Getting Started with Istio and Kubernetes Gateway API

This guide lets you quickly evaluate Istio. If you are already familiar with Istio or interested in installing other configuration profiles or advanced deployment models, refer to our which Istio installation method should I use? FAQ page.

These steps require you to have a cluster running a supported version of Kubernetes (1.25, 1.26, 1.27, 1.28, 1.29). You can use any supported platform, for example Minikube or others specified by the platform-specific setup instructions.

Follow these steps to get started with Istio:

  1. Download and install Istio
  2. Deploy the sample application
  3. Open the application to outside traffic
  4. View the dashboard

Download Istio

  1. Go to the Istio release page to download the installation file for your OS, or download and extract the latest release automatically (Linux or macOS):

    $ curl -L | sh -
  2. Move to the Istio package directory. For example, if the package is istio-1.20.3:

    $ cd istio-1.20.3

    The installation directory contains:

    • Sample applications in samples/
    • The istioctl client binary in the bin/ directory.
  3. Add the istioctl client to your path (Linux or macOS):

    $ export PATH=$PWD/bin:$PATH

Install Istio

  1. For this installation, we use the demo configuration profile. It’s selected to have a good set of defaults for testing, but there are other profiles for production or performance testing.

    Unlike Istio Gateways, creating Kubernetes Gateways will, by default, also deploy associated gateway proxy services. Therefore, because they won’t be used, we disable the deployment of the default Istio gateway services that are normally installed as part of the demo profile.

    $ istioctl install -f @samples/bookinfo/demo-profile-no-gateways.yaml@ -y
    ✔ Istio core installed
    ✔ Istiod installed
    ✔ Installation complete
  2. Add a namespace label to instruct Istio to automatically inject Envoy sidecar proxies when you deploy your application later:

    $ kubectl label namespace default istio-injection=enabled
    namespace/default labeled

Deploy the sample application

  1. Deploy the Bookinfo sample application:

    $ kubectl apply -f @samples/bookinfo/platform/kube/bookinfo.yaml@
    service/details created
    serviceaccount/bookinfo-details created
    deployment.apps/details-v1 created
    service/ratings created
    serviceaccount/bookinfo-ratings created
    deployment.apps/ratings-v1 created
    service/reviews created
    serviceaccount/bookinfo-reviews created
    deployment.apps/reviews-v1 created
    deployment.apps/reviews-v2 created
    deployment.apps/reviews-v3 created
    service/productpage created
    serviceaccount/bookinfo-productpage created
    deployment.apps/productpage-v1 created
  2. The application will start. As each pod becomes ready, the Istio sidecar will be deployed along with it.

    $ kubectl get services
    NAME          TYPE        CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)    AGE
    details       ClusterIP      <none>        9080/TCP   29s
    kubernetes    ClusterIP        <none>        443/TCP    25m
    productpage   ClusterIP       <none>        9080/TCP   28s
    ratings       ClusterIP       <none>        9080/TCP   29s
    reviews       ClusterIP       <none>        9080/TCP   29s


    $ kubectl get pods
    NAME                              READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    details-v1-558b8b4b76-2llld       2/2     Running   0          2m41s
    productpage-v1-6987489c74-lpkgl   2/2     Running   0          2m40s
    ratings-v1-7dc98c7588-vzftc       2/2     Running   0          2m41s
    reviews-v1-7f99cc4496-gdxfn       2/2     Running   0          2m41s
    reviews-v2-7d79d5bd5d-8zzqd       2/2     Running   0          2m41s
    reviews-v3-7dbcdcbc56-m8dph       2/2     Running   0          2m41s
  3. Verify everything is working correctly up to this point. Run this command to see if the app is running inside the cluster and serving HTML pages by checking for the page title in the response:

    $ kubectl exec "$(kubectl get pod -l app=ratings -o jsonpath='{.items[0]}')" -c ratings -- curl -sS productpage:9080/productpage | grep -o "<title>.*</title>"
    <title>Simple Bookstore App</title>

Open the application to outside traffic

The Bookinfo application is deployed but not accessible from the outside. To make it accessible, you need to create an ingress gateway, which maps a path to a route at the edge of your mesh.

  1. Create a Kubernetes Gateway for the Bookinfo application:

    $ kubectl apply -f @samples/bookinfo/gateway-api/bookinfo-gateway.yaml@ created created

    Because creating a Kubernetes Gateway resource will also deploy an associated proxy service, run the following command to wait for the gateway to be ready:

    $ kubectl wait --for=condition=programmed gtw bookinfo-gateway
  2. Ensure that there are no issues with the configuration:

    $ istioctl analyze
    ✔ No validation issues found when analyzing namespace: default.

Determining the ingress IP and ports

  1. Set the INGRESS_HOST and INGRESS_PORT variables for accessing the gateway:

    $ export INGRESS_HOST=$(kubectl get gtw bookinfo-gateway -o jsonpath='{.status.addresses[0].value}')
    $ export INGRESS_PORT=$(kubectl get gtw bookinfo-gateway -o jsonpath='{.spec.listeners[?("http")].port}')

  3. Ensure an IP address and port were successfully assigned to the environment variable:

    $ echo "$GATEWAY_URL"

Verify external access

Confirm that the Bookinfo application is accessible from outside the cluster by viewing the Bookinfo product page using a browser.

  1. Run the following command to retrieve the external address of the Bookinfo application.

    $ echo "http://$GATEWAY_URL/productpage"
  2. Paste the output from the previous command into your web browser and confirm that the Bookinfo product page is displayed.

View the dashboard

Istio integrates with several different telemetry applications. These can help you gain an understanding of the structure of your service mesh, display the topology of the mesh, and analyze the health of your mesh.

Use the following instructions to deploy the Kiali dashboard, along with Prometheus, Grafana, and Jaeger.

  1. Install Kiali and the other addons and wait for them to be deployed.

    $ kubectl apply -f samples/addons
    $ kubectl rollout status deployment/kiali -n istio-system
    Waiting for deployment "kiali" rollout to finish: 0 of 1 updated replicas are available...
    deployment "kiali" successfully rolled out
  2. Access the Kiali dashboard.

    $ istioctl dashboard kiali
  3. In the left navigation menu, select Graph and in the Namespace drop down, select default.

    The Kiali dashboard shows an overview of your mesh with the relationships between the services in the Bookinfo sample application. It also provides filters to visualize the traffic flow.

    Kiali Dashboard
    Kiali Dashboard

Next steps

Congratulations on completing the evaluation installation!

These tasks are a great place for beginners to further evaluate Istio’s features using this demo installation:

Before you customize Istio for production use, see these resources:

Join the Istio community

We welcome you to ask questions and give us feedback by joining the Istio community.


To delete the Bookinfo sample application and its configuration, see Bookinfo cleanup.

The Istio uninstall deletes the RBAC permissions and all resources hierarchically under the istio-system namespace. It is safe to ignore errors for non-existent resources because they may have been deleted hierarchically.

$ kubectl delete -f @samples/addons@
$ istioctl uninstall -y --purge

The istio-system namespace is not removed by default. If no longer needed, use the following command to remove it:

$ kubectl delete namespace istio-system

The label to instruct Istio to automatically inject Envoy sidecar proxies is not removed by default. If no longer needed, use the following command to remove it:

$ kubectl label namespace default istio-injection-

If you installed the Kubernetes Gateway API CRDs and would now like to remove them, run one of the following commands:

  • If you ran any tasks that required the experimental version of the CRDs:

    $ kubectl kustomize "" | kubectl delete -f -
  • Otherwise:

    $ kubectl kustomize "" | kubectl delete -f -
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