Difficulty: beginner
Estimated Time: 10 minutes

Linkerd works by installing ultralight proxies into each pod of a service. These proxies become part of a data plane which reports telemetry data to, and receives signals from, a control plane. This means that using Linkerd doesn't require any code changes, and can even be installed live on a running service.

To interact with Linkerd, you first install the control plane and then add the data plane proxies to your service. Once installed, you can interact with Linkerd using:

In this scenario, we’ll walk you through how to install the Linkerd onto a Kubernetes cluster and deploy a sample gRPC application to show off what Linkerd can do for your services.

Getting started with Linkerd

Step 1 of 5

Step 1 - Install

Let's get started by installing the CLI:

curl https://run.linkerd.io/install | sh

Next, add linkerd to your path with:

export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/.linkerd2/bin

Use the CLI to verify that your cluster is compatible with Linkerd by running:

linkerd check --pre

After everything passes, it is time to install the control plane:

linkerd install | kubectl apply -f -

linkerd install generates a list of Kubernetes resources. Run it standalone if you would like to understand what is going on. By piping the output of linkerd install into kubectl, the Linkerd control plane resources will be added to your cluster and start running immediately.

It may take a minute or two for your Kubernetes cluster to pull the Linkerd images and start all the components. While that’s happening, we can validate that everything’s happening correctly by running:

linkerd check

If you're interested in what components were installed, you can run:

linkerd -n linkerd get deploy

With Linkerd installed onto the cluster, the next step will be to explore a little and see what is happening.