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 MetalLB for kind

kind does not have any built-in way to provide IP addresses to your Loadbalancer service types, to ensure IP address assignments to Gateway Services please consult this guide for more information.

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 set up 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 ServiceAccount and ClusterRoleBinding to provide admin access to the newly created cluster.

    $ kubectl create serviceaccount -n kubernetes-dashboard admin-user
    $ kubectl create clusterrolebinding -n kubernetes-dashboard admin-user --clusterrole cluster-admin --serviceaccount=kubernetes-dashboard:admin-user
  4. To log in to your Dashboard, you need a Bearer Token. Use the following command to store the token in a variable.

    $ token=$(kubectl -n kubernetes-dashboard create token admin-user)

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

    $ echo $token
  5. You can access your 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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