Argo CD calculates the diff between the desired state and the live state in order to define if an Application is out-of-sync. This same logic is also used in Argo CD UI to display the differences between live and desired states for all resources belonging to an application.
Argo CD currently has 3 different strategies to calculate diffs:
- Legacy: This is the main diff strategy used by default. It applies a 3-way diff based on live state, desired state and last-applied-configuration (annotation).
- Structured-Merge Diff: Strategy automatically applied when enabling Server-Side Apply sync option.
- Server-Side Diff: New strategy that invokes a Server-Side Apply in dryrun mode in order to generate the predicted live state.
Current Status: Beta (Since v2.5.0)
This is diff strategy is automatically used when Server-Side Apply sync option is enabled. It uses the structured-merge-diff library used by Kubernetes to calculate diffs based on fields ownership. There are some challenges using this strategy to calculate diffs for CRDs that define default values. After different issues were identified by the community, this strategy is being discontinued in favour of Server-Side Diff.
Current Status: Beta (Since v2.10.0)
This diff strategy will execute a Server-Side Apply in dryrun mode for each resource of the application. The response of this operation is then compared with the live state in order to provide the diff results. The diff results are cached and new Server-Side Apply requests to Kube API are only triggered when:
- An Application refresh or hard-refresh is requested.
- There is a new revision in the repo which the Argo CD Application is targeting.
- The Argo CD Application spec changed.
One advantage of Server-Side Diff is that Kubernetes Admission Controllers will participate in the diff calculation. If for example a validation webhook identifies a resource to be invalid, that will be informed to Argo CD during the diff stage rather than during the sync stage.
Server-Side Diff can be enabled at the Argo CD Controller level or per Application.
Enabling Server-Side Diff for all Applications
Add the following entry in the argocd-cmd-params-cm configmap:
Note: It is necessary to restart the
after applying this configuration.
Enabling Server-Side Diff for one application
Add the following annotation in the Argo CD Application resource:
Disabling Server-Side Diff for one application
If Server-Side Diff is enabled globally in your Argo CD instance, it is possible to disable it at the application level. In order to do so, add the following annotation in the Application resource:
Note: Please report any issues that forced you to disable the Server-Side Diff feature
Server-Side Diff does not include changes made by mutation webhooks by default. If you want to include mutation webhooks in Argo CD diffs add the following annotation in the Argo CD Application resource:
Note: This annoation is only effective when Server-Side Diff is enabled. To enable both options for a given application add the following annotation in the Argo CD Application resource: