the image tag. Then, run:

make container

To push your image to a registry, run:

make push

Update generated files

The following files are automatically generated from the source code:

  • The clientset
  • Listers
  • Shared informers
  • Documentation
  • Protobuf/gRPC types

Run make update to regenerate files if you make the following changes:

  • Add/edit/remove command line flags and/or their help text
  • Add/edit/remove commands or subcommands
  • Add new API types

Run to regenerate files if you make the following changes:

  • Add/edit/remove protobuf message or service definitions. These changes require the proto compiler and compiler plugin protoc-gen-go version v1.0.0.

Cross compiling

By default, make build builds an velero binary for linux-amd64. To build for another platform, run make build-<GOOS>-<GOARCH>. For example, to build for the Mac, run make build-darwin-amd64. All binaries are placed in _output/bin/<GOOS>/<GOARCH>– for example, _output/bin/darwin/amd64/velero.

Velero’s Makefile has a convenience target, all-build, that builds the following platforms:

  • linux-amd64
  • linux-arm
  • linux-arm64
  • darwin-amd64
  • windows-amd64

3. Test

To run unit tests, use make test. You can also run make verify to ensure that all generated files (clientset, listers, shared informers, docs) are up to date.

4. Run


When running Velero, you will need to ensure that you set up all of the following:

  • Appropriate RBAC permissions in the cluster
    • Read access for all data from the source cluster and namespaces
    • Write access to the target cluster and namespaces
  • Cloud provider credentials
    • Read/write access to volumes
    • Read/write access to object storage for backup data
  • A BackupStorageLocation object definition for the Velero server
  • (Optional) A VolumeSnapshotLocation object definition for the Velero server, to take PV snapshots

Create a cluster

To provision a cluster on AWS using Amazon’s official CloudFormation templates, here are two options:

Option 1: Run your Velero server locally

Running the Velero server locally can speed up iterative development. This eliminates the need to rebuild the Velero server image and redeploy it to the cluster with each change.

1. Set environment variables

Set the appropriate environment variable for your cloud provider:











2. Create required Velero resources in the cluster

You can use the velero install command to install velero into your cluster, then remove the deployment from the cluster, leaving you with all of the required in-cluster resources.


This examples assumes you are using an existing cluster in AWS.

Using the velero binary that you’ve built, run velero install:

# velero install requires a credentials file to exist, but we will
# not be using it since we're running the server locally, so just
# create an empty file to pass to the install command.
touch fake-credentials-file

velero install \
  --provider aws \
  --bucket $BUCKET \
  --backup-location-config region=$REGION \
  --snapshot-location-config region=$REGION \
  --secret-file ./fake-credentials-file

# 'velero install' creates an in-cluster deployment of the
# velero server using an official velero image, but we want
# to run the velero server on our local machine using the
# binary we built, so delete the in-cluster deployment.
kubectl --namespace velero delete deployment velero

rm fake-credentials-file

3. Start the Velero server locally

  • Make sure the velero binary you build is in your PATH, or specify the full path.

  • Start the server: velero server [CLI flags]. The following CLI flags may be useful to customize, but see velero server --help for full details:

    • --kubeconfig: set the path to the kubeconfig file the Velero server uses to talk to the Kubernetes apiserver (default $KUBECONFIG)
    • --namespace: the set namespace where the Velero server should look for backups, schedules, restores (default velero)
    • --log-level: set the Velero server’s log level (default info)
    • --plugin-dir: set the directory where the Velero server looks for plugins (default /plugins)
    • --metrics-address: set the bind address and port where Prometheus metrics are exposed (default :8085)

Option 2: Run your Velero server in a deployment

  1. Ensure you’ve built a velero container image and either loaded it onto your cluster’s nodes, or pushed it to a registry (see build).

  2. Install Velero into the cluster (the example below assumes you’re using AWS):

    velero install \
      --provider aws \
      --image $YOUR_CONTAINER_IMAGE \
      --bucket $BUCKET \
      --backup-location-config region=$REGION \
      --snapshot-location-config region=$REGION \
      --secret-file $YOUR_AWS_CREDENTIALS_FILE

5. Vendoring dependencies

If you need to add or update the vendored dependencies, see Vendoring dependencies.

Getting Started

To help you get started, see the documentation.