Install with Helm

This guide shows you how to install ambient mesh with Helm. Besides the demo in Getting Started with Ambient Mesh, we encourage you to follow this guide to install ambient mesh. Helm helps you manage components separately, and you can easily upgrade the components to the latest version.


  1. Perform any necessary platform-specific setup.

  2. Check the Requirements for Pods and Services.

  3. Install the Helm client, version 3.6 or above.

  4. Configure the Helm repository:

    $ helm repo add istio
    $ helm repo update

See helm repo for command documentation.

Installing the Components

Installing the base Component

The base chart contains the basic CRDs and cluster roles required to set up Istio. This should be installed prior to any other Istio component.

$ helm install istio-base istio/base -n istio-system --create-namespace

Installing the CNI Component

The CNI chart installs the Istio CNI Plugin. It is responsible for detecting the pods that belong to the ambient mesh, and configuring the traffic redirection between the ztunnel DaemonSet, which will be installed later.

$ helm install istio-cni istio/cni -n istio-system \
  -f @manifests/charts/istio-cni/ambient-values.yaml@

Installing the discovery Component

The istiod chart installs a revision of Istiod. Istiod is the control plane component that manages and configures the proxies to route traffic within the mesh.

$ helm install istiod istio/istiod --namespace istio-system \
  -f @manifests/charts/istio-control/istio-discovery/ambient-values.yaml@

Installing the ztunnel component

The ztunnel chart installs the ztunnel DaemonSet, which is the node-proxy component of ambient.

$ helm install ztunnel istio/ztunnel -n istio-system


To view support configuration options and documentation, run:

$ helm show values istio/istiod

Verifying the Installation

Verifying the workload status

After installing all the components, you can check the Helm deployment status with:

$ helm list -n istio-system

You can check the status of the deployed pods with:

$ kubectl get pods -n istio-system

Verifying with the Sample Application

After installing ambient with Helm, you can follow Deploy the sample application guide to deploy the sample application and ingress gateways, and then you can add your application to ambient.


You can uninstall Istio and its components by uninstalling the charts installed above.

  1. List all the Istio charts installed in istio-system namespace:

    $ helm ls -n istio-system
    istio-base istio-system 1        ... ... ... ... deployed base-1.0.0   1.0.0
    istiod     istio-system 1        ... ... ... ... deployed istiod-1.0.0 1.0.0
  2. (Optional) Delete any Istio gateway chart installations:

    $ helm delete istio-ingress -n istio-ingress
    $ kubectl delete namespace istio-ingress
  3. Delete Istio CNI chart:

    $ helm delete istio-cni -n istio-system
  4. Delete Istio ztunnel chart:

    $ helm delete ztunnel -n istio-system
  5. Delete Istio discovery chart:

    $ helm delete istiod -n istio-system
  6. Delete Istio base chart:

    $ helm delete istio-base -n istio-system
  7. Delete CRDs Installed by Istio (Optional)

    $ kubectl get crd -oname | grep --color=never '' | xargs kubectl delete
  8. Delete the istio-system namespace:

    $ kubectl delete namespace istio-system
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