Knative Install using Gloo on a Kubernetes Cluster

Learn how to deploy Gloo and Knative to your Kubernetes cluster using the Gloo command line tool glooctl.

Gloo is a popular open-source Envoy control plane and API gateway built for Kubernetes (and other platforms).

Gloo provides a complete gateway replacement for Istio and supports the full Knative Ingress spec. Choose Gloo if you don't require a service mesh in your cluster and want a lightweight alternative that requires less resource usage and operational overhead.

Before you begin

Knative requires a Kubernetes cluster v1.15 or newer, as well as a compatible kubectl. This guide assumes that you've already created a Kubernetes cluster which you're comfortable installing alpha software on.

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 Glooctl

Gloo's CLI tool glooctl makes it easy to install both Gloo and Knative without the need to use Helm or multiple manifests. Let's go ahead and download glooctl:

curl -sL | sh

Alternatively, you can download the Gloo CLI directly via the github releases page.

Next, add glooctl to your path with:

export PATH=$HOME/.gloo/bin:$PATH

Verify the CLI is installed and running correctly with:

glooctl --version

Deploying Gloo and Knative to your cluster

Finally, install Gloo and Knative in a single command with glooctl:

glooctl install knative --install-eventing --install-eventing-version=<knative-release> --install-knative --install-knative-version=<knative-release> --install-monitoring

The glooctl install knative command can be customized with a variety of options:

  • use --install-knative-version to set the installed version of Knative Serving (defaults to 0.10.0)
  • use --install-build to install Knative Build
  • use --install-eventing to install Knative Eventing
  • use --dry-run to produce the kubernetes YAML that would be applied to your cluster rather than applying.
  • use --install-knative=false to only install Gloo without installing Knative components. This can be used if you wish to install Knative independently of Gloo.

See for the full list of available options for installing Knative with glooctl

Note: glooctl generates a manifest which can be piped to stdout or a file using the --dry-run flag. Alternatively, Gloo can be installed via its Helm Chart, which will permit fine-grained configuration of installation parameters.

Monitor the Gloo and Knative components until each one shows a STATUS of Running or Completed:

kubectl get pods --namespace gloo-system
kubectl get pods --namespace knative-serving

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 commands to view the component's status updates in real time. Use CTRL+C to exit watch mode.

Now you can deploy an app using your freshly installed Knative environment.

Configuring DNS

Knative dispatches to different services based on their hostname, so it greatly simplifies things to have DNS properly configured. For this, we must look up the external IP address that Gloo received. This can be done with the following command:

$ kubectl get svc -ngloo-system
NAME                     TYPE           CLUSTER-IP    EXTERNAL-IP    PORT(S)                      AGE
gloo                     ClusterIP   <none>         9977/TCP                     9m50s
knative-external-proxy   LoadBalancer   80:30351/TCP,443:30157/TCP   9m50s
knative-internal-proxy   ClusterIP    <none>         80/TCP,443/TCP               9m50s

This external IP can be used with your DNS provider with a wildcard A record; however, for a basic functioning DNS setup (not suitable for production!) this external IP address can be used with in the config-domain ConfigMap in knative-serving. You can edit this with the following command:

kubectl edit cm config-domain --namespace knative-serving

Given the external IP above, change the content to:

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: config-domain
  namespace: knative-serving
  # is a "magic" DNS provider, which resolves all DNS lookups for:
  # *.{ip} to {ip}. ""

Running Knative apps

Now that your cluster has Gloo & Knative installed, you can run serverless applications with Knative.

Let's deploy an app to test that everything is set up correctly:

  1. Next, create a Knative Service

    For this demo, a simple helloworld application written in go will be used. Copy the YAML below to a file called helloworld-go.yaml and apply it with kubectl

    kind: Service
      name: helloworld-go
      namespace: default
            - image:
                - name: TARGET
                  value: Go Sample v1
    kubectl apply -f helloworld-go.yaml
  2. Send a request

    Knative Services are exposed via the Host header assigned by Knative. By default, Knative will use the header Host: {service-name}.{namespace}.{the domain we setup above}. You can see this with:

    $ kubectl get ksvc helloworld-go
    NAME            URL                                                LATESTCREATED         LATESTREADY           READY     REASON
    helloworld-go   helloworld-go-nwblj   helloworld-go-nwblj   True

    You can send a request to the helloworld-go service with curl using the URL given above:

    $ curl
    Hello Go Sample v1!

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Knative with Gloo to manage and route to serverless applications!

What's next

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

Learn more about deploying apps to Knative with the Getting Started with Knative App Deployment guide.

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