Steer Athens on Kubernetes with GoCenter Upstream


UPDATE: As of May 1, 2021 – GoCenter central repository has been sunset and all features deprecated. For more information on the sunsetting of the centers read the deprecation blog post


In a previous JFrog blog post we explored how to use Project Athens for Go modules with GoCenter as an upstream proxy. In this follow-up, we’ll examine how to install Athens into a Kubernetes cluster with GoCenter set as an upstream proxy.

Athens is a Go modules repository that you can host privately on your own infrastructure. GoCenter is a public repository for Go modules, one of several ongoing community project contributions from JFrog, the creator of Artifactory. When you configure Athens to use GoCenter as an upstream repository, Athens will attempt to fulfill every request for a Go module from GoCenter’s public repository of over 60,000 public modules.

As seen in the prior blog post, Athens’ upstream proxy is configured through a filter file. When we install Athens into a K8s cluster through its available Helm chart, however, we don’t create the filter file directly. Instead, we must provide the Helm chart with override settings so it can create the filter file for us correctly in the pod where Athens runs.

Before You Start

To install Athens to a Kubernetes cluster, you’ll need to make sure to have these prerequisite conditions:

In addition, you will want to serve Athens through the secure https protocol using TLS certificates. While not demanded for Athens to function, this is very strongly recommended as a best practice. Complying with this also requires:

Installing Athens with GoCenter support

The Athens public Helm chart repository provides the fastest and most reliable chart for installing Athens to a K8s cluster.

Step 1: Add the Helm Chart Repository

Using the helm repo add command of the Helm client,  add the Athens public Helm chart repository.

$ helm repo add gomods
$ helm repo update

Step 2: Define Helm Chart Overrides

To configure GoCenter as the upstream proxy for Athens, as well as configure Athens for TLS (https) protocol, you must prepare anoverride-values.yaml file:

  enabled: true
  annotations: "letsencrypt-prod" "true" "true" nginx
    - secretName:
        - ""
  enabled: true
  url: ""


The example `override-values.yaml` file above sets automatic creation/retrieval of TLS certificates from Let’s Encrypt with cert-manager and uses nginx-ingress controller to expose Athens externally to internet. It also sets as Athens upstream proxy.

Note: Replace with your domain. You’ll also need to  add to your domain DNS A record the LoadBalancer IP address of the nginx-ingress controller, and assign to it

Step 3: Install Athens

Now you are ready to install Athens through the Helm chart:

$ helm upgrade --install athens --namespace athens gomods/athens-proxy -f override-values.yaml

NAME:   athens
LAST DEPLOYED: Tue May  7 20:33:57 2019
==> v1/ConfigMap
NAME                          DATA  AGE
athens-athens-proxy-upstream  1     2s
==> v1/Deployment
athens-athens-proxy  0/1    1           0          2s
==> v1/Pod(related)
NAME                                         READY  STATUS             RESTARTS  AGE
athens-athens-proxy-59977f698b-lslhw         0/1    ContainerCreating  0         2s
athens-athens-proxy-jaeger-55964f675c-nvgz9  0/1    ContainerCreating  0         2s
==> v1/Service
NAME                        TYPE       CLUSTER-IP  EXTERNAL-IP  PORT(S)                                                  AGE
athens-athens-proxy         ClusterIP         80/TCP                                                   2s
athens-athens-proxy-jaeger  ClusterIP         14268/TCP,5775/UDP,6831/UDP,6832/UDP,5778/TCP,16686/TCP  2s
==> v1beta1/Deployment
NAME                        READY  UP-TO-DATE  AVAILABLE  AGE
athens-athens-proxy-jaeger  0/1    1           0          2s
==> v1beta1/Ingress
NAME                 HOSTS                ADDRESS  PORTS  AGE
athens-athens-proxy  80, 443  2s

The Athens instance can be accessed by the URL

Step 4: Set GOPROXY to Athens

With Athens installed into your Kubernetes cluster, you can set your GOPROXY environment variable to the URL for Athens.

$ export GOPROXY=

Note: Remember to replace with your domain.

Once set, the go client will resolve all module requests to Athens, which will in turn fulfill those requests from GoCenter.

Verifying Results

Once Athens is installed, you can use kubectl to check that pods are running:

$ kubectl -n athens get pods
NAME                                          READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
athens-athens-proxy-59977f698b-lslhw          1/1     Running   0          54s
athens-athens-proxy-jaeger-55964f675c-nvgz9   1/1     Running   0          54s

Now Kubernetes is ready to steer Athens in its clusters, and your development team can share the full benefits of Athens and GoCenter together.