Cilium Quick Installation

This guide will walk you through the quick default installation. It will automatically detect and use the best configuration possible for the Kubernetes distribution you are using. All state is stored using Kubernetes custom resource definitions (CRDs).

This is the best installation method for most use cases. For large environments (> 500 nodes) or if you want to run specific datapath modes, refer to the Getting Started guide.

Should you encounter any issues during the installation, please refer to the Troubleshooting section and/or seek help on Cilium Slack.

Create the Cluster

If you don’t have a Kubernetes Cluster yet, you can use the instructions below to create a Kubernetes cluster locally or using a managed Kubernetes service:

The following commands create a Kubernetes cluster using Google Kubernetes Engine. See Installing Google Cloud SDK for instructions on how to install gcloud and prepare your account.

export NAME="$(whoami)-$RANDOM"
# Create the node pool with the following taint to guarantee that
# Pods are only scheduled/executed in the node when Cilium is ready.
# Alternatively, see the note below.
gcloud container clusters create "${NAME}" \
 --node-taints \
 --zone us-west2-a
gcloud container clusters get-credentials "${NAME}" --zone us-west2-a


Please make sure to read and understand the documentation page on taint effects and unmanaged pods.

Install the Cilium CLI


Make sure you install cilium-cli v0.15.0 or later. The rest of instructions do not work with older versions of cilium-cli. To confirm the cilium-cli version that’s installed in your system, run:

cilium version --client

See Cilium CLI upgrade notes for more details.

Install the latest version of the Cilium CLI. The Cilium CLI can be used to install Cilium, inspect the state of a Cilium installation, and enable/disable various features (e.g. clustermesh, Hubble).

if [ "$(uname -m)" = "aarch64" ]; then CLI_ARCH=arm64; fi
curl -L --fail --remote-name-all${CILIUM_CLI_VERSION}/cilium-linux-${CLI_ARCH}.tar.gz{,.sha256sum}
sha256sum --check cilium-linux-${CLI_ARCH}.tar.gz.sha256sum
sudo tar xzvfC cilium-linux-${CLI_ARCH}.tar.gz /usr/local/bin
rm cilium-linux-${CLI_ARCH}.tar.gz{,.sha256sum}


To learn more about the Cilium CLI, check out eCHO episode 8: Exploring the Cilium CLI.

Install Cilium

You can install Cilium on any Kubernetes cluster. Pick one of the options below:

These are the generic instructions on how to install Cilium into any Kubernetes cluster. The installer will attempt to automatically pick the best configuration options for you. Please see the other tabs for distribution/platform specific instructions which also list the ideal default configuration for particular platforms.



See System Requirements for more details on the system requirements.

Install Cilium

Install Cilium into the Kubernetes cluster pointed to by your current kubectl context:

cilium install --version 1.15.6

If the installation fails for some reason, run cilium status to retrieve the overall status of the Cilium deployment and inspect the logs of whatever pods are failing to be deployed.


You may be seeing cilium install print something like this:

♻️  Restarted unmanaged pod kube-system/event-exporter-gke-564fb97f9-rv8hg
♻️  Restarted unmanaged pod kube-system/kube-dns-6465f78586-hlcrz
♻️  Restarted unmanaged pod kube-system/kube-dns-autoscaler-7f89fb6b79-fsmsg
♻️  Restarted unmanaged pod kube-system/l7-default-backend-7fd66b8b88-qqhh5
♻️  Restarted unmanaged pod kube-system/metrics-server-v0.3.6-7b5cdbcbb8-kjl65
♻️  Restarted unmanaged pod kube-system/stackdriver-metadata-agent-cluster-level-6cc964cddf-8n2rt

This indicates that your cluster was already running some pods before Cilium was deployed and the installer has automatically restarted them to ensure all pods get networking provided by Cilium.

Validate the Installation

To validate that Cilium has been properly installed, you can run

$ cilium status --wait
/¯¯\__/¯¯\    Cilium:         OK
\__/¯¯\__/    Operator:       OK
/¯¯\__/¯¯\    Hubble:         disabled
\__/¯¯\__/    ClusterMesh:    disabled

DaemonSet         cilium             Desired: 2, Ready: 2/2, Available: 2/2
Deployment        cilium-operator    Desired: 2, Ready: 2/2, Available: 2/2
Containers:       cilium-operator    Running: 2
                  cilium             Running: 2
Image versions    cilium    2
                  cilium-operator 2

Run the following command to validate that your cluster has proper network connectivity:

$ cilium connectivity test
ℹ️  Monitor aggregation detected, will skip some flow validation steps
✨ [k8s-cluster] Creating namespace for connectivity check...
📋 Test Report
✅ 69/69 tests successful (0 warnings)


The connectivity test may fail to deploy due to too many open files in one or more of the pods. If you notice this error, you can increase the inotify resource limits on your host machine (see Pod errors due to “too many open files”).

Congratulations! You have a fully functional Kubernetes cluster with Cilium. 🎉

Next Steps