An EventListener is a Kubernetes object that listens for events at a specified port on your Kubernetes cluster. It exposes an addressable sink that receives incoming event and specifies one or more Triggers. The sink is a Kubernetes service running the sink logic inside a dedicated Pod.

Each Trigger, in turn, allows you to specify one or more TriggerBindings that allow you to extract fields and their values from event payloads, and one or more TriggerTemplates that receive field values from the corresponding TriggerBindings and allow Tekton Triggers to instantiate resources such as TaskRuns and PipelineRuns with that data.

If you need to modify, filter, or validate the event payload data before passing it to a TriggerBinding, you can optionally specify one or more Interceptors.

Structure of an EventListener

An EventListener definition consists of the following fields:

  • Required:
    • apiVersion - specifies the target API version, for example triggers.tekton.dev/v1alpha1
    • kind - specifies that this Kubernetes resource is an EventListener object
    • metadata - specifies data that uniquely identifies this EventListener object, for example a name
    • spec - specifies the configuration of your EventListener:
    • serviceAccountName - Specifies the ServiceAccount the EventListener will use to instantiate Tekton resources
  • Optional:
    • triggers - specifies a list of Triggers to execute upon event detection
    • replicas - specifies the number of EventListener pods to create (only for kubernetesResource objects)
    • podTemplate - specifies the PodTemplate for your EventListener pod
    • resources - specifies the resources that will be available to the event listening service
    • namespaceSelector - specifies the namespace for the EventListener; this is where the EventListener looks for the specified Triggers and stores the Tekton objects it instantiates upon event detection
    • labelSelector - specifies the labels for which your EventListener recognizes Triggers and instantiates the specified Tekton objects

See our Tekton Triggers examples for ready-to-use example EventListener definitions.

Specifying the Kubernetes service account

You must specify a Kubernetes service account in the serviceAccountName field that the EventListener will use to instantiate Tekton objects. This account must have the following assigned: - A Kubernetes Role that permits the get, list, and watch verbs for each Trigger specified in the EventListener - A Kubernetes ClusterRole that permits read access to ClusterTriggerBindings objects - Permissions to create the Tekton resources specified in the associated TriggerTemplate, as shown in the following example - If you’re using namespaceSelectors in your EventListener, a ClusterRole that permits read access to all Trigger objects on the cluster.ources across the cluster.

Specifying Triggers

You can optionally specify one or more Triggers that define the actions to take when the EventListener detects a qualifying event. You can specify either a reference to an external Trigger object or reference/define the TriggerBindings, TriggerTemplates, and Interceptors in the Trigger definition. A Trigger definition specifies the following fields:

  • name - (optional) a valid Kubernetes name that uniquely identifies the Trigger
  • interceptors - (optional) a list of Interceptors that will process event payload data before passing it to the associated TriggerBinding
  • bindings - (optional) a list of TriggerBindings for this Trigger; you can either reference existing TriggerBindings or embed their definitions directly
  • template - (optional) a list of TriggerTemplates for this Trigger; you can either reference existing TriggerTemplates or embed their definitions directly
  • triggerRef - (optional) a reference to an external Trigger

Below is an example Trigger definition that references the desired TriggerBindings, TriggerTemplates, and Interceptors:

  - name: trigger-1
      - github:
          eventTypes: ["pull_request"]
      - ref: pipeline-binding # Reference to a TriggerBinding object
      - name: message # Embedded Binding
        value: Hello from the Triggers EventListener!
      ref: pipeline-template

Below is an example Trigger definition that specifies a reference to an external Trigger object:

    - triggerRef: trigger

Below is an example Trigger definition that embeds a triggerTemplate definition directly:

  - name: "my-trigger"
          - name: "my-param-name"
        - apiVersion: "tekton.dev/v1beta1"
          kind: TaskRun
            generateName: "pr-run-"
              - image: ubuntu
                script: echo "hello there"

Below is an example Trigger definition tailored to a multi-tenant scenario in which you may not want all of your Trigger objects to have the same permissions as the EventListener. In such case, you can specify a different service account at the Trigger level. This service account overrides the service account specified in the EventListener.

