Network Policy

If you are running Cilium on Kubernetes, you can benefit from Kubernetes distributing policies for you. In this mode, Kubernetes is responsible for distributing the policies across all nodes and Cilium will automatically apply the policies. Two formats are available to configure network policies natively with Kubernetes:

  • The standard NetworkPolicy resource which at the time of this writing, supports to specify L3/L4 ingress policies with limited egress support marked as beta.
  • The extended CiliumNetworkPolicy format which is available as a CustomResourceDefinition which supports specification of policies at Layers 3-7 for both ingress and egress.

It is recommended to only use one of the above policy types at a time to minimize unintended effects arising from the interaction between the policies.


For more information, see the official NetworkPolicy documentation.

Known missing features for Kubernetes Network Policy:

Feature Tracking Issue
Use of named ports
Ingress CIDR-based L4 policy
ipBlock set with a pod IP


The CiliumNetworkPolicy is very similar to the standard NetworkPolicy. The purpose is provide the functionality which is not yet supported in NetworkPolicy. Ideally all of the functionality will be merged into the standard resource format and this CRD will no longer be required.

The raw specification of the resource in Go looks like this:

type CiliumNetworkPolicy struct {
        metav1.TypeMeta `json:",inline"`
        // +optional
        Metadata metav1.ObjectMeta `json:"metadata"`

        // Spec is the desired Cilium specific rule specification.
        Spec *api.Rule `json:"spec,omitempty"`

        // Specs is a list of desired Cilium specific rule specification.
        Specs api.Rules `json:"specs,omitempty"`

        // Status is the status of the Cilium policy rule
        // +optional
        Status CiliumNetworkPolicyStatus `json:"status"`

Describes the policy. This includes:

  • Name of the policy, unique within a namespace
  • Namespace of where the policy has been injected into
  • Set of labels to identify resource in Kubernetes
Field which contains a Rule Basics
Field which contains a list of Rule Basics. This field is useful if multiple rules must be removed or added automatically.
Provides visibility into whether the policy has been successfully applied


See Layer 3 Examples for a detailed list of example policies.