kind is a tool for running local Kubernetes clusters using Docker container nodes. kind was primarily designed for testing Kubernetes itself, but may be used for local development or CI. Follow these instructions to prepare a kind cluster for Istio installation.


  • Please use the latest Go version.
  • To use kind, you will also need to install docker.
  • Install the latest version of kind.
  • Increase Docker’s memory limit.

Installation steps

  1. Create a cluster with the following command:

    $ kind create cluster --name istio-testing

    --name is used to assign a specific name to the cluster. By default, the cluster will be given the name kind.

  2. To see the list of kind clusters, use the following command:

    $ kind get clusters
  3. To list the local Kubernetes contexts, use the following command.

    $ kubectl config get-contexts
    CURRENT   NAME                 CLUSTER              AUTHINFO             NAMESPACE
    *         kind-istio-testing   kind-istio-testing   kind-istio-testing
              minikube             minikube             minikube
  4. If you run multiple clusters, you need to choose which cluster kubectl talks to. You can set a default cluster for kubectl by setting the current context in the Kubernetes kubeconfig file. Additionally you can run following command to set the current context for kubectl.

    $ kubectl config use-context kind-istio-testing
    Switched to context "kind-istio-testing".

    Once you are done setting up a kind cluster, you can proceed to install Istio on it.

  5. When you are done experimenting and you want to delete the existing cluster, use the following command:

    $ kind delete cluster --name istio-testing
    Deleting cluster "istio-testing" ...

Setup Dashboard UI for kind

kind does not have a built in Dashboard UI like minikube. But you can still setup Dashboard, a web based Kubernetes UI, to view your cluster. Follow these instructions to setup Dashboard for kind.

  1. To deploy Dashboard, run the following command:

    $ kubectl apply -f
  2. Verify that Dashboard is deployed and running.

    $ kubectl get pod -n kubernetes-dashboard
    NAME                                         READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    dashboard-metrics-scraper-76585494d8-zdb66   1/1     Running   0          39s
    kubernetes-dashboard-b7ffbc8cb-zl8zg         1/1     Running   0          39s
  3. Create a ClusterRoleBinding to provide admin access to the newly created cluster.

    $ kubectl create clusterrolebinding default-admin --clusterrole cluster-admin --serviceaccount=default:default
  4. To login to Dashboard, you need a Bearer Token. Use the following command to store the token in a variable.

    $ token=$(kubectl get secrets -o jsonpath="{.items[?(@.metadata.annotations['kubernetes\.io/service-account\.name']=='default')].data.token}"|base64 --decode)

    Display the token using the echo command and copy it to use for logging into Dashboard.

    $ echo $token
  5. You can Access Dashboard using the kubectl command-line tool by running the following command:

    $ kubectl proxy
    Starting to serve on

    Click Kubernetes Dashboard to view your deployments and services.

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