Uninstall Cloud Service Mesh

This page explains how to uninstall Cloud Service Mesh if you are using the Istio APIs. If you are using Compute Engine APIs, no steps are necessary. See the Cloud Service Mesh overview to understand the differences.

Uninstall Cloud Service Mesh

Use the following commands to uninstall all Cloud Service Mesh components. These commands also delete the istio-system namespace and all custom resource definitions (CRDs), including any CRDs that you applied.

  1. To prevent interruption of application traffic:

    • Downgrade any STRICT mTLS policies to PERMISSIVE.
    • Remove any AuthorizationPolicy that may block traffic.
  2. Disable Automatic Management on this cluster (whether you applied it directly or using the fleet-default configuration):

      gcloud container fleet mesh update \
         --management manual \
         --memberships MEMBERSHIP_NAME \
         --project FLEET_PROJECT_ID \
         --location MEMBERSHIP_LOCATION

    Replace the following:

    • MEMBERSHIP_NAME is the membership name listed when you verified that your cluster was registered to the fleet.
    • MEMBERSHIP_LOCATION is the location of your membership (either a region, or global).
  3. Disable sidecar auto-injection on your namespace(s), if it is enabled. Run the following command to display namespace labels:

     kubectl get namespace YOUR_NAMESPACE --show-labels

    The output is similar to the following:

     demo   Active   4d17h   istio.io/rev=asm-181-5

    If you see istio.io/rev= in the output under the LABELS column, remove it:

     kubectl label namespace YOUR_NAMESPACE istio.io/rev-

    If you see istio-injection in the output under the LABELS column, remove it:

     kubectl label namespace YOUR_NAMESPACE istio-injection-

    If you don't see either the istio.io/rev or istio-injection labels, then auto-injection wasn't enabled on the namespace.

  4. Restart your workloads that have sidecars injected to remove the proxies.

  5. If you're using managed Cloud Service Mesh, check which control plane implementation you have in your cluster, this will help delete relevant resources in further steps.

  6. If you're using managed Cloud Service Mesh, remove all controlplanerevision resources in the cluster:

    kubectl delete controlplanerevision asm-managed asm-managed-rapid asm-managed-stable -n istio-system --ignore-not-found=true
  7. Delete webhooks from your cluster, if they exist.

    In-cluster Cloud Service Mesh

    Delete the validatingwebhooksconfiguration and mutatingwebhookconfiguration.

    kubectl delete validatingwebhookconfiguration,mutatingwebhookconfiguration -l operator.istio.io/component=Pilot

    Managed Cloud Service Mesh

    A. Delete the validatingwebhooksconfiguration.

    kubectl delete validatingwebhookconfiguration istiod-istio-system-mcp

    B. Delete all mutatingwebhookconfiguration.

    kubectl delete mutatingwebhookconfiguration istiod-RELEASE_CHANNEL
  8. Once all workloads come up and no proxies are observed, then you can safely delete the in-cluster control plane to stop billing.

    To remove the in-cluster control plane, run the following command:

    istioctl x uninstall --purge

    If there are no other control planes, you can delete the istio-system namespace to get rid of all Cloud Service Mesh resources. Otherwise, delete the services corresponding to the Cloud Service Mesh revisions. This avoids deleting shared resources, such as CRDs.

  9. Delete the istio-system and asm-system namespaces:

     kubectl delete namespace istio-system asm-system --ignore-not-found=true
  10. Check if the deletions were successful:

     kubectl get ns

    The output should indicate a Terminating state and return as shown, otherwise you might have to manually delete any remaining resources in the namespaces and try again.

     NAME                 STATUS       AGE
     istio-system         Terminating  71m
     asm-system           Terminating  71m
  11. If you will delete your clusters, or have already deleted them, ensure that each cluster is unregistered from your fleet.

  12. If you enabled managed Cloud Service Mesh fleet-default configuration and want to disable it for future clusters, disable it. You can skip this step if you're only uninstalling from a single cluster.

     gcloud container hub mesh disable --fleet-default-member-config --project FLEET_PROJECT_ID

    Where FLEET_PROJECT_ID is the ID of your Fleet Host project.

  13. If you enabled managed Cloud Service Mesh, check and delete managed resources if they present:

    1. Delete the mdp-controller deployment:

        kubectl delete deployment mdp-controller -n kube-system
    2. If you have the TRAFFIC_DIRECTOR control plane implementation, clean up Transparent Health Check resources. Normally these are removed automatically, but you can make sure they are cleaned up by doing the following:

      1. Delete the snk daemonset.

           kubectl delete daemonset snk -n kube-system
      2. Delete the firewall rule.

           gcloud compute firewall-rules delete gke-csm-thc-FIRST_8_CHARS_OF_CLUSTER_ID

        Replace the following:

        • FIRST_8_CHARS_OF_CLUSTER_ID is the first 8 characters of the Cluster ID for your specific cluster.
    3. Check to see if the istio-cni-plugin-config configmap is present:

        kubectl get configmap istio-cni-plugin-config -n kube-system

      If present, delete the istio-cni-plugin-config configmap:

        kubectl delete configmap istio-cni-plugin-config -n kube-system
    4. Delete the istio-cni-node daemonset:

        kubectl delete daemonset istio-cni-node -n kube-system
  14. If you're uninstalling managed Cloud Service Mesh and you're keeping your cluster, contact Support to ensure that all Google Cloud resources are cleaned up. The istio-system namespace and config maps may also continue to be recreated if you don't follow this step.

Upon completion of these steps, all Cloud Service Mesh components, including proxies, in-cluster certificate authorities, and RBAC roles and bindings, are systematically removed from the cluster. During the installation process, a Google-owned service account is granted the necessary permissions to establish the service mesh resources within the cluster. These uninstall instructions don't revoke these permissions, allowing for a seamless re-activation of Cloud Service Mesh in the future.