Skip to content

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I set ldflags?

Using -ldflags is a common way to embed version info in go binaries (In fact, we do this for ko!). Unfortunately, because ko wraps go build, it's not possible to use this flag directly; however, you can use the GOFLAGS environment variable instead:

GOFLAGS="-ldflags=-X=main.version=1.2.3" ko build .

Currently, there is a limitation that does not allow to set multiple arguments in ldflags using GOFLAGS. Using -ldflags multiple times also does not work. In this use case, it works best to use the builds section in the .ko.yaml file.

Why are my images all created in 1970?

In order to support reproducible builds, ko doesn't embed timestamps in the images it produces by default.

However, ko does respect the SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH environment variable, which will set the container image's timestamp accordingly.

Similarly, the KO_DATA_DATE_EPOCH environment variable can be used to set the modtime timestamp of the files in KO_DATA_PATH.

For example, you can set the container image's timestamp to the current timestamp by executing:

export SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH=$(date +%s)

or set the timestamp of the files in KO_DATA_PATH to the latest git commit's timestamp with:

export KO_DATA_DATE_EPOCH=$(git log -1 --format='%ct')

Can I build Windows containers?

Yes, but support for Windows containers is new, experimental, and tenuous. Be prepared to file bugs. 🐛

The default base image does not provide a Windows image. You can try out building a Windows container image by setting the base image to a Windows base image and building with --platform=windows/amd64 or --platform=all:

For example, to build a Windows container image, update your .ko.yaml to set the base image:


And build for windows/amd64.

ko build ./ --platform=windows/amd64

Known issues 🐛

  • Symlinks in kodata are ignored when building Windows images; only regular files and directories will be included in the Windows image.

Can I optimize images for eStargz support?

Yes! Set the environment variable GGCR_EXPERIMENT_ESTARGZ=1 to produce eStargz-optimized images.

Does ko support autocompletion?

Yes! ko completion generates a Bash/Zsh/Fish/PowerShell completion script. You can get how to load it from help document.

ko completion [bash|zsh|fish|powershell] --help

Or, you can source it directly:

source <(ko completion)

Does ko work with Kustomize?

Yes! ko resolve -f - will read and process input from stdin, so you can have ko easily process the output of the kustomize command.

kustomize build config | ko resolve -f -

Does ko integrate with other build and development tools?

Oh, you betcha. Here's a partial list:

Does ko work with OpenShift Internal Registry?

Yes! Follow these steps:

  1. Connect to your OpenShift installation
  2. Expose the OpenShift Internal Registry so you can push to it:
  3. Export your token to $HOME/.docker/config.json:
oc registry login --to=$HOME/.docker/config.json
  1. Create a namespace where you will push your images, i.e: ko-images
  2. Execute this command to set KO_DOCKER_REPO to publish images to the internal registry.
export KO_DOCKER_REPO=$(oc registry info --public)/ko-images