Storing Templates on an External Host

This document describes how to use external templates in your deployment that are hosted somewhere on the Internet instead of your local machine.

You can store templates on an external host anywhere on the Internet and call these templates from within your configuration. Hosting templates externally has certain advantages over storing your templates locally:

  • Easily share templates with others
  • Ensure that configurations are always using the most up-to-date template
  • Automatically manage relevant imports and schemas

Deployment Manager always fetches the latest version of external templates each time you redeploy your configuration. If you maintain your templates, then your deployments will always be up to date as well. Deployment Manager will also handle importing other dependent templates for you if they are referenced in the external template.


This configuration imports an external template:

- name: my-frontend
  type: gs://my-frontend-templates/webserver-frontend.jinja

Before you begin

Hosting external templates

You can host external templates in Google Cloud Storage or in a publicly-accessible location, such as GitHub. As long as there is a URL to the file and you have access to the templates, Deployment Manager will be able to download it. If the file uses a schema to import other templates, you must also host those templates in the same base URL.

On Google Cloud Storage

To host templates in Google Cloud Storage:

  1. Create a bucket for the templates, or use an existing bucket.
  2. Upload your templates and related template files, like schemas, to the bucket.
  3. If you plan to use the templates from a different Google Cloud Platform project than the project the templates belong to, set access controls to allow that access.

Hosting templates in Google Cloud Storage lets you control who has access to the templates because you can set access control options on the respective Cloud Storage bucket or the specific template.

In contrast, hosting your templates on other publicly-accessible URLs requires that you make the templates widely available.

On a publicly-accessible URL

Alternatively, you can host external templates outside of Google Cloud Storage, so long as the templates are publicly-accessible. For example, you can host templates on GitHub and reference the templates using the GitHub URL.

For GitHub specifically, you need to provide the raw GitHub URL so that Deployment Manager gets the template instead of the HTML GitHub page. For example, a raw URL looks like this:

Calling an external template

Call an external template like you would a local template, but provide the full URL to the template file as the type. For example:

- name: my-salt-cluster
  type: gs://v2/saltstack/salt_cluster.jinja

For a GitHub URL:

- name: my-salt-cluster

If an external template imports other templates or if there is an accompanying schema, you can store the related files in the same directory or relative subdirectory and include these other templates with a relative URL. Deployment Manager will look for these other templates using the relative path based on the base URL.

For example, if your configuration looked like this:

- name: my-salt-cluster
  type: gs://v2/saltstack/salt_cluster.jinja

And there was a schema file named salt_cluster.jinja.schema that imported these files:

- path:
- path:
- path: examples/source/

Deployment Manager will download and import all of the necessary files for the template automatically.