Skip to content

Create new functions

Get started

Once you've installed the faas-cli you can start creating and deploying functions via the faas-cli up command or using the individual commands:

  • faas-cli build - build an image into the local Docker library
  • faas-cli push - push that image to a remote container registry
  • faas-cli deploy - deploy your function into a cluster

The faas-cli up command automates all of the above in a single command.

For Raspberry Pi and Arm, you must use the publish command instead of build and push, or up.

See the notes here: Building multi-arch images for Arm and Raspberry Pi

Information about OpenFaaS templates is moving

The guide for OpenFaaS templates is moving to the "Languages" section" in its own section.

Templates

The OpenFaaS CLI has a template engine built-in which can create new functions in a given programming language. The way this works is by reading a list of templates from the ./template location in your current working folder.

Before creating a new function make sure you pull in the official OpenFaaS language templates from GitHub via the templates repository.

$ faas-cli template pull

This page shows how to generate functions in the most popular languages and explains how you can manage their dependencies too.

Classic vs. of-watchdog templates

The Classic Templates are held in the openfaas/templates repository and are based upon the Classic Watchdog which uses STDIO to communicate with your function. The of-watchdog uses HTTP to communicate with functions and most of its templates are available in the openfaas organisation in their own separate repositories on GitHub and in the store.

How to pick:

  • Use the Classic Watchdog if you're starting out or following tutorials or guides
  • Use the of-watchdog if you need more performance or if you need full control of the HTTP response

See also: watchdog design

Template store

You can browse templates from the official store or create your own store and add your own templates there.

To see what templates are available type faas-cli template store list and you should see the following in the terminal:

$ faas-cli template store list

NAME                    SOURCE             DESCRIPTION
csharp                  openfaas           Official C# template
dockerfile              openfaas           Official Dockerfile template
...
ruby-http               openfaas-incubator Ruby 2.4 HTTP template
golang-middleware       openfaas Golang Middleware template
csharp-httprequest      distantcam         C# HTTP template
...

Choose a template and retrieve it locally with the command:

$ faas-cli template store pull csharp

Once downloaded, your chosen template and any others stored in the same repository will be available to use:

$ faas-cli new --list
Languages available as templates:
- csharp

You can add your own store just by specifying the --url flag for both commands to pull and list your custom templates store.

The classic templates are held in the openfaas/templates repository.

Go templates

See: Go template

Python 3 templates

See: Python template

Node.js templates (of-watchdog template)

See: Node template

Java

Two Java templates are provided java11 and java11-vertx, both of which use Gradle as the build system. Please note that the java8 template is deprecated, and should not be used.

If you need a different version, then please fork the templates repository, or contact sales@openfaas.com to access additional templates via your OpenFaaS Premium Subscription.

Support is made available for external code repositories via the build.gradle file where you specify dependencies to fetch from repositories or JAR files to be added via the build.

  • Write a function java-function:
$ faas-cli new --lang java11 java-function
  • Write your code in:

./src/main/Handler.java

  • Write junit tests in:

./src/tests/

  • Update gradle config if needed in:

./build.gradle ./settings.gradle

  • Working with headers (advanced)

You can view the code for the IRequest and IResponse in the OpenFaaS templates-sdk

You can use getHeader(k) on the Request interface to query a header.

To set a header such as content-type you can use setHeader(k, v) on the Response interface.

You can also run the following to create a function using Vert.x

$ faas-cli new --lang java11-vertx java-vertx-function

Bash

Alex Ellis maintains a template for writing functions with Bash:

CSharp / .NET Core

See also: Build ASP.NET Core APIs with Kubernetes and OpenFaaS

You can create functions in .NET Core using C# / CSharp.

  • Write a function named csharp-function

    faas-cli new --lang csharp csharp-function
    

Now you can open your current folder in a tool such as Visual Studio Code and add dependencies using the project (csproj) file.

A community template called csharp-httprequest is recommended for high throughput functions, where access to the HTTP request and response are also required.

Puppeteer

Alex Ellis maintains a Node.js and Puppeteer template for generating screenshots of web-pages and for UI testing.

See: puppeteer template

Rust

Two community-maintained templates are available for Rust users, one which is forking and another which is more high performance, using a HTTP server.

