Error reference

This page describes Config Sync error codes and recommended actions to handle these errors.

Config Sync error messages consist of an error ID in the format KNV1234 where 1234 is a unique number, followed by a description of the problem and a suggestion for how to fix it. K is inherited from Kubernetes conventions, rules with prefix N are specific to nomos, V is specific to errors detectable in the initial state of the repository and the cluster. Codes for errors detectable in the initial state of the repository and the cluster are of the form KNV1XXX. Codes for errors that can only be detected at runtime are of the form KNV2XXX.

KNV error table

Error code Description Recommended action

The ID of InternalError changed to KNV9998 with Config Sync version 1.6.1.


Deprecated in Config Sync 1.3.


Deprecated in Config Sync 1.3.


When using a hierarchical repository structure, a directory that contains a namespace config must not contain any subdirectories.

A directory without a namespace config is an abstract namespace directory and has directories inheriting from it. Consequently, abstract namespace directories must have subdirectories. A directory containing a namespace config is a namespace directory and cannot be inherited from, so it must not have any subdirectories.

Either remove the namespace config from the parent directory, or move the subdirectory somewhere else.

A cluster-scoped object must not declare the annotation NamespaceSelectors can only be declared for namespace scoped objects.

Remove from the metadata.annotations field.

The only valid setting for the management annotation is This setting is used to explicitly unmanage a resource in the Git repository while leaving the config checked in. The annotation isn't necessary.

Ensure that the management annotation is

For more information, see Managing objects.

An object declared in the repository couldn't be parsed.

Validate your YAML format. For example, you can use the kubectl --validate command.

If nomos vet returns this error on a type with group:, such as a RepoSync, download v1.6.0-rc.6 or later from the downloads page to resolve.

When using an unstructured repository, configs must not be declared in an abstract namespace directory.

Move the config listed in the error message to a namespace directory.

For more information, see Using an unstructured repository.

When using a hierarchical repository structure, configs must either declare namespaces that match the namespace directory containing them or omit the field.

Update the namespace field identified in the error message.

For more information, see Structure of the hierarchical repository.

Configs must not declare unsupported annotations starting with

Make sure you're using one of the following supported annotations:

Configs must not have labels with keys that begin with This label key prefix is reserved for use by Config Sync.

Update any labels identified in the error message. For example, if you tried to declare a label named label-value,
you could change it to
example-label: label-value.

Deprecated in Config Sync 1.3.


The config refers to a ClusterSelector or NamespaceSelector that doesn't exist. Before you can use a selector in an annotation for a config, the selector must exist.

Either create any missing selectors, or, if the selector was removed, remove any configs that refer to it.

ClusterSelector and NamespaceSelector configs use the correct syntax, but a syntax error was found.

Ensure that you specify the config using the appropriate data schema:

Deprecated in Config Sync 1.3.2. N/A

When using the hierarchical repository structure, a config for the ConfigManagement Operator must exist in the system/ directory of the repository. This config must include required information such as the repo's semantic version.

Define at least a minimal config for the ConfigManagement Operator. For more information, see Structure of the hierarchical repository.

Deprecated in Config Sync 1.3. N/A

When using the hierarchical repository structure, namespaces mustn't be declared directly in the namespaces/ directory.

Create a subdirectory for the namespace configs listed in the error message. For more information, see Structure of the hierarchical repository.

When using a hierarchical repository structure, a namespace config declares, and its value must match the name of the namespace's directory. Correct the namespace's or its directory.

No CustomResourceDefinition is defined for the resource in the cluster.

Create a CustomResourceDefinition for the resource referenced in the error message. Resource types that are not built-in Kubernetes objects must have a CustomResourceDefinition.

When you're using a hierarchical repository, configs of this Kind cannot be declared in the system/ directory.

Move the resource referenced in the error message out of the system/ directory. For more information, see Structure of the hierarchical repository.

The spec.version field in the Repo config represents the semantic version of the repository. This error indicates that you are using an unsupported version.

If your repository's format is compatible with the supported version, update the spec.version field. If you need to upgrade, follow the instructions in the release notes.

Directory names must have fewer than 64 characters, consist of lower case alphanumeric characters or '-', and must start and end with an alphanumeric character.

Rename or remove the misnamed directory.

Configs of the same Kind must have unique names in the same namespace and their parent abstract namespaces.

Rename or remove any configs referenced in the error message so that they all have unique names.

Multiple namespace resources cannot exist in the same directory.

Remove the duplicate config(s) so that no more than one namespace resource remains.

All configs must declare

Add the field to the problematic configs.

The type is not allowed if sourceFormat is set to unstructured.

Remove the problematic config, or convert your repository to use sourceFormat: hierarchy.

