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Release Notes

The v0.11 release is a significant milestone for the cert-manager project, and is full of new features. We are making a number of changes to our CRDs in a backwards incompatible way, in preparation for moving into v1beta1 and eventually v1 in the coming releases:

  • Renaming our API group from to
  • Bumping the API version from v1alpha1 to v1alpha2
  • Removing fields deprecated in v0.8 (certificate.spec.acme, issuer.spec.http01 and issuer.spec.dns01)
  • Renaming annotation prefixes on Ingress & cert-manager resources to use the new prefix, and in some cases
  • Using the status subresource for submitting status updates to the API, first introduced in Kubernetes 1.9.
  • Tightening use of common name vs DNS name with ACME certificates

We have also switched to using the new [CertificateRequest] based Certificate issuance implementation, first introduced in alpha in cert-manager v0.9.

These changes enable exciting new integrations points in cert-manager, enabling new things like:

  • External issuer types, such as the [Smallstep Step Issuer]
  • Deeper integrations into Kubernetes, with an experimental [CSI driver] that can be used to automatically mount signed certificates into pods
  • Experimental integration with Istio, allowing you to utilize any of cert-manager's configured issuer types/CAs with the [node agent]
  • Retrieving certificates without giving cert-manager access to your private keys

This is a really exciting time for cert-manager, as these changes have been made possible by refining our past decisions around API types, and they will enable us to push ahead with many new features in the project.

Important information

With all of these great changes, there is also work to do.

The changes to our CRD resources mean that upgrading requires more manual intervention than in previous releases.

It's recommended that you backup and completely uninstall cert-manager before re-installing the v0.11 release.

You will also need to manually update all your backed up cert-manager resource types to use the new apiVersion setting.

A table of resources and their old and new apiVersions:

KindOld apiVersionNew apiVersion

You must also make sure to update all references to cert-manager in annotations to their new prefix:

AnnotationAffected resourcesNew annotation,,,,


This release has seen code contributions from a number of people in the community:

  • Adam Kunicki
  • Alpha
  • Brian Hong
  • Dan Farrell
  • Dig-Doug
  • Galo Navarro
  • Ingo Gottwald
  • James Munnelly
  • JoshVanL
  • Kevin Lefevre
  • Lachlan Cooper
  • Michel Blankleder
  • Toni Menzel
  • Wellington F Silva
  • Woz
  • dulltz

As always, a big thank you to those opening issues, replying to issues and helping out in the Slack channel. As well as working in other projects to help users secure services running on Kubernetes.

Notable changes

Renamed API group

Due to new policies in the upstream Kubernetes project, we have renamed the API group from to

This is a breaking change to our API surface as mentioned above, but it is a long time coming. The original suffix was used when the project first started as there was not official guidance or information on how ThirdPartyResources should be structured. Now that this area of the Kubernetes project has evolved further, we're retrospectively changing this to conform with the new requirements.

Moving to v1alpha2

When cert-manager first started, we defined our APIs based on what we thought made sense for end-users.

Over time, through gathering feedback and monitoring the way users are actually using cert-manager, we've identified some issues with our original API design.

As part of the project moving towards v1, we've identified certain areas of our APIs that are not fit for purpose.

In order to begin the process of moving towards v1, we first deprecated a number of fields in our v1alpha1 API. We've now dropped these API fields in v1alpha2, in preparation for declaring this new API as v1beta1 in the coming releases.

New CertificateRequest resource type

The activation of CertificateRequest controllers are no longer behind a feature and are now instead enabled by default. This means that when requesting certificates using the Certificate resource the CertificateRequest resource will be used as the default and only way to honor the request. The addition of this resource introduces the ability for much greater extension points to cert-manager, notably out-of-tree issuers, Istio integrations, and experimental tooling such as a CSI driver. You can read more about the motivation and design of this resource in the enhancement document.

This change should cause no disruption to how end users interact with cert-manager, with the exception of debugging now requiring this resource to be inspected also.

Support for out-of-tree issuer types

With the graduation of the CertificateRequest resource, cert-manager now supports out-of-tree issuers by default and treats them the same as any other core issuer. This process is facilitated by the addition of the group field on issuer references inside your Certificate and CertificateRequest resources.

If you're interested in implementing your own out-of-tree issuer, or if there is a provider you would like see implemented, feel free to reach out either through a GitHub issue or send us a message in the #cert-manager channel on Kubernetes Slack!

New fields on Certificate resources

This release includes a new field URISANs on the Certificate resource. With this, you can specify unique resource identifier URLs as subject alternative names on your certificates. This addition unblocks development for an Istio integration where mTLS can be configured using cert-manager as the backend and in turn opens up all cert-manager issuer types as valid certificate providers in your Istio PKI.

Improved ACME Order controller design

Some users may have noticed issues with the 'Order' resource not automatically detecting changes to their configure 'solvers' on their Issuer resources.

In v0.11, we've rewritten the ACME Order handling code to:

  1. better handle updates to Issuers during an Order
  2. improve ACME API usage - we now cache more information about the ACME Order process in the Kubernetes API, which allows us to act more reliably and without causing excessive requests to the ACME server.

No longer generating 'temporary certificates' by default

Previously, we have issued a temporary certificate when a Certificate resource targeting an ACME issuer has been created. This would later be overridden once the real signed certificate has been issued. The reason for this behavior was to facilitate compatibility with ingress-gce however, many users have had trouble with this in the past and has led to lots of confusion - namely where applications would need restarting to take on the signed certificate rather than the temporary.

In this release, no temporary certificates will be created unless explicitly requested. This can be done using the annotation "": "true on Certifcate resources.

We've additionally changed the behavior of ingress-shim to now add this new annotation to Certificate resources if "" is present on the Ingress resource.


Action Required

  • Rename API group to (#2096, @munnerz)
  • Move Order and Challenge resources to the API group (#2093, @munnerz)
  • Move v1alpha1 API to v1alpha2 (#2087, @munnerz)
  • Allow controlling whether temporary certificates are issued using a new annotation on Certificate resources. Previously, when an ACME certificate was requested, a temporary certificate would be issued in order to improve compatibility with ingress-gce. ingress-shim has been updated to automatically set this annotation on managed Certificate resources when using the 'edit-in-place' annotation, but users that have manually created their Certificate resources will need to manually add the new annotation to their Certificate resources. (#2089, @munnerz)

Other Notable Changes

  • Change the default leader election namespace to kube-system instead of the same namespace as the cert-manager pod, to avoid multiple copies of cert-manager accidentally being run at once (#2155, @munnerz)
  • Adds URISANs field to Certificate.Spec resource. (#2085, @JoshVanL)
  • Move status to a CRD Subresource (#2097, @JoshVanL)
  • Enables supporting out of tree issuers with ingress annotations (#2105, @JoshVanL)
  • Bump Kubernetes dependencies to 1.16.0 (#2095, @munnerz)
  • Adds Certificate conformance suite (#2034, @JoshVanL)
  • Build using Go 1.13.1 (#2114, @munnerz)
  • Adds Kubernetes authentication type for Vault Issue (#2040, @JoshVanL)
  • Service account annotation support in Helm chart (#2086, @serialx)
  • Update AWS Go SDK to 1.24.1 to support IAM Roles for Service Accounts (#2083, @serialx)
  • Remove deprecated API fields and functionality (#2082, @munnerz)
  • Update hack/ci/ script to use the right path of cert-manager charts. (#2074, @srvaroa)
  • Simplify, improve and rewrite the acmeorders controller (#2041, @munnerz)