You have two options to install Istio in ambient mode with Gloo Mesh Core.

  • IstioLifecycleManager: Manage your Istio installations and upgrades more easily with this Gloo-managed service mesh approach.
  • Manual: Use the Solo build of istioctl to create your own Istio operator to set up ambient mode. This way, you have more responsibility but also more control over your installation.

Before you begin

  1. Create or use an existing Kubernetes cluster, and save the name of the cluster as an environment variable. Note: The cluster name must be alphanumeric with no special characters except a hyphen (-), lowercase, and begin with a letter (not a number).

      export CLUSTER_NAME=<cluster_name>
  2. Install the following command-line (CLI) tools.

    • kubectl, the Kubernetes command line tool. Download the kubectl version that is within one minor version of the Kubernetes clusters you plan to use.
    • meshctl, the Solo command line tool.
        curl -sL | sh
  3. Set your Gloo license key as an environment variable. If you do not have one, contact an account representative. If you prefer to specify license keys in a secret instead, see Licensing.
  4. Set environment variables for the Istio repository and image version that you want to install. You can find both values for Ambient in the Istio images built by support article.

      export REPO=<repo-key>
    export ISTIO_IMAGE=<image-tag>
  5. Optional: If you already installed Istio in sidecar mode, uninstall your Istio installation. Gloo Mesh Core does not currently support multiple installations of Istio in both sidecar and ambient modes.

Install Istio and Gloo Mesh Core in ambient mode

You can either use an IstioLifecycleManager resource to manage the Istio installations across clusters more easily, or manually install Istio and Gloo Mesh Core in ambient mode.


Deploy sample apps and add them to the ambient mesh.