Instructions for installing the Istio control plane on Kubernetes and adding virtual machines into the mesh.

Visit our getting started guide to learn how to evaluate and try Istio’s basic features quickly.

Istio offers multiple installation flows depending on your platform and whether or not you intend to use Istio in production. At a high level, the basic flow is the same regardless of platform:

  1. Review the pod requirements
  2. Prepare your platform for Istio
  3. Download the Istio release
  4. Install Istio on your platform

Downloading the release

Download the Istio release which includes installation files, samples and a command line utility.

  1. Go to the Istio release page to download the installation file corresponding to your OS. On a macOS or Linux system, you can run the following command to download and extract the latest release automatically:

    $ curl -L | ISTIO_VERSION=1.3.5 sh -
  2. Move to the Istio package directory. For example, if the package is istio-1.3.5:

    $ cd istio-1.3.5

    The installation directory contains:

    • Installation YAML files for Kubernetes in install/kubernetes
    • Sample applications in samples/
    • The istioctl client binary in the bin/ directory. istioctl is used when manually injecting Envoy as a sidecar proxy.
  3. Add the istioctl client to your path, on a macOS or Linux system:

    $ export PATH=$PWD/bin:$PATH
  4. You can optionally enable the auto-completion option when working with a bash or ZSH console.

Installing Istio

Istio is installed in its own istio-system namespace and can manage services from all other namespaces. Choose one of the following installation options, depending on your intended use:

  • Demo installation: This option is ideal if you’re new to Istio and just want to try it out. It allows you to experiment with many Istio features with modest resource requirements.

  • Custom installation with Helm: This option is ideal to install Istio for production use or for performance evaluation.

  • Cloud provider installation instructions: This option is ideal if your cloud provider has native support for Istio-enabled clusters with a configuration profile corresponding to your intended use. Refer to your cloud provider’s documentation for details.

After choosing an option and installing Istio on your cluster, you can deploy your own applications or experiment with some of our tasks and examples.

When you’re ready to consider more advanced Istio use cases, check out the following resources:

Getting Started

Download, install, and try out Istio.

Platform Setup

How to prepare various Kubernetes platforms before installing Istio.

Installation Guides

Choose the guide that best suits your needs and platform.


Information on upgrading Istio.

More Guides

More information on additional setup tasks.