This section describes how to install/uninstall Open Service Mesh (OSM) on a Kubernetes cluster using the osm CLI.


  • Kubernetes cluster running Kubernetes v1.15.0 or greater

Set up the OSM CLI

From the Binary Releases

Download platform specific compressed package from the Releases page. Unpack the osm binary and add it to $PATH to get started.

From Source (Linux, MacOS)

Building OSM from source requires more steps but is the best way to test the latest changes and useful in a development environment.

You must have a working Go environment.

$ git clone
$ cd osm
$ make build-osm

make build-osm will fetch any required dependencies, compile osm and place it in bin/osm. Add bin/osm to $PATH so you can easily use osm.

Install OSM

Use the osm CLI to install the OSM control plane on to a Kubernetes cluster.

Run osm install.

# Install osm control plane components
$ osm install
OSM installed successfully in namespace [osm-system] with mesh name [osm]

By default, the control plane components are installed into a Kubernetes Namespace called osm-system and the control plane is given a unique identifier attribute mesh-name defaulted to osm. Both the Namespace and mesh-name can be configured with flags to the osm install command. Running osm install --help provides details on the various flags that can be configured.

The mesh-name is a unique identifier assigned to an osm-controller instance during install to identify and manage a mesh instance.

The mesh-name should follow RFC 1123 DNS Label constraints. The mesh-name must:

  • contain at most 63 characters
  • contain only lowercase alphanumeric characters or ‘-’
  • start with an alphanumeric character
  • end with an alphanumeric character


To install OSM on OpenShift:

  1. Enable privileged init containers so that they can properly program iptables. The NET_ADMIN capability is not sufficient on OpenShift.
    osm install --set="OpenServiceMesh.enablePrivilegedInitContainer=true"
    • If you have already installed OSM without enabling privileged init containers, set enable_privileged_init_container to true in the OSM ConfigMap and restart any pods in the mesh.
  2. Add the privileged security context constraint to each service account in the mesh.
    • Install the oc CLI.
    • Add the security context constraint to the service account
       oc adm policy add-scc-to-user privileged -z <service account name> -n <service account namespace>

Inspect OSM Components

A few components will be installed by default into the osm-system Namespace. Inspect them by using the following kubectl command:

$ kubectl get pods,svc,secrets,configmaps,serviceaccount --namespace osm-system

A few cluster wide (non Namespaced components) will also be installed. Inspect them using the following kubectl command:

kubectl get clusterrolebinding,clusterrole,mutatingwebhookconfiguration

Under the hood, osm is using Helm libraries to create a Helm release object in the control plane Namespace. The Helm release name is the mesh-name. The helm CLI can also be used to inspect Kubernetes manifests installed in more detail. Goto for instructions to install Helm.

$ helm get manifest osm --namespace osm-system

Next Steps

Now that the OSM control plane is up and running, add services to the mesh.

OSM Automated Demo

The automated demo is a set of scripts anyone can run and shows how OSM can manage, secure and provide observability for microservice environments.

OSM Manual Demo Guide

The manual demo is a step-by-step walkthrough set of instruction of the automated demo.