Install on Google Kubernetes Engine

This guide walks you through the installation of the latest version of all Knative components using pre-built images.

You can find guides for other platforms here.

Before you begin

Cloud Run on GKE is a hosted offering on top of GKE that builds around Istio and Knative Serving.

Knative requires a Kubernetes cluster v1.15 or newer, as well as a compatible kubectl. This guide walks you through creating a cluster with the correct specifications for Knative on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

This guide assumes you are using bash in a Mac or Linux environment; some commands will need to be adjusted for use in a Windows environment.

Installing the Google Cloud SDK and kubectl

  1. If you already have gcloud installed with kubectl, you can skip these steps.

    Tip: To check which version of kubectl you have installed, enter:

    kubectl version
  2. Download and install the gcloud command line tool:

  3. Install the kubectl component:

    gcloud components install kubectl
  4. Authorize gcloud:

    gcloud auth login

Setting environment variables

To simplify the command lines for this walkthrough, we need to define a few environment variables.

Set CLUSTER_NAME and CLUSTER_ZONE variables, you can replace knative and us-west1-c with cluster name and zone of your choosing.

The CLUSTER_NAME needs to be lowercase and unique among any other Kubernetes clusters in your GCP project. The zone can be any compute zone available on GCP. These variables are used later to create a Kubernetes cluster.

export CLUSTER_NAME=knative
export CLUSTER_ZONE=us-west1-c

Setting up a Google Cloud Platform project

You need a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) project to create a Google Kubernetes Engine cluster.

  1. Set PROJECT environment variable, you can replace my-knative-project with the desired name of your GCP project. If you don't have one, we'll create one in the next step.

    export PROJECT=my-knative-project
  2. If you don't have a GCP project, create and set it as your gcloud default:

    gcloud projects create $PROJECT --set-as-default

    You also need to enable billing for your new project.

  3. If you already have a GCP project, make sure your project is set as your gcloud default:

    gcloud config set core/project $PROJECT

    Tip: Enter gcloud config get-value project to view the ID of your default GCP project.

  4. Enable the necessary APIs:

    gcloud services enable \ \ \

Creating a Kubernetes cluster

To make sure the cluster is large enough to host Knative and its dependencies, the recommended configuration for a cluster is:

  • Kubernetes version 1.15 or later
  • 4 vCPU nodes (n1-standard-4)
  • Node autoscaling, up to 10 nodes
  • API scopes for cloud-platform
  1. Create a Kubernetes cluster on GKE with the required specifications:

Note: If this setup is for development, or a non-Istio networking layer (e.g. Ambassador, Contour, or Gloo) will be used, then you can remove the --addons line below.

Note: If you want to use Auto TLS feature, you need to remove the --addons line below, and follow the instructions to install Istio with Secret Discovery Service.

gcloud beta container clusters create $CLUSTER_NAME \
  --addons=HorizontalPodAutoscaling,HttpLoadBalancing,Istio \
  --machine-type=n1-standard-4 \
  --cluster-version=latest --zone=$CLUSTER_ZONE \
  --enable-stackdriver-kubernetes --enable-ip-alias \
  --enable-autoscaling --min-nodes=1 --max-nodes=10 \
  --enable-autorepair \
  --scopes cloud-platform
  1. Grant cluster-admin permissions to the current user:

    kubectl create clusterrolebinding cluster-admin-binding \
      --clusterrole=cluster-admin \
      --user=$(gcloud config get-value core/account)

Admin permissions are required to create the necessary RBAC rules for Knative.

Installing cluster-local-gateway for serving cluster-internal traffic

If you installed Istio, you can install a cluster-local-gateway within your Knative cluster so that you can serve cluster-internal traffic. If you want to configure your revisions to use routes that are visible only within your cluster, install and use the cluster-local-gateway.

Installing Knative

The following commands install all available Knative components as well as the standard set of observability plugins. To customize your Knative installation, see Performing a Custom Knative Installation.

  1. To install Knative, first install the CRDs by running the kubectl apply command once with the -l flag. This prevents race conditions during the install, which cause intermittent errors:

    kubectl apply --selector \
    --filename \
    --filename \
  2. To complete the install of Knative and its dependencies, run the kubectl apply command again, this time without the --selector flag, to complete the install of Knative and its dependencies:

    kubectl apply --filename \
    --filename \
  3. Monitor the Knative components until all of the components show a STATUS of Running:

    kubectl get pods --namespace knative-serving
    kubectl get pods --namespace knative-eventing
    kubectl get pods --namespace knative-monitoring

What's next

Now that your cluster has Knative installed, you can see what Knative has to offer.

To deploy your first app with the Getting Started with Knative App Deployment guide.

Get started with Knative Eventing by walking through one of the Eventing Samples.

Install Cert-Manager if you want to use the automatic TLS cert provisioning feature.

Cleaning up

Running a cluster in Kubernetes Engine costs money, so you might want to delete the cluster when you're done if you're not using it. Deleting the cluster will also remove Knative, Istio, and any apps you've deployed.

To delete the cluster, enter the following command:

gcloud container clusters delete $CLUSTER_NAME --zone $CLUSTER_ZONE