In-place Upgrades

The istioctl upgrade command performs an upgrade of Istio.

The upgrade command can also perform a downgrade of Istio.

See the istioctl upgrade reference for all the options provided by the istioctl upgrade command.

Upgrade prerequisites

Before you begin the upgrade process, check the following prerequisites:

  • The installed Istio version is no more than one minor version less than the upgrade version. For example, 1.6.0 or higher is required before you start the upgrade process to 1.7.x.

  • Your Istio installation was installed using istioctl.

Upgrade steps

The commands in this section should be run using the new version of istioctl which can be found in the bin/ subdirectory of the downloaded package.

  1. Download the new Istio release and change directory to the new release directory.

  2. Ensure that your Kubernetes configuration points to the cluster to upgrade:

    $ kubectl config view
  3. Ensure that the upgrade is compatible with your environment.

    $ istioctl x precheck
    ✔ No issues found when checking the cluster. Istio is safe to install or upgrade!
    To get started, check out
  4. Begin the upgrade by running this command:

    $ istioctl upgrade

    If you installed Istio using --set flags, ensure that you pass the same --set flags to upgrade, otherwise the customizations done with --set will be reverted. For production use, the use of a configuration file instead of --set is recommended.

    If you omit the -f flag, Istio upgrades using the default profile.

    After performing several checks, istioctl will ask you to confirm whether to proceed.

  5. istioctl will in-place upgrade the Istio control plane and gateways to the new version and indicate the completion status.

  6. After istioctl completes the upgrade, you must manually update the Istio data plane by restarting any pods with Istio sidecars:

    $ kubectl rollout restart deployment

Downgrade prerequisites

Before you begin the downgrade process, check the following prerequisites:

  • Your Istio installation was installed using istioctl.

  • The Istio version you intend to downgrade to is no more than one minor version less than the installed Istio version. For example, you can downgrade to no lower than 1.6.0 from Istio 1.7.x.

  • Downgrade must be done using the istioctl binary version that corresponds to the Istio version that you intend to downgrade to. For example, if you are downgrading from Istio 1.7 to 1.6.5, use istioctl version 1.6.5.

Steps to downgrade to a lower Istio version

You can use istioctl upgrade to downgrade to a lower version of Istio. The steps are identical to the upgrade process described in the previous section, only using the istioctl binary corresponding to the lower version (e.g., 1.6.5). When completed, Istio will be restored to the previously installed version.

Alternatively, istioctl install can be used to install an older version of the Istio control plane.

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