OpenFaaS can host multiple types of workloads from functions to microservices, but FaaS Functions have the best support.

Common properties

All workloads must:

  • serve HTTP traffic on TCP port 8080
  • assume ephemeral storage
  • be stateless

And integrate with a health-check mechanism:

On Swarm:

  • create a lock file in /tmp/.lock - removing this file signals service degradation
  • add a HEALTHCHECK instruction if using Docker Swarm

On Kubernetes:

  • or enable httpProbe in the helm chart and implement /_/health as a HTTP endpoint
  • create a lock file in /tmp/.lock - removing this file signals service degradation

Note: You can specify a custom HTTP Path for the health-check using the annotation

If running in read-only mode, then you can write files to the /tmp/ mount only. These files may be accessible upon subsequent requests but it is not guaranteed. For instance - if you have two replicas of a function then both may have different contents in their /tmp/ mount. When running without read-only mode you can write files to the user's home directory subject to the same rules.

FaaS Functions

To build a FaaS Function simply use the OpenFaaS CLI to scaffold a new function using one of the official templates or one of your own templates. All FaaS Functions make use of the OpenFaaS classic watchdog or the next-gen of-watchdog.

faas-cli template pull
faas-cli new --list

Or build your own templates Git repository and then pass that as an argument to faas-cli template pull

faas-cli template pull
faas-cli new --list

Custom binaries can also be used as a function. Just use the dockerfile language template and replace the fprocess variable with the command you want to run per request. If you would like to pipe arguments to a CLI utility you can prefix the command with xargs.

Stateless microservices

A stateless microservice can be built using the dockerfile language type and the OpenFaaS CLI - or by building a custom Docker image which serves traffic on port 8080 and deploying that via the RESTful API, CLI or UI.

An example of a stateless microservice may be an Express.js application using Node.js, a Sinatra app with Ruby or an ASP.NET 2.0 Core web-site.

Use of the OpenFaaS next-gen of-watchdog is optional, but recommended for stateless microservices to provide a consistent experience for timeouts, logging and configuration.

On Kubernetes is possible to run any container image as an OpenFaaS function as long as your application exposes port 8080 and has a HTTP health check endpoint.

You can specify the HTTP path of your health check and the initial check delay duration with the following annotations:


Stack file example:

    skip_build: true
    annotations: "/healthz" "30s"

Note: The initial delay value must be a valid Go duration e.g. 80s or 3m.