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

Knative requires a Kubernetes cluster v1.11 or newer. kubectl v1.10 is also required. 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 version 1.10 or newer, you can skip these steps.

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

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

  2. Install the kubectl component:

    gcloud components install kubectl
  3. 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
  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Enable the necessary APIs:
   gcloud services enable \ \ \

Creating a Kubernetes cluster

To make sure the cluster is large enough to host all the Knative and Istio components, the recommended configuration for a cluster is:

  • Kubernetes version 1.11 or later
  • 4 vCPU nodes (n1-standard-4)
  • Node autoscaling, up to 10 nodes
  • API scopes for cloud-platform, logging-write, monitoring-write, and pubsub (if those features will be used)
  1. Create a Kubernetes cluster on GKE with the required specifications:
   gcloud container clusters create $CLUSTER_NAME \
     --zone=$CLUSTER_ZONE \
     --cluster-version=latest \
     --machine-type=n1-standard-4 \
     --enable-autoscaling --min-nodes=1 --max-nodes=10 \
     --enable-autorepair \
     --scopes=service-control,service-management,compute-rw,storage-ro,cloud-platform,logging-write,monitoring-write,pubsub,datastore \
  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 Istio.

Installing Istio

Note: Gloo is available as an alternative to Istio. Gloo is not currently compatible with the Knative Eventing component. Click here to install Knative with Gloo.

Knative depends on Istio.

  1. Install Istio:
   kubectl apply --filename && \
   kubectl apply --filename

Note: the resources (CRDs) defined in the istio-crds.yamlfile are also included in the istio.yaml file, but they are pulled out so that the CRD definitions are created first. If you see an error when creating resources about an unknown type, run the second kubectl apply command again.

  1. Label the default namespace with istio-injection=enabled:
   kubectl label namespace default istio-injection=enabled
  1. Monitor the Istio components until all of the components show a STATUS of Running or Completed:
   kubectl get pods --namespace istio-system

It will take a few minutes for all the components to be up and running; you can rerun the command to see the current status.

Note: Instead of rerunning the command, you can add --watch to the above command to view the component’s status updates in real time. Use CTRL + C to exit watch mode.

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. If you are upgrading from Knative 0.3.x: Update your domain and static IP address to be associated with the LoadBalancer istio-ingressgateway instead of knative-ingressgateway. Then run the following to clean up leftover resources:
   kubectl delete svc knative-ingressgateway -n istio-system
   kubectl delete deploy knative-ingressgateway -n istio-system

If you have the Knative Eventing Sources component installed, you will also need to delete the following resource before upgrading:

   kubectl delete statefulset/controller-manager -n knative-sources

While the deletion of this resource during the upgrade process will not prevent modifications to Eventing Source resources, those changes will not be completed until the upgrade process finishes.

  1. Run the kubectl apply command to install Knative and its dependencies:
   kubectl apply --filename \
   --filename \
   --filename \
   --filename \
   --filename \

Note: If your install fails on the first attempt, try rerunning the commands. They will likely succeed on the second attempt. For background info and to track the upcoming solution to this problem, see issues #968 and #1036.

Note: For the v0.4.0 release and newer, the clusterrole.yaml file is required to enable the Build and Serving components to interact with each other.

  1. 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-build
   kubectl get pods --namespace knative-eventing
   kubectl get pods --namespace knative-sources
   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 Knative, follow the step-by-step Getting Started with Knative App Deployment guide.

To get started with Knative Eventing, pick one of the Eventing Samples to walk through.

To get started with Knative Build, read the Build README, then choose a sample to walk through.

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

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