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Configure the Kuma CNI

The operation of the Kuma data plane proxy, precludes that all the relevant inbound and outbound traffic on the host (or container) that runs the service is diverted to pass through the proxy itself. This is done through transparent proxying , which is set up automatically on Kubernetes. Installing it requires certain privileges, which are delegated to pre-sidecar initialisation steps. There are two options to do this with Kuma:

  • use the standard kuma-init, which is the default
  • use the Kuma CNI

Kuma CNI can be leveraged in the two installation methods for Kubernetes: using kumactl and with Helm . The default settings are tuned for OpenShift with Multus, therefore to use it in other environments we need to set the relevant configuration parameters.

Kuma CNI applies NetworkAttachmentDefinition(NAD) to applications in a namespace with label. To apply NAD to the applications not in a Mesh, add the label with the value disabled to the namespace.


Below are the details of how to set up Kuma CNI in different environments using both kumactl and helm.

kumactl install control-plane \
  --set "cni.enabled=true" \
  --set "cni.chained=true" \
  --set "cni.netDir=/etc/cni/net.d" \
  --set "cni.binDir=/opt/cni/bin" \
  --set "cni.confName=05-cilium.conflist"

For Cilium versions < 1.14 you should use cni.confName=05-cilium.conf as this has changed for version starting from Cilium 1.14.

Kuma CNI v2

The CNI v2 is a rewritten and improved version of the previous transparent-proxy.

To install v2 CNI append the following options to the command from installation:

--set ... \
--set "cni.enabled=true" \
--set "experimental.cni=true"

Until 2.2.x the v2 CNI was behind an experimental flag, but now it’s the default.

Kuma CNI taint controller

To prevent a race condition described in this issue a new controller was implemented. The controller will taint a node with NoSchedule taint to prevent scheduling before the CNI DaemonSet is running and ready. Once the CNI DaemonSet is running and ready it will remove the taint and allow other pods to be scheduled into the node.

To disable the taint controller use the following env variable:


Merbridge CNI with eBPF

To install merbridge CNI with eBPF append the following options to the command from installation:

To use Merbridge CNI with eBPF your environment has to use Kernel >= 5.7 and have cgroup2 available

--set ... \
--set "cni.enabled=true" \
--set "experimental.ebpf.enabled=true"

Kuma CNI logs

Logs of the CNI plugin are available in /tmp/kuma-cni.log on the node and the logs of the installer are available via kubectl logs. If you are using the CNI v2 version logs are available via kubectl logs instead.