  - name: trigger-1
    serviceAccountName: trigger-1-sa
      - github:
          eventTypes: ["pull_request"]
      - ref: pipeline-binding
      - ref: message-binding
      ref: pipeline-template

You must update the Role assigned to the service account specified in the EventListener as shown below to allow it to impersonate the service account specified in the Trigger:

- apiGroups: [""]
  resources: ["serviceaccounts"]
  verbs: ["impersonate"]

Specifying a PodTemplate

Note: This field has been deprecated; use the Resources field instead. The legacy documentation below is presented for reference only.

The podTemplate field is optional. A PodTemplate is specifications for creating EventListener pod.

A PodTemplate consists of: - tolerations - list of toleration which allows pods to schedule onto the nodes with matching taints. This is needed only if you want to schedule EventListener pod to a tainted node. - nodeSelector - key-value labels the node has which an EventListener pod should be scheduled on.

      app: test
    - key: key
      value: value
      operator: Equal
      effect: NoSchedule

Specifying Resources

You can optionally customize the sink deployment for your EventListener using the resources field. It accepts the following types of objects: - Kubernetes Resource using the kubernetesResource field - Custom Resource objects via the CustomResource field

Legal values for the PodSpec and Containers sub-fields for both kubernetesResource and CustomResource fields are:


Legal values for the Containers sub-field are:


Specifying a kubernetesResource object

Below is an example resources: field definition specifying a kubernetesResource object:

      serviceType: NodePort
              key: "value"
              key: "value"
            serviceAccountName: tekton-triggers-github-sa
              app: test
            - key: key
              value: value
              operator: Equal
              effect: NoSchedule

You can optionally use the replicas field to instruct Tekton Triggers to deploy more than one instance of your EventListener in individual Kubernetes Pods. If you do not specify this value, the default number of instances (and thus, the number of respective Pods) per EventListener is 1. If you set a value for the replicas field while creating or upgrading the EventListener's YAML file, that value overrides any value you set manually later as as well as a value set by any other deployment mechanism, such as HPA.

Note: The spec.replicas field is now the spec.resources.kubernetesResource.replicas field.

Specifying a CustomResource object

You can specify a Kubernetes Custom Resource object using the CustomResource field. This field has one sub-field, runtime.RawExtension that allows you to specify dynamic objects.

Contract for the CustomResource object

The CustomResource object must abide by the contract shown below.

Contract-mandated CRD structure for the spec field:


Contract-mandated CRD structure for the status field:

type EventListenerStatus struct {
  duckv1beta1.Status `json:",inline"`

  // EventListener is addressable via the DNS address of the sink.
  duckv1alpha1.AddressStatus `json:",inline"`

Note: The CRD must follow the WithPod{} spec.

Below is an example resources: field definition specifying a CustomResource object using a Knative Service:

Note: This example assumes that Knative is installed on your cluster.

      apiVersion: serving.knative.dev/v1
      kind: Service
#      metadata:
#        name: knativeservice # name is optional; if not specified, Triggers substitutes the EventListener's name with an "el-" prefix, for example: el-github-knative-listener
            serviceAccountName: tekton-triggers-example-sa
            - resources:
                  memory: "64Mi"
                  cpu: "250m"
                  memory: "128Mi"
                  cpu: "500m"

Specifying Interceptors

An Interceptor is a “catch-all” event processor for a specific platform that runs before the TriggerBinding. It allows you to perform payload filtering, verification (using a secret), transformation, define and test trigger conditions, and implement other useful processing. Once the event data passes through an Interceptor, it then goes to the Trigger before you pass the payload data to the TriggerBinding. You can also use an Interceptor to modify the behavior of the associated Trigger.

For more information, see Interceptors.

Constraining EventListeners to specific namespaces

You can optionally specify a list of namespaces in which your EventListener will search for Triggers and instantiate the specified Tekton objects using the namespaceSelector field.

