cert-manager can be configured to automatically provision TLS certificates for Ingress resources via annotations on your Ingresses.

A small sub-component of cert-manager, ingress-shim, is responsible for this.

How it works

ingress-shim watches Ingress resources across your cluster. If it observes an Ingress with any of the annotations described in the ‘Usage’ section, it will ensure a Certificate resource with the same name as the Ingress, and configured as described on the Ingress exists.

As of the time of writing, it will not update Certificate resources if your Ingress resource changes. It is up to yourself to ensure the corresponding Certificate resource is as required.


Since cert-manager v0.2.2, ingress-shim is deployed automatically as part of a Helm chart installation.

If you would also like to use the old kube-lego "true" annotation for fully automated TLS, you will need to configure a default Issuer when deploying cert-manager. This can be done by adding the following --set when deploying using Helm:

--set ingressShim.defaultIssuerName=letsencrypt-prod \
--set ingressShim.defaultIssuerKind=ClusterIssuer

In the above example, cert-manager will create Certificate resources that reference the ClusterIssuer letsencrypt-prod for all Ingresses that have a "true" annotation.

For more information on deploying cert-manager, read the deployment guide.

Supported annotations

You can specify the following annotations on ingresses in order to trigger Certificate resources to be automatically created:

  • - the name of an Issuer to acquire the certificate required for this ingress from. The Issuer must be in the same namespace as the Ingress resource.
  • - the name of a ClusterIssuer to acquire the certificate required for this ingress from. It does not matter which namespace your Ingress resides, as ClusterIssuers are non-namespaced resources.
  • - by default, if the Issuer specified is an ACME issuer (either through ingress-shim’s defaults, or with one of the above annotations), the ingress-shim will set the ACME challenge mechanism on the Certificate resource it creates to ‘http01’. This annotation can be used to alter this behaviour. Must be one of ‘http01’ or ‘dns01’.
  • - if the ACME challenge type has been set to dns01, this annotation must be specified to instruct cert-manager which DNS provider (as configured on the specified Issuer resource) should be used. This field is required if the challenge type is set to DNS01.
  • "true" - this annotation requires additional configuration of the ingress-shim (see above). Namely, a default issuer must be specified as arguments to the ingress-shim container.
  • "true" - if the ACME challenge type has been set to http01, and the ingress has the ‘ true’ annotation, this controls whether the ingress is modified ‘in-place’, or a new one created specifically for the http01 challenge. If present, and set to “true” the existing ingress will be modified. Any other value, or the absence of the annotation assumes “false”.