A set of Makefiles with common targets to be included in all SKA software repositories as a git submodule.

For any help requests, suggestions, improvements or any issues you may have with the content of this repository please drop us a message on #team-system-support channel at SKAO slack.


These Makefiles are designed to be used both standalone - within an SKA project - and in conjunction with the standard GitLab CI pipeline templates, which can be found in ska-telescope/templates-repository

The Makefiles contain a set of common tagets that standardise the processing and handling of:

  • linting

  • building

  • testing

  • packaging

  • releasing

  • publishing

Artefacts for Python, OCI Images, Helm Charts, Raw files, Sphinx docs, Conan and Ansible Collections.

It also contains a simple framework for deploying Helm Charts, and running PyTest suites against Kubernetes both in cluster and on Minikube.

The general philosophy is to provide the same experience on the desktop for developers, that they will see in the pipelines when it comes to basic actions like lint, build, test etc.

The templates are designed to be imported into the .gitlab-ci.yml pipeline definition using the include: syntax, eg:

# See:


  - lint
  - build
  - test
  - publish
  - pages

# Include CI templates
  # OCI Images
  # do a custom set of build and publish stages
  - project: "ska-telescope/templates-repository"
    file: "gitlab-ci/includes/oci-image-lint.gitlab-ci.yml"

  # Helm Charts
  - project: "ska-telescope/templates-repository"
    file: "gitlab-ci/includes/helm-chart.gitlab-ci.yml"

  # Raw
  - project: "ska-telescope/templates-repository"
    file: "gitlab-ci/includes/raw.gitlab-ci.yml"

  # Conan
  - project: "ska-telescope/templates-repository"
    file: "gitlab-ci/includes/conan.gitlab-ci.yml"

  # Docs pages
  - project: "ska-telescope/templates-repository"
    file: "gitlab-ci/includes/docs-pages.gitlab-ci.yml"

  # .post step finalisers eg: badges
  - project: "ska-telescope/templates-repository"
    file: "gitlab-ci/includes/finaliser.gitlab-ci.yml"

  # k8s steps
  - project: "ska-telescope/templates-repository"
    file: "gitlab-ci/includes/k8s.gitlab-ci.yml"

For more details, see

How to include Makefiles in a Project

Add this repository as a submodule in the root directory of your project as the .make directory:

git submodule add .make

Make sure that you add and commit the .gitmodules file and .make directory:

git add .gitmodules .make
git commit -s

Now include the required(i.e. files in your Makefile:

include .make/

Or, you can include specific ones:

# include makefile targets for Kubernetes management
-include .make/

## The following should be standard includes
# include core makefile targets for release management
-include .make/

# include your own private variables for custom deployment configuration
-include PrivateRules.mak

Pipeline integration

To ensure that your GitLab CI pipeline automatically clones submodules, add the following to .gitlab-ci.yml:


Keeping Up-to-date

:warn: ensure that the repository instructions are updated to remind developers to clone/update submodules. Ensure that --recurse-submodules is used on the clone:

git clone --recurse-submodules ...

Ensure that updates are pulled:

git pull --recurse-submodules

or just simply run:

make make

Integrating make with your workflow

The common set of make targets provided by this repository are designed to both be integrated with the GitLab CI templates provided here and as part of the developer workflow to manage lifecycle activities from linting, building to tagging and releasing, and to be able to first check whether CI related steps will run in the pipelines as expected.

They are broadly broken up into groups (in .mk files) aligned with different artefact types, and the common release process:

  • - lint, build, publish

  • - convenience include for,,,

  • #TODO

  • - build Sphinx docs (mostly published to Read the Docs)

  • - Helm Chart lint, build, publish

  • - Testing Helm Charts against Kubernetes

  • - update .make submodule

  • - OCI Images lint, build, publish

  • - format (code), lint, build, test, publish

  • - build, publish

  • - build, publish

  • - management of the .release files and language/framework specific metadata and version files (eg: pyproject.toml, Chart.yaml, galaxy.yml), and git tag management

  • - help, long-help

Each of the publish make targets also handles the decoration of the specific artefact with the necessary SKAO metadata. For OCI Images, this is adding LABELs, and for other artefacts it is inserting file - in both cases, adding GitLab CI pipeline variables that describe the artefact, where it came from and how it was built. You can read more about this in developer portal here

