Upgrade Notes

Important changes to consider when upgrading to Istio 1.6.

When you upgrade from Istio 1.5.x to Istio 1.6.x, you need to consider the changes on this page. These notes detail the changes which purposefully break backwards compatibility with Istio 1.5.x. The notes also mention changes which preserve backwards compatibility while introducing new behavior. Changes are only included if the new behavior would be unexpected to a user of Istio 1.5.x.

Currently, Istio doesn’t support skip-level upgrades. If you are using Istio 1.4, you must upgrade to Istio 1.5 first, and then upgrade to Istio 1.6. If you upgrade from versions earlier than Istio 1.4, you should first disable Galley’s configuration validation.

Update the Galley deployment using the following steps:

  1. To edit the Galley deployment configuration, run the following command:

    $ kubectl edit deployment -n istio-system istio-galley
  2. Add the --enable-validation=false option to the command: section as shown below:

    apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
    kind: Deployment
          - command:
            - --log_output_level=default:info
            - --enable-validation=false
  3. Save and quit the editor to update the deployment configuration in the cluster.

Remove the ValidatingWebhookConfiguration Custom Resource (CR) with the following command:

$ kubectl delete ValidatingWebhookConfiguration istio-galley -n istio-system

Change the readiness port of gateways

If you are using the 15020 port to check the health of your Istio ingress gateway with your Kubernetes network load balancer, change the port from 15020 to 15021.

Removal of legacy Helm charts

Istio 1.4 introduced a new way to install Istio using the in-cluster Operator or istioctl install command. Part of this change meant deprecating the old Helm charts in 1.5. Many new Istio features rely on the new installation method. As a result, Istio 1.6 doesn’t include the old Helm installation charts.

Go to the Istio 1.5 Upgrade Notes before you continue because Istio 1.5 introduced several changes not present in the legacy installation method, such as Istiod and telemetry v2.

To safely upgrade from the legacy installation method that uses Helm charts, perform a control plane revision. Upgrading in-place is not supported. Upgrading could result in downtime unless you perform a canary upgrade.

Support ended for v1alpha1 security policy

Istio 1.6 no longer supports the following security policy APIs:

Starting in Istio 1.6, Istio ignores these v1alpha1 security policy APIs.

Istio 1.6 replaced the v1alpha1 authentication policy with the following APIs:

Istio 1.6 replaces the v1alpha1 RBAC policy APIs with the v1beta1 authorization policy APIs.

Verify that there are no v1alpha1 security policies in your clusters the following commands:

$ kubectl get policies.authentication.istio.io --all-namespaces
$ kubectl get meshpolicies.authentication.istio.io --all-namespaces
$ kubectl get rbacconfigs.rbac.istio.io --all-namespaces
$ kubectl get clusterrbacconfigs.rbac.istio.io --all-namespaces
$ kubectl get serviceroles.rbac.istio.io --all-namespaces
$ kubectl get servicerolebindings.rbac.istio.io --all-namespaces

If there are any v1alpha1 security policies in your clusters, migrate to the new APIs before upgrading.

Istio configuration during installation

Past Istio releases deployed configuration objects during installation. The presence of those objects caused the following issues:

To address these issues, Istio 1.6 minimized the configuration objects deployed during installation.

The following configurations are impacted:

Reach Istiod through external workloads

In Istio 1.6, Istiod is configured to be cluster-local by default. With cluster-local enabled, only workloads running on the same cluster can reach Istiod. Workloads on another cluster can only access the Istiod instance through the Istio gateway. This configuration prevents the ingress gateway of the master cluster from incorrectly forwarding service discovery requests to Istiod instances in remote clusters. The Istio team is actively investigating alternatives to no longer require cluster-local.

To override the default cluster-local behavior, modify the configuration in the MeshConfig section as shown below:

      - settings:
          clusterLocal: false
          - "istiod.istio-system.svc.cluster.local"