If you're using a hierarchical repository, you can only declare HierarchyConfig and Repo Kinds in the system/ directory.

Ensure any configs declared in the system/ directory is one of the allowed Kinds. If it's not, move it to another directory.

It is forbidden to declare the config-management-system namespace, or resources within it.

Starting from Config Sync version 1.17.0, the namespaces resource-group-system and config-management-monitoring also can't be declared in a source of truth. It's also not recommended to declare any resources under the resource-group-system and config-management-monitoring namespaces.

If you declared the config-management-system namespace, remove it and any configs in that namespace.

If you declared the resource-group-system or config-management-monitoring namespaces, unmanage the controller namespace:

  1. Update Config Sync to stop managing the namespace and any resource declared underneath.
  2. Wait for a sync and then confirm that the corresponding resources are still available on the cluster, but not in nomos status.
  3. Remove the controller namespace YAML file from the source.
  4. Let Config Sync resume managing the resources.

If you were previously syncing to a hierarchical repository and had to declare the controller namespace alongside any resources, consider switching to an unstructured repository for more flexibility in your source structure.

The supplied has an invalid format.

Change the to satisfy the following conditions:

  • Be shorter than 254 characters
  • Consist of lower case alphanumeric characters, '-', or '.'
  • Start and end with an alphanumeric character

If is invalid, and the original resource supports it, consider using the spec.resourceID field instead so that you're not restricted by these limitations. For more information, see Managing resources with the resourceID field.

Deprecated in Config Sync 1.3. N/A

It is forbidden to declare a namespace-scoped object outside of the namespaces/ directory.

Move the problematic configs so that they are in a legal directory. For more information about namespace-scoped objects, see Namespace-scoped objects.

It is forbidden to declare a cluster-scoped object outside of the cluster/ directory.

Move the problematic configs so that they are in a legal directory. For more information about cluster-scoped objects, see Cluster-scoped objects.

Deprecated in Config Sync 1.3. N/A

This Resource Kind must not be declared in a HierarchyConfig.

Remove the problematic resource. To read more about HierarchyConfig, see Disabling Inheritance for an Object Type.

An illegal value for HierarchyMode was detected on a HierarchyConfig.

Change HierarchyMode to none or inherit. To read more about HierarchyConfigs, see Disabling Inheritance for an Object Type.

Config Sync cannot configure this object.

Remove the problematic config from the repository.

An abstract namespace directory with configs must have at least one namespace subdirectory.

Either add a namespace directory under your abstract namespace directory, add a namespace config to your abstract namespace directory, or remove the configs in your abstract namespace directory.

Configs with metadata.ownerReference specified are not allowed.

Remove the status field from the source repository. For third party configs that you don't own, use kustomize patches to remove status fields specified in your manifests in bulk.

This HierarchyConfig references a resource which has cluster scope. Cluster scoped objects aren't permitted in HierarchyConfig.

Update the HierarchyConfig so that it no longer references the problematic resource.

Removing a custom resource definition (CRD) and leaving the corresponding Custom Resources in the repository isn't allowed.

Remove the CRD along with the Custom Resources.

The CustomResourceDefinition has an invalid name.

Change the name to the recommendation in the error message.

The config is using a deprecated Group and Kind.

Change the Group or Kind to the recommendation in the error message.

Cluster-scoped resources mustn't declare metadata.namespace.

Remove the metadata.namespace field from your cluster-scoped resource.

Namespace-scoped resources must either declare either metadata.namespace or

Add the missing field to your namespace-scoped resource.

Configs contain an invalid value for an annotation.

Follow the instructions in the error message to resolve the error.

The value of metadata.namespace isn't a valid Kubernetes namespace name.

Update the value of metadata.namespace so that it complies with the following rules:

  • Has a length of 63 characters or fewer
  • Consists only of lowercase letters (a-z), digits (0-9), and hyphen '-'
  • Begins and ends with a lowercase letter or digit

A resource is declared in an unmanaged namespace.

Either remove the disabled annotation, or add the annotation to the declared resource.

A resource has an illegal label.

Remove the illegal labels listed in the error message.

A namespace repository can only declare namespace-scoped resources in the namespace the repository it applies to.

Make sure all namespace repositories are declaring namespace-scoped resources correctly. For example, the repository for the shipping namespace repository can only manage resources in the shipping namespace. The value of metadata.namespace is optional. By default, Config Sync assumes that all resources in a namespace repository belong in that namespace.

For example, if a config in the shipping namespace repository declared metadata.namespace: billing, you would get an error.

In addition to making sure that namespace-scoped resources are declared correctly, make sure that namespaces are declared in the root repository. This is necessary because namespaces are cluster-scoped.

A namespace repository can declare at most one Kptfile resource.

