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This is not the latest version of Linkerd!
This documentation is for an older version of Linkerd. In Linkerd 2.15 (current), this document no longer exists.

Cluster Configuration


Private Clusters

If you are using a private GKE cluster, you are required to create a firewall rule that allows the GKE operated api-server to communicate with the Linkerd control plane. This makes it possible for features such as automatic proxy injection to receive requests directly from the api-server.

In this example, we will use gcloud to simplify the creation of the said firewall rule.


gcloud config set compute/zone your-zone-or-region

Get the cluster MASTER_IPV4_CIDR:

MASTER_IPV4_CIDR=$(gcloud container clusters describe $CLUSTER_NAME \
  | grep "masterIpv4CidrBlock: " \
  | awk '{print $2}')

Get the cluster NETWORK:

NETWORK=$(gcloud container clusters describe $CLUSTER_NAME \
  | grep "^network: " \
  | awk '{print $2}')

Get the cluster auto-generated NETWORK_TARGET_TAG:

NETWORK_TARGET_TAG=$(gcloud compute firewall-rules list \
  --filter network=$NETWORK --format json \
  | jq ".[] | select(.name | contains(\"$CLUSTER_NAME\"))" \
  | jq -r '.targetTags[0]' | head -1)

The format of the network tag should be something like gke-cluster-name-xxxx-node.

Verify the values:


# example output foo-network gke-foo-cluster-c1ecba83-node

Create the firewall rules for proxy-injector, policy-validator and tap:

gcloud compute firewall-rules create gke-to-linkerd-control-plane \
  --network "$NETWORK" \
  --allow "tcp:8443,tcp:8089,tcp:9443" \
  --source-ranges "$MASTER_IPV4_CIDR" \
  --target-tags "$NETWORK_TARGET_TAG" \
  --priority 1000 \
  --description "Allow traffic on ports 8443, 8089, 9443 for linkerd control-plane components"

Finally, verify that the firewall is created:

gcloud compute firewall-rules describe gke-to-linkerd-control-plane


Cilium can be configured to replace kube-proxy functionality through eBPF. When running in kube-proxy replacement mode, connections to a ClusterIP service will be established directly to the service’s backend at the socket level (i.e. during TCP connection establishment). Linkerd relies on ClusterIPs being present on packets in order to do service discovery.

When packets do not contain a ClusterIP address, Linkerd will instead forward directly to the pod endpoint that was selected by Cilium. Consequentially, while mTLS and telemetry will still function correctly, features such as peak EWMA load balancing, and dynamic request routing may not work as expected.

This behavior can be turned off in Cilium by turning off socket-level load balancing for pods through the CLI option --config bpf-lb-sock-hostns-only=true, or through the Helm value socketLB.hostNamespaceOnly=true.

Lifecycle Hook Timeout

Linkerd uses a postStart lifecycle hook for all control plane components, and all injected workloads by default. The hook will poll proxy readiness through linkerd-await and block the main container from starting until the proxy is ready to handle traffic. By default, the hook will time-out in 2 minutes.

CNI plugins that are responsible for setting up and enforcing NetworkPolicy resources can interfere with the lifecycle hook’s execution. While lifecycle hooks are running, the container will not reach a Running state. Some CNI plugin implementations acquire the Pod’s IP address only after all containers have reached a running state, and the kubelet has updated the Pod’s status through the API Server. Without access to the Pod’s IP, the CNI plugins will not operate correctly. This in turn will block the proxy from being set-up, since it does not have the necessary network connectivity.

As a workaround, users can manually remove the postStart lifecycle hook from control plane components. For injected workloads, users may opt out of the lifecycle hook through the root-level await: false option, or alternatively, behavior can be overridden at a workload or namespace level through the annotation config.linkerd.io/proxy-await: disabled. Removing the hook will allow containers to start asynchronously, unblocking network connectivity once the CNI plugin receives the pod’s IP.