Installation with Ansible

Instructions for the installation and configuration of Istio using Ansible.


  1. Download the Istio release.

  2. Perform any necessary platform-specific setup.

  3. Ansible 2.4 Installed.

The following prerequisites must be met if using OpenShift.

  • Minimum Version: 3.9.0
  • oc configured to be able to access the cluster
  • User has logged in to the cluster
  • User has cluster-admin role on OpenShift

Deploy with Ansible

Warning All execution of the Ansible playbooks must take place in the install/kubernetes/ansible path of Istio.

This playbook will install Istio locally on your machine. To deploy the default settings of Istio on OpenShift, the following command may be used:

$ ansible-playbook main.yml

Customization with Ansible

The Ansible playbook ships with reasonable defaults.

The currently exposed options are:

cluster_flavourDefine the target cluster typek8s or ocpocp
cmd_pathOverride the path to kubectl or ocA valid path to a kubectl or oc binary$PATH/oc
istio.authInstall with mutual TLStrue or falsefalse
istio.addonIstio addons to installarray containing any of kialiIstio already installs grafana, prometheus, jaeger by default
istio.delete_resourcesDelete resources created under Istio namespacetrue or falsefalse
istio.samplesArray containing the names of the samples that should be installedbookinfo, helloworld, httpbin, sleepnone

Default installation

Operator installs Istio using all defaults on OpenShift:

$ ansible-playbook main.yml

Operational overrides

There may be circumstances in which defaults require overrides.

The following commands describe how an operator could use overrides with this Ansible playbook:

Operator installs Istio on Kubernetes:

$ ansible-playbook main.yml -e '{"cluster_flavour": "k8s"}'

Operator installs Istio on Kubernetes and the path to kubectl is explicitly set:

$ ansible-playbook main.yml -e '{"cluster_flavour": "k8s", "cmd_path": "~/kubectl"}'

Operator installs Istio on OpenShift with settings other than the default:

$ ansible-playbook main.yml -e '{"istio": {"auth": true, "delete_resources": true}}'

Operator installs Istio on OpenShift with customized addons:

$ ansible-playbook main.yml -e '{"istio": {"delete_resources": true, "addon": ["kiali"]}}'

Operator installs Istio on OpenShift and additionally wants to deploy some of the samples:

$ ansible-playbook main.yml -e '{"istio": {"samples": ["helloworld", "bookinfo"]}}'


If a different version of Istio is desired, delete the istio-system namespace before executing the playbook. In this case, the istio.delete_resources flag does not need to be set.

Setting istio.delete_resources to true will delete the Istio control plane from the cluster.

In order to avoid any inconsistencies, this flag should only be used to reinstall the same version of Istio on a cluster.

See also

Instructions to download the Istio release.

Instructions to setup a Google Kubernetes Engine cluster for Istio.

Example multicluster GKE install of Istio.

Example multicluster between IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service & IBM Cloud Private.

Example multicluster IBM Cloud Private install of Istio.

Describes the options available when installing Istio using the included Helm chart.