Hooks for Developers

The main make targets for each artefact type eg: lint, build, test, publish - have hooks that can be overridden by the Developer to enable pre and post processing. For example, taking the helm-lint target, there are dummy(empty) targets for helm-lint-pre and helm-lint-post. If a target for helm-lint-pre is defined in the root(local) Makefile of the project that includes the .make files, it will be guaranteed to be executed before the helm-lint is carried out, eg:

# include Helm Chart support
include .make/

helm-pre-lint: ## make sure auto-generate values.yaml happens prior to linting chart
  envsubst < charts/widget/ >charts/widget/values.yaml

It is also possible to overide common variables on a case by case basis, for example PYTHON_VARS_AFTER_PYTEST is a variable that is used both in the context of python-test and k8s-test. It could be set globally and then specialised to a particular call as follows (example from ska-tango-examples):

PYTHON_VARS_AFTER_PYTEST = -m 'not post_deployment' --forked \

# set different switches for in cluster: --true-context
   --disable-pytest-warnings --count=1 --timeout=300 --forked --true-context

Creating a release


  • branch for work git checkout -b xx-999-marvelous-thing

  • edit, hackedy hack hack hack files

  • commit and push work git commit -a -s && git push -u origin xx-999-marvelous-thing

  • create Merge Request from the branch, and rinse and repeat until happy work is done and tested (optional: get early feedback on the MR)

  • happy work is done? Then get code review, get approval, and merge the Merge Request

  • checkout the default branch and pull git checkout <default> && git pull

  • create a Issue in the Release Management project

  • bump the .release file version with make bump-patch-release, make bump-minor-release, or make bump-major-release

  • create the git tag with make create-git-tag - this will also commit the changes to the .release file. Make sure that the commit message starts with the Jira Issue that you have just created, REL-(Ticket number that was just created)

  • push up the last commit (if any for the .release file) and the git tag: make push-git-tag, this will trigger the following events:

    • a release page has been added to the tag you have just created in Gitlab

    • a link to the release notes has been added to your REL jira ticket, under the release notes field and also in the Issue Links

    • a message to slack has been sent with the new artefacts that were published to CAR

  • check your CI pipeline to make sure all artefacts have been built and published on the tag pipeline run

Changelog Management and Release Notes Publishing

The changelog regenation process relies on the generate-changelog make target present in the makefile. It is meant to be used in a GitLab tag pipeline job as it depends on the following variables to publish the release notes to a newly created tagged commit:






The process can also be customized using the following variables:

  • CHANGELOG_FILE - Used to specify the changelog file that is meant to keep the release notes for every release. Defaults to

  • CHANGELOG_VERSION - Used to change the default git-chglog version used. Defaults to 0.15.0.

  • CHANGELOG_CONFIG - Used to overwrite the git-chglog config file. Defaults to .make/.chglog/config.yml.

  • CHANGELOG_TEMPLATE - Used to overwrite the git-chglog template used to generate the changelog output. Defaults to .make/.chglog/

Get Help

As soon as you include the .make/ file in your project Makefile, you will have access to the built in help features. These will describe the targets, their hooks and variables.

To get the short help, run make or make help to see all the documented targets and variables. You can also provide a section name as an argument to get a subset eg: make help oci, to get all of the OCI Image supporting short help. The short help describes the public make targets, and variables available.

It is also possible to get more detailed help using make long-help which will give a more indepth description of the targets supported and their intended use. As before, you can get a subset by providing a section as an argument eg: make long-help oci. You could also just run make long-help and follow the prompts.

These integrations are supported by the SKA Systems Team, and assistance can also be gained through #team-system-support Slack channel

Contributing to the Repository

You are welcome to create a MR and assign it to the any of CODEOWNERS (see ./CODEOWNERS file).

How to test the repository

The repository is using BATS libraries as a bash unit testing framework.

  • Testing is done from the ./tests directory and all the flags and commands are called based on that directory. Switch to the testing directory: cd tests

  • Install the dependencies with make bats-install

  • Run All Tests with: make tests

  • You can customise which tests to run with UNIT_TESTS(Default: $(CURDIR)/../tests/unit) variable by setting the test file. Note that you need to set the path relative to tests/ folder. For example, to run oci tests only, simply run make test UNIT_TESTS=../tests/unit/05_oci.bats

  • Further BATS flags can be used with BATS_ARGS variable. For example if you only want to run metadata tests using --filter flag for oci tests only, simply run make test UNIT_TESTS=../tests/unit/05_oci.bats BATS_ARGS="--show-output-of-passing-tests --filter 'check metadata'". --show-output-of-passing-tests is helpful in debugging to see the output for apssing tests as well.