Skip to content

Install Istio in EKS Kubernetes Cluster

Now that we know what Istio is and how it works, let's install it in our EKS kubernetes cluster. Later on, we'll explore its features more deeply in the following sections.

Step 1: Download Istio

  1. Download installation file:

    curl -L | sh -


    The command above downloads the latest release (numerically) of Istio. You can pass variables on the command line to download a specific version or to override the processor architecture. For example, to download Istio 1.20.0 for the x86_64 architecture, run:

    curl -L | ISTIO_VERSION=1.20.0 TARGET_ARCH=x86_64 sh -
  2. Change directory to the Istio package directory. For example, if the package is istio-1.20.0:

    cd istio-1.20.0

    Verify that the directory contains bin/ folder. This contains the istioctl client binary.


    istioctl is a command-line utility used to configure and manage Istio service mesh within kubernetes environments.

  3. Add istioctl client to your path:

    # Add to path temporarily
    export PATH=$PWD/bin:$PATH
    # Add to path permanently
    sudo cp bin/istioctl /usr/bin/
  4. Verfy istioctl version:

    istioctl version --remote=false

    If everything is fine it should print out the istioctl version.

Step 2: Install Istio

  1. Check if your EKS cluster is ready to install Istio:

    istioctl x precheck

    If your EKS cluster passes the pre-installation verification check you should see the following output:

    ✔ No issues found when checking the cluster. Istio is safe to install or upgrade!
    To get started, check out
  2. List available istio configuration profiles:

    Istio configuration profiles are predefined sets of configuration settings that allow users to easily customize and fine-tune Istio's behavior within their service mesh.

    # List configuration profiles
    istioctl profile list

    This lists all the configuration profiles that can be used while installing istio.

    In this course, we will use the default profile, which is recommended for production deployment.

  3. Install Istio:

    Let's install istio with configuration from default profile.

    istioctl install --set profile=default -y

    If istio is installed successfully, you should see the output similar to below:

    ✔ Istio core installed
    ✔ Istiod installed
    ✔ Egress gateways installed
    ✔ Ingress gateways installed
    ✔ Installation complete
  4. Verify Istio installation:

    Istio components are deployed in istio-system namespace. Let's list pods in istio-system namespace.

    kubectl get pods -n istio-system

    Verify if all the pods are running.


    Istiod makes up the control plane and is responsible for injecting the sidecar proxies into our services that are part of the mesh.

Uninstall Istio

If you no longer need Istio in your EKS kubernetes cluster, you can uninstall it using following command:

# Uninstall istio
istioctl uninstall --purge

This will remove all istio components from your kubernetes cluster.