Advanced Install

Advanced installation options.

Multiple Istio control planes in the same cluster

Currently, Kiali can manage only one Istio control plane. However, there are certain cases where you may have more than one Istio control plane in your cluster. One of such cases is when performing a Canary upgrade of Istio.

In these cases, you will need to configure in Kiali which control plane you want to manage. This is done by configuring the name of the components of the control plane. This is configured in the Kiali CR and the default values are the following:

      config_map_name: "istio"
      istiod_deployment_name: "istiod"
      istio_sidecar_injector_config_map_name: "istio-sidecar-injector"

If you want to manage both Istio control planes, simply install two Kiali instances and point each one to a different Istio control plane.

Installing a Kiali Server of a different version than the Operator

When you install the Kiali Operator, it will be configured to install a Kiali Server that is the same version as the operator itself. For example, if you have Kiali Operator v1.34.0 installed, that operator will install Kiali Server v1.34.0. If you upgrade (or downgrade) the Kiali Operator, the operator will in turn upgrade (or downgrade) the Kiali Server.

There are certain use-cases in which you want the Kiali Operator to install a Kiali Server whose version is different than the operator version. Read the following section «Using a custom image registry» section to learn how to configure this setup.

Using a custom image registry

Kiali is released and published to the container image registry. There is a repository hosting the Kiali operator images and another one for the Kiali server images.

If you need to mirror the Kiali container images to some other registry, you still can use Helm to install the Kiali operator as follows:

$ helm install \
    --namespace kiali-operator \
    --create-namespace \
    --set image.repo=your.custom.registry/owner/kiali-operator-repo
    --set image.tag=your_custom_tag
    --set allowAdHocKialiImage=true
    kiali-operator \

Then, when creating the Kiali CR, use the following attributes:

    image_name: your.custom.registry/owner/kiali-server-repo
    image_version: your_custom_tag

Change the default image

As explained earlier, when you install the Kiali Operator, it will be configured to install a Kiali Server whose image will be pulled from and whose version will be the same as the operator. You can ask the operator to use a different image by setting spec.deployment.image_name and spec.deployment.image_version within the Kiali CR (as explained above).

However, you may wish to alter this default behavior exhibited by the operator. In other words, you may want the operator to install a different Kiali Server image by default. For example, if you have an air-gapped environment with its own image registry that contains its own copy of the Kiali Server image, you will want the operator to install a Kiali Server that uses that image by default, as opposed to By configuring the operator to do this, you will not force the authors of Kiali CRs to have to explicitly define the spec.deployment.image_name setting and you will not need to enable the allowAdHocKialiImage setting in the operator.

To change the default Kiali Server image installed by the operator, set the environment variable RELATED_IMAGE_kiali_default in the Kiali Operator deployment. The value of that environment variable must be the full image tag in the form repoName/orgName/imageName:versionString (e.g. You can do this when you install the operator via helm:

$ helm install \
    --namespace kiali-operator \
    --create-namespace \
    --set "env[0].name=RELATED_IMAGE_kiali_default" \
    --set "env[0]" \
    kiali-operator \

Development Install

This option installs the latest Kiali Operator and Kiali Server images which are built from the master branches of Kiali GitHub repositories. This option is good for demo and development installations.

helm install \
  --set cr.create=true \
  --set cr.namespace=istio-system \
  --set cr.spec.deployment.image_version=latest \
  --set image.tag=latest \
  --namespace kiali-operator \
  -- create-namespace \
  kiali-operator \