Remove all but one Kptfile resource.

When managing objects in multiple sources of truth, conflicts can arise when the same object (matching group, kind, name, and namespace) is declared in more than one source.

For example, when the same object is managed by a RootSync and a RepoSync, the RootSync wins. If the RootSync applies first, the RepoSync reports a KNV1060 status error. If the RepoSync applies first, the RootSync overwrites the RepoSync's object and the RepoSync reports a KNV1060 status error when it sees the update.

Resolve the conflict by updating the config to match with the other source of truth, or by deleting the conflicting object from one of the sources.

The nomos vet command only checks for errors in one repository at a time, so it cannot detect this problem.

An InvalidRepoSyncError reports that a RepoSync is misconfigured. RepoSync objects must be properly configured for Config Sync to sync configuration from namespace repositories.

Follow the instructions in the error message to fix the configuration errors.

The Kptfile doesn't have a valid inventory field. A Kptfile should have a non-empty inventory field with both identifier and namespace specified.

Specify the values for .inventory.identifier and .inventory.namespace in the Kptfile.

Kptfiles were found in the Root repository. Kptfiles are only supported in namespace-scoped repositories.

Remove the Kptfiles from the Root repository.

The api-resources.txt file in your repository couldn't be parsed.

Follow the instructions in the error message. For example, you might need to re-run kubectl api-resources > api-resources.txt.

In nomos version 1.16.1 and earlier, you also see this error: KNV1064: unable to find APIGROUP column. This error is caused by the change of column name from APIGROUP to APIVERSION. To mitigate this issue, manually replace APIVERSION in api-resources.txt back to APIGROUP.

The CustomResourceDefinition is malformed.

Check the field specified by the error message and make sure its value is correctly formatted.

A config object must declare only cluster-selector annotation. This error occurs when both the legacy annotation ( and the inline annotation ( exist.

Remove one of the annotations from the metadata.annotations field.

The reconciler fails to encode the declared fields into a format that is compatible with server-side apply. It could be caused by an out-of-date schema.

Check the field specified by the error message and make sure it matches the schema of the resource kind.

The rendering process encountered a user-actionable issue.

If the Git repository contains Kustomize configurations, but no kustomization.yaml file exists in the Git sync directory, either add kustomization.yaml in the sync directory to trigger the rendering process, or remove kustomization.yaml from all sub directories to skip rendering.

If the error is caused by kustomize build failures, you might need to update the Kustomize configurations in your Git repository. You can preview and validate the updated configs locally by using nomos hydrate and nomos vet respectively. If the updated configs are rendered successfully, you can push a new commit to fix the KNV1068 error.

If a kustomize build error happens when pulling remote bases from public repositories, you need to set spec.override.enableShellInRendering to true.

A reconciler has reconciled its own RootSync or RepoSync object. A RootSync object can manage other RootSync and RepoSync objects; A RepoSync object can manage other RepoSync objects, but they cannot self-manage.

Remove the RootSync or RepoSync object from the source of truth that the object syncs from.

An OS-level system call accessing a file system resource fails.

This error is likely caused by an invalid YAML configuration or using special characters. If you have an invalid YAML configuration, you see an error message similar to the following: KNV2001: yaml: line 2: did not find expected node content path:.... To resolve this issue, check your YAML files and resolve any configuration problems. This can be caused by any YAML configuration within the repository.

If your filename or path contains special characters, you might see an error message similar to KNV2001: yaml: control characters are not allowed path:/repo/source/.../._pod.yaml. In this example ._pod.yaml is not a valid filename. To resolve this issue, remove special characters from your file or path names.

A request accessing the API Server fails.

You might be experiencing an API discovery error. To learn more, see API discovery errors.

A generic OS-level system call fails.

Config Sync cannot read from the source of truth.

There are multiple issues that can cause this error. For tips on how to resolve common issues with connecting to the source of truth, see Troubleshoot connecting to the source of truth.

Config Sync is fighting with another controller over a resource. Such fights consume a high amount of resources and can degrade your performance. For tips on how to diagnose and resolve controller fights, see Troubleshoot controller fights.

To help prevent accidental deletion, Config Sync doesn't let you remove all namespaces or cluster-scoped resources in a single commit.

If the Config Sync admission webhook is disabled, revert the commit that deletes all resources.
If the Config Sync admission webhook is enabled, your namespace might be stuck terminating. To fix it, run the following steps:

  1. Disable Config Sync, and wait until all resources are cleaned or in a stable status. For example, you can run kubectl get ns to make sure the namespaces are deleted.
  2. Re-enable Config Sync.
  3. Revert the commit that deletes all resources.