If you omit this field, your EventListener will only recognize Triggers specified in its definition or found under one or more specified target labels.

Below is an example namespaceSelector field that configures the EventListener to use the foo and bar namespaces:

    - foo
    - bar

If you want your EventListener to recognize Triggers across your entire cluster, use a wildcard as the only namespace:

    - *

Constraining EventListeners to specific labels

You can optionally specify the labels for which your EventListener recognizes Triggers and instantiates the specified Tekton objects using the labelSelector field. This field uses the standard Kubernetes labelSelector mechanism and supports the matchExpressions sub-field. If you omit the labelSelector field, the EventListener accepts all resource labels.

Below is an example labelSelector field definition that constrains your EventListener to only recognize Triggers within its own namespace that are labeled foo=bar:

      foo: bar

Below is an example labelSelector field definition that uses the matchExpression sub-field to specify expressions that allow the EventListener to recognize Triggers across all namespaces in the cluster:

    - *
      - {key: environment, operator: In, values: [dev,stage]}
      - {key: trigger-phase, operator: NotIn, values: [testing]}

Specifying EventListener timeouts

An EventListener times out if it cannot process an event request within a timeout specified in controller.yaml. The timeouts are as follows: - -el-readtimeout: Read timeout; default is 5 seconds. - -el-writetimeout: Write timeout; default is 40 seconds. - -el-idletimeout: Idle timeout; default is 120 seconds. - -el-timeouthandler: Server route handler timeout; default is 30 seconds.

Labels in EventListeners

By default, each EventListener automatically attaches the following labels to all resources it instantiates:

Name Description
triggers.tekton.dev/eventlistener Name of the EventListener that instantiated the resource.
triggers.tekton.dev/trigger Name of the Trigger that instantiated the resource.
triggers.tekton.dev/eventid UID of the incoming event.

Note: Because they’re used as labels, EventListener and Trigger names must conform to the Kubernetes syntax and character set requirements.

Annotations in EventListeners

Tekton Triggers propagates all annotations that you include in your EventListener to the Kubernetes service and deployment created by that EventListener. Keep in mind that annotations propagated from the EventListener override annotations already present in its Kubernetes service and deployment.

Below is an example load balancer protocol annotation in an EventListener definition that automatically propagates to the EventListener's service:

apiVersion: triggers.tekton.dev/v1alpha1
kind: EventListener
  name: eventlistener
    service.beta.kubernetes.io/aws-load-balancer-backend-protocol: https

Understanding EventListener response

An EventListener responds with a 201 CREATED HTTP response when at least one specified Trigger executes successfully. Otherwise, it responds with a 202 ACCEPTED HTTP response.

After detecting an event, the EventListener responds with the following message:

  "eventListener": "listener",
  "namespace": "default",
  "eventListenerUID": "ea71a6e4-9531-43a1-94fe-6136515d938c",
  "eventID": "14a657c3-6816-45bf-b214-4afdaefc4ebd"
  • eventListenerUID - UID of the target EventListener.
  • eventID - UID assigned to this event request

Deprecated Fields

These fields are included in EventListener responses, but will be removed in a future release.

  • eventListener - name of the target EventListener. Use eventListenerUID instead.
  • namespace - namespace of the target EventListener. Use eventListenerUID instead.

TLS HTTPS support in EventListeners

Tekton Triggers supports both HTTP and TLS-based HTTPS connections. To configure your EventListener for TLS, add the TLS_CERT and TLS_KEY reserved environment variables using the secretKeyRef variable type, then specify a secret containing the cert and key files. See TEP-0027 and our TLS configuration example for more information.

