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Graceful delegate shutdown

Harness Delegate is designed to shut down gracefully.

Shutdown without upgrade

The process of graceful delegate shutdown without upgrade is as follows:

  • The delegate receives an instruction to quit.
  • A grace period begins during which the delegate:
    • Stops accepting new tasks.
    • Works to complete running tasks.
  • The grace period ends.
  • Delegates that have not quit are force-terminated.
  • Incomplete tasks are discarded.

Shutdown with upgrade

The process of graceful delegate shutdown with upgrader is as follows:

  • When upgrader updates the delegate image, it starts a new delegate and waits for a heartbeat and healthy state.
  • When the delegate is connected, upgrader terminates the old pod. However, the old pod will not be terminated immediately. It will first
    • Stop accepting new tasks.
    • Wait for currently executing tasks to finish before terminating. The maximum time upgrader waits for tasks to finish before force-termination is 10 minutes.

The wait time before force-termination is configured using terminationGracePeriodSeconds in the Kubernetes delegate YAML. When you download the YAML from Harness, it's set to 10 minutes by default.

Grace period

Delegate-Legacy End of Support (EOS) notice

This is an End of Support (EOS) notice for the Delegate-Legacy image type. This image type reached End of Support (EOS) as of January 31, 2024.

End of Support means the following:

  • Harness Support will no longer accept support requests for the Delegate-Legacy image type in both Harness FirstGen and Harness NextGen (including Harness Self-Managed Enterprise Edition (SMP)).
  • Security fixes will still be addressed.
  • Product defects will not be addressed.

The length of the grace period is configurable.

Delegate typeGrace periodDefault interval
Immutable imageYesConfigurable (details below)
Legacy imageNo30 seconds

The grace period is not currently configurable for Helm deployments.

Configure the default interval for a Kubernetes deployment

Open the delegate manifest file and locate the container spec (spec.containers). Change the terminationGracePeriodSeconds as shown in the following YAML. In the example below, terminationGracePeriodSeconds is set to 10 minutes.

terminationGracePeriodSeconds: 600
restartPolicy: Always
- image: example/org:custom-delegate
imagePullPolicy: Always
name: delegate
allowPrivilegeEscalation: false
runAsUser: 0

Configure the default interval for an Amazon ECS deployment

Open the delegate manifest file and locate the container containerDefinitions. Change the stopTimeout as shown in the following JSON. In the example below, stopTimeout is set to 10 minutes.


For more information on stopTimeout, go to Container timeouts in the Amazon ECS documentation.

"containerDefinitions": [
"portMappings": [
"hostPort": 8080,
"protocol": "tcp",
"containerPort": 8080
"cpu": 1,
"environment": [
"name": "ACCOUNT_ID",
"value": "<ACCOUNT_ID>"
"value": "<DELEGATE_TOKEN>"
"name": "DELEGATE_TYPE",
"value": "DOCKER"
"name": "INIT_SCRIPT",
"value": ""
"name": "DEPLOY_MODE",
"value": "KUBERNETES"
"name": "DELEGATE_NAME",
"value": "<DELEGATE_NAME>"
"name": "DELEGATE_TAGS",
"value": ""

"name": "NEXT_GEN",
"value": "true"
"memory": 2048,
"image": "harness/delegate:22.12.77802",
"essential": true,
"hostname": "<DELEGATE_HOST>",
"name": "<DELEGATE_NAME>",
"stopTimeout": 120
"memory": "2048",
"requiresCompatibilities": [

"cpu": "1024",
"family": "harness-delegate-task-spec"

Configure the default interval for a Docker deployment

For Docker deployments, you use the docker stop command to set the default interval. In the example below, the interval is set to 10 minutes.

docker container stop -t=600 <delegatename>

In the syntax above, you can choose to use --time or -t.

Graceful shutdown events

The event that initiates the graceful shutdown depends on delegate type.

Delegate environmentTrigger
KubernetesPod termination, eviction, or user-initiated scaling
Dockerdocker stop command
Shell./ instruction