If you want to delete the full set of resources under management, complete the following steps:

  1. Remove all but one namespace or cluster-scoped resource in a first commit and allow Config Sync to sync those changes.
  2. Remove the final resource in a second commit.

A resource on the API Server is modified or deleted while Config Sync is also attempting to modify it.

If this type of error only appears at startup or infrequently, you can ignore these errors.

If these errors are not transient (persisting multiple minutes), it might indicate a serious issue and nomos status reports controller fights.

This is a generic error indicating that Config Sync failed to sync some configs to the cluster.

There are multiple issues that can cause this error. For tips on how to resolve common issues with syncing, see Troubleshoot syncing.

This is a generic error indicating a problem with a resource or set of resources.

The error message includes the specific resources which caused the error. Investigate these resources.

A specific resource is required to proceed, but the resource wasn't found. For example, ConfigManagement Operator tried to update a resource, but the resource was deleted while calculating the update.

Create or restore the missing resource.

This error reports that more than one instance of an APIResource was found in a context where exactly one of that APIResource is allowed. For example, only one Repo resource should exist on a cluster.

Remove the additional APIResource.

A namespace reconciler has insufficient permissions to manage resources.

Make sure the reconciler has sufficient permissions.

This warning occurs when the Config Sync webhook configuration is illegally modified. The illegal webhook configurations are ignored.

Remove the illegally modified webhook.

The rendering process encountered an internal issue. For example, Config Sync is unable to access the file system.

This error might indicate the Pod is not healthy. You can restart the reconciler Pods by running the following commands:

# restart a root reconciler
kubectl delete pod -n config-management-system -l

# restart a namespace reconciler
kubectl delete pod -n config-management-system -l

This error represents a transient issue that should automatically resolve at a later time. For example, if the rendering state doesn't match the source config, you might see this error.

The error should automatically resolve.

There's a problem with Config Sync itself.

Please file a bug report.

You've encountered an error with no documented error message.

We haven't yet written documentation specific to the error you encountered.

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Error messages without a KNV code

Errors that are reported by Config Sync reconcilers have the KNV error code, but errors reported from other components don't have KNV code. For example, the permission denied error comes from the fleet controller, which is a layer on top of Config Sync.

The following table lists some common errors without the KNV prefix.

Error message Recommended action

Error: cannot build exporters: error creating stackdriver exporter: cannot configure Google Cloud metric exporter: stackdriver: google: could not find default credentials.

Error: Permission monitoring.timeSeries.create denied (or the resource may not exist).

Cannot build exporters

When a component in Open Telemetry Collector can't access the default service account under the same namespace, you might notice that the otel-collector Pod under config-management-monitoring is in CrashLoopBackoff status, or you might see an error message similar to ones listed.

This issue usually happens when Workload Identity is enabled in a cluster.

To solve this problem, follow the instructions in Monitoring Config Sync to grant metric write permission to the default service account.

If the error persists after setting up the IAM, restart the otel-collector Pod for the changes to take effect.
If you are using a custom monitoring solution, but forked the default otel-collector-googlecloud ConfigMap, check and rebase any difference.

server certificate verification failed. CAfile:/etc/ca-cert/cert CRLfile: none

Server certificate verification failed

If the git-sync, helm-sync, or oci-sync container fails to fetch artifacts, you might see this error message.

This message indicates that the server is configured with certificates from a custom Certificate Authority (CA). However, the custom CA is not properly configured, resulting in the failure of the container to fetch from the server.

To resolve this issue, first, you can verify whether the caCertSecretRef field has been configured correctly in your RootSync or RepoSync object, and also check if the Secret object exists.

Next, if the field has been configured and the Secret object exists, ensure that the Secret object contains the full certificates.
Depending on how the custom CA is provisioned, the approaches for checking the full certificates might vary.

Here is an example of how to list the server certificates:

echo -n | openssl s_client -showcerts -connect HOST:PORT -servername SERVER_NAME 2>/dev/null | sed -ne '/-BEGIN CERTIFICATE-/,/-END CERTIFICATE-/p'

You can request that your network administration team obtain the CA certificates for you.

Error message: "MESSAGE": "Unable to retrieve pull secret, the image pull may not succeed."

Unable to retrieve pull secret, the image pull may not succeed

If you're using a private registry with Google Distributed Cloud, the Config Sync installation or upgrade can get stuck. You'll see an error similar to this message.

To resolve this issue, follow the steps in Update Config Sync using a private registry before installing or upgrading Config Sync.

Permission 'gkehub.features.create' denied on 'projects/PROJECT_ID/locations/global/features/configmanagement'

Permission denied

If you receive an error similar to this example when you try to configure Config Sync, you might not have the GKE Hub Admin role.

To ensure that you have the required permissions, make sure you have granted the required IAM roles.

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