Obtaining the status of deployed EventListeners

Use the following command to get a list of EventListeners deployed on your cluster along with their statuses:

kubectl get el

You will get a response similar to the following:

NAME                       ADDRESS                                                             AVAILABLE   REASON                     READY   REASON
tls-listener-interceptor   http://el-tls-listener-interceptor.default.svc.cluster.local        True        MinimumReplicasAvailable

Where for each returned line, the column values are, from left to right: - NAME - name of the EventListener - ADDRESS - IP address or URL of the EventListener - AVAILABLE - readiness state of the associated Deployment and Service - REASON - reason for the value displayed in the AVAILABLE column - READY - readiness state of the Kubernetes Custom Resource object specified in the EventListener - REASON - reason for the value displayed in the READY column

Note: The status messaging described above is being refactored. For more information, see Issue 932.

Configuring logging for EventListeners

You can configure logging for your EventListener using the config-logging-triggers ConfigMap located in the EventListener's namespace. Tekton Triggers automatically creates and populates this ConfigMap with default values described in config-logging.yaml.

To access your EventListener logs, query your cluster for Pods whose eventlistener label matches the name of your EventListener object. For example:

kubectl get pods --selector eventlistener=my-eventlistener

Configuring metrics for EventListeners

The following pipeline metrics are available on the eventlistener Service on port 9000.

Name Type Labels/Tags Status
eventlistener_triggered_resources Counter kind=<kind> experimental
eventlistener_http_duration_seconds_[bucket, sum, count] Histogram status=<status>

Several kinds of exporters can be configured for an EventListener, including Prometheus, Google Stackdriver, and many others. You can configure metrics using the config-observability-triggers config map in the EventListener namespaces. There is a config-observability-triggers configmap in the tekton-pipelines namespace that can be configured for the operation of the Triggers webhook and controller components.

See the Knative documentation for more information about available exporters and configuration values.

Exposing an EventListener outside of the cluster

By default, ClusterIP services such as EventListeners are only accessible within the cluster on which they are running. You can expose them outside of the cluster in one of the following ways: - Using a Kubernetes Ingress object - Using the NGINX Ingress Controller - Using OpenShift Route

Exposing an EventListener using a Kubernetes Ingress object

Use the Tekton create-ingress task to configure an Ingress object using self-signed certificates. If you are using a cloud-based Kubernetes solution such as Google Kubernetes Engine, the Kubernetes Ingress object will not work. Instead, use the NGINX Ingress Controller as described in the next section.

Exposing an EventListener using the NGINX Ingress Controller

Below are instructions for installing and configuring the NGINX Ingress Controller with Tekton Triggers on Google Kubernetes Cluster version 1.13.7-gke.24. For instructions on installing the NGINX Ingress Controller on other Kubernetes services as well as additional installation options for the example below, see the NGINX Ingress Controller Installation Guide.

  1. Install the NGINX Ingress Controller: sh kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes/ingress-nginx/controller-v0.34.1/deploy/static/provider/cloud/deploy.yaml
  2. Obtain the name of your EventListener service: sh kubectl get el <EVENTLISTENR_NAME> -o=jsonpath='{.status.configuration.generatedName}{"\n"}'
  3. Instantiate the Ingress object: ```yaml apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1 kind: Ingress metadata: name: ingress-resource annotations: kubernetes.io/ingress.class: nginx nginx.ingress.kubernetes.io/ssl-redirect: “false” spec: rules:
    • http: paths: - path: / backend: serviceName: EVENT_LISTENER_SERVICE_NAME # REPLACE WITH YOUR SERVICE NAME FROM STEP 2 servicePort: 8080 ```

See NGINX Configuration for more information on configuring the NGINX Ingress Controller.

  1. Obtain the IP address of the Ingress object:

    kubectl get ingress ingress-resource
  2. Test the configuragion with curl or set up a GitHub Webhook that sends events to it.

Exposing an EventListener using Openshift Route

Below are instructions for configuring an OpenShift 4.2 cluster running API version v1.14.6+32dc4a0. For more information, see [Route Configuration]https://docs.openshift.com/container-platform/4.2/networking/routes/route-configuration.html).