See also: Rust templates

Ruby

Create a function called ruby-function:

$ faas-cli new --lang ruby ruby-function

The directory structure is:

├── ruby-function
│   ├── Gemfile
│   └── handler.rb
├── ruby-function.yml

Your code should be in the handler.rb file

Ruby: Adding a Gem (Library)

Open the Gemfile in the ruby-function directory

Add the following line

gem 'httparty'
Ruby: Using our own Gem

Replace your handler.rb code with the following

require 'httparty'

class Handler
    def run(req)
        return HTTParty.get("http://api.stackexchange.com/2.2/questions?site=stackoverflow&tagged=#{req}")
    end
end
Ruby: Building / Deploy / Run

Edit the ruby-function.yml and point your image to your dockerhub, for example ${your_user}/ruby-function

$ faas-cli up -f ruby-function.yml
...
Using bundler 1.16.4
Fetching multi_xml 0.6.0
Installing multi_xml 0.6.0
Fetching httparty 0.16.2
Installing httparty 0.16.2
Bundle complete! 1 Gemfile dependency, 3 gems now installed.
Bundled gems are installed into `/usr/local/bundle`
Post-install message from httparty:
When you HTTParty, you must party hard!
...

Now you can invoke the function:

$ echo 'OpenFaaS' | faas-cli invoke ruby-function
{
   "quota_remaining" : 298,
   "quota_max" : 300,
   "has_more" : false,
   "items" : [
      {
         "title" : "Scaling with GPU usage",
         "creation_date" : 1536315498,
         "answer_count" : 0,
         "view_count" : 10,
         "is_answered" : false,
...

Ruby HTTP

As an alternative to the ruby template, which uses the classic watchdog, we have an alternative where you can set HTTP response headers.

faas-cli template store pull ruby-http

faas-cli new --lang ruby-http k8s-get-pods

To add support for native dependencies such as kubeclient, you need to add the dev package to the build_options:

version: 1.0
provider:
  name: openfaas
  gateway: http://127.0.0.1:8080
functions:
  k8s-get-pods:
    lang: ruby-http
    handler: ./k8s-get-pods
    image: k8s-get-pods:latest
    build_options:
    - dev

Then update your Gemfile:

source 'https://rubygems.org'

gem "kubeclient"
faas-cli build -f k8s-get-pods.yml

PHP

See also: PHP 8.2

How to Customise a template

It is recommended that you use the official templates as they are provided and if there is a short-coming that you raise a GitHub issue so we can improve the templates for everyone.

All templates are driven by a Dockerfile and can be customised by editing the files found in the ./template folder.

Update the Dockerfile

There are several reasons why you may want to update your Dockerfile, just edit ./template/<language_name>/Dockerfile.

  • New base image - some companies prefer to use their own base images for Docker images for compliance, support or licensing reasons

  • Add native package - sometimes you may want to add a native package from the Alpine Linux repository or the Debian package repository - just add a step into the Dockerfile

  • Try a new version of a base-image - it may be that the project is showing support for Node.js LTS, but you want the cutting-edge version, you can do that too

Update a template's configuration

The name of a template is read from a "template.yml" file kept within the template folder: ./template/<language_name>/template.yml

For csharp we have the following:

language: csharp
fprocess: dotnet ./root.dll
  • language is the display name used for faas-cli new --list.
  • fprocess provides the process to run for each invocation - i.e. your function

Use your own templates

You can use your own Git repository for a custom or forked set of templates. This can be public or private.

See faas-cli template pull for more information.

If you want to set up your own default template location, specify the OPENFAAS_TEMPLATE_URL environmental variable the following way:

export OPENFAAS_TEMPLATE_URL=https://raw.githubusercontent.com/user/mytemplate/customtemplates

Download templates from the template store

Note: In order to access the template store you need 0.8.1 version of the CLI or higher

Check what templates are available in the template store with the CLI by typing:

faas-cli template store list

Pull the desired template by specifying NAME attribute only:

faas-cli template store pull go

or pull the template by mixing the REPOSITORY and NAME attributes the following way:

faas-cli template store pull openfaas/go

To get more information on specific store use the describe verb like:

faas-cli template store describe openfaas/go

or if there is no collision between names use only the name field:

faas-cli template store describe go

If you have your own store with templates, you can set that as your default official store by setting the environmental variable OPENFAAS_TEMPLATE_STORE_URL the following way:

export OPENFAAS_TEMPLATE_STORE_URL=https://raw.githubusercontent.com/user/openfaas-templates/templates.json

Now the source of the store is changed to the URL you have specified above.

Arm / Raspberry Pi

It is possible to migrate to use multi-arch templates with OpenFaaS, feel free to ask the community for direction here.

Otherwise, for Arm and Raspberry Pi you will need to build on the device, and not on your PC or CI server.