Using the Istioctl Command-line Tool

Overview

You can gain insights into what individual components are doing by inspecting their logs or peering inside via introspection. If that’s insufficient, the steps below explain how to get under the hood.

The istioctl tool is a configuration command line utility that allows service operators to debug and diagnose their Istio service mesh deployments. The Istio project also includes two helpful scripts for istioctl that enable auto-completion for Bash and ZSH. Both of these scripts provide support for the currently available istioctl commands.

Get an overview of your mesh

You can get an overview of your mesh using the proxy-status command:

$ istioctl proxy-status

If a proxy is missing from the output list it means that it is not currently connected to a Pilot instance and so it will not receive any configuration. Additionally, if it is marked stale, it likely means there are networking issues or Pilot needs to be scaled.

Get proxy configuration

istioctl allows you to retrieve information about proxy configuration using the proxy-config or pc command.

For example, to retrieve information about cluster configuration for the Envoy instance in a specific pod:

$ istioctl proxy-config cluster <pod-name> [flags]

To retrieve information about bootstrap configuration for the Envoy instance in a specific pod:

$ istioctl proxy-config bootstrap <pod-name> [flags]

To retrieve information about listener configuration for the Envoy instance in a specific pod:

$ istioctl proxy-config listener <pod-name> [flags]

To retrieve information about route configuration for the Envoy instance in a specific pod:

$ istioctl proxy-config route <pod-name> [flags]

To retrieve information about endpoint configuration for the Envoy instance in a specific pod:

$ istioctl proxy-config endpoints <pod-name> [flags]

See Debugging Envoy and Pilot for more advice on interpreting this information.

istioctl auto-completion

If you are using the macOS operating system with the Bash terminal shell, make sure that the bash-completion package is installed. With the brew package manager for macOS, you can check to see if the bash-completion package is installed with the following command:

$ brew info bash-completion
bash-completion: stable 1.3 (bottled)

If you find that the bash-completion package is not installed, proceed with installing the bash-completion package with the following command:

$ brew install bash-completion

Once the bash-completion package has been installed on your macOS system, add the following line to your ~/.bash_profile file:

[[ -r "/usr/local/etc/profile.d/bash_completion.sh" ]] && . "/usr/local/etc/profile.d/bash_completion.sh"

Enabling auto-completion

To enable istioctl completion on your system, follow the steps for your preferred shell:

Installing the bash auto-completion file

If you are using bash, the istioctl auto-completion file is located in the tools directory. To use it, copy the istioctl.bash file to your home directory, then add the following line to source the istioctl tab completion file from your .bashrc file:

$ source ~/istioctl.bash

Using auto-completion

If the istioctl completion file has been installed correctly, press the Tab key while writing an istioctl command, and it should return a set of command suggestions for you to choose from:

$ istioctl proxy-<TAB>
proxy-config proxy-status