  1. Obtain the name of your EventListener service: sh oc get el <EVENTLISTENR_NAME> -o=jsonpath='{.status.configuration.generatedName}'
  2. Expose the EventListener service: sh oc expose svc/[el-listener] # REPLACE el-listener WITH YOUR SERVICE NAME FROM STEP 1
  3. Obtain the IP address of the exposed route: sh oc get route el-listener -o=jsonpath='{.spec.host}' # REPLACE el-listener WITH YOUR SERVICE NAME FROM STEP 1
  4. Test the configuragion with curl or set up a GitHub Webhook that sends events to it.

Understanding the deployment of an EventListener

Below is a high-level walkthrough through the deployment of an EventListener using a GitHub example provided by Tekton Triggers.

  1. Instantiate the example EventListener on your cluster:

    kubectl create -f https://github.com/tektoncd/triggers/tree/master/examples/github

    Tekton Triggers creates a new Deployment and Service for the EventListener. using the EventListener definition, metadata.labels, and pre-existing values such as container Image, Name, and Port. Tekton Triggers uses the EventListener name prefixed with el- to name the Deployment and Service when instantiating them. For exampl,e if the EventListener name is foo, the Deployment and Service names are named el-foo.

  2. Use kubectl to verify the Deployment is running on your cluster: ```bash kubectl get deployment NAME READY UP-TO-DATE AVAILABLE AGE el-github-listener-interceptor 11 1 1 11s

  3. Use kubectl to verify the Service is running on your cluster:

    kubectl get svc
    NAME                             TYPE        CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)    AGE
    el-github-listener-interceptor   ClusterIP   <none>        8080/TCP   52s
  4. Obtain the URL on which the EventListener is listening for events:

    kubectl get eventlistener
    NAME                          ADDRESS                                                              AVAILABLE   REASON
    github-listener-interceptor   http://el-github-listener-interceptor.ptest.svc.cluster.local:8080   True        MinimumReplicasAvailable

See our GitHub EventListener example to try instantiating an EventListener locally.

Deploying EventListeners in multi-tenant scenarios

EventListeners are effectively Tekton clients that use HTTP to bypass the normal Kubernetes authentication mechanism established through kubeconfig files and the kubectl config command tree. Because of this, you must be conscious of your configuration decisions, such as: - How to securely expose each EventListener to the outside of your cluster, - How to securely control how each EventListener and its associated objects, such as Interceptors, interact with data on your cluster.

At the minimum, each EventListener specifies its own Kubernetes Service account as explained earlier and it acts on all events it receives with the permissions of that service account. If your business needs mandate more granular permission control across the Triggers and Interceptors specified in your EventListeners, you have the following options: - Deploy each EventListener in its own namespace - Deploy multiple EventListeners in the same namespace - Specify a separate service account for each Trigger

Deploying each EventListener in its own namespace

In this scenario, you create multiple EventListeners that in turn use a variety of Triggers and Interceptors, each EventListener gets its own namespace. This way, you can use a different service account for each namespace and tailor the permissions of those accounts to the functionality of their corresponding EventListeners. Because creating a namespace often instantiates the necessary service accounts based on pre-configured permissions, this also simplifies the deployment process as you simply need to update the permissions associated with those accounts.

However, this approach has the following drawbacks: - Namespaces with separately associated Secrets and ServiceAccounts can be the most expensive items in the Kubernetes etcd store; on large clusters, the capacity of the etcd store can become a concern. - Since each EventListener requires its own HTTP port to listen for events, you must configure your network to allow access to each corresponding IP address and port combination unless you configure an ingress abstraction layer, such as the Kubernetes Ingress object, the NGINX Ingress Controller, or OpenShift Route.

Deploying multiple EventListeners in the same namespace

In this scenario, you create multiple EventListeners in the same namespace. This will require customization of the associated service account(s), secret(s), and RBAC, since the automatically generated defaults are not always ideal, but you will not incur a significant etcd store cost as in the multiple namespace scenario. Network security and configuration overhead concerns, however, still apply as described earlier. You can also achieve a similar result by specifying a separate service account for each Trigger used across your EventListener pool at the cost of increased administration overhead.

Last modified January 1, 0001