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Future References

Kurtosis uses a multi-phase approach when running Starlark scripts.

For the user, the important thing to remember is that any value returned by a Kurtosis Starlark instruction is not the actual value - it is a special string referencing the future value that will exist during the Execution Phase.

For example:

service = add_service(
config = struct(
image = "hello-world",

does not in fact print the actual IP address of the service, because the service does not exist during the Interpretation Phase. Instead, service.ip_address is a string referencing the future value of the service's IP address:


Anywhere this future reference string is used, Kurtosis will slot in the actual value during the Execution Phase. For example, when the print statement is executed during the Execution Phase, Kurtosis will replace the future reference with the actual value so that the service's actual IP address gets printed:

> print "{{kurtosis:my-service.ip_address}}"

The format of these future reference strings is undefined and subject to change; users should not construct them manually!

All values that are available exclusively during the Execution Phase will be handled in Starlark as future reference strings. This includes:

  • Service information
  • Files artifact information
  • Execution-time values (e.g. values returned by HTTP requests or execing a command on a container)