Namespace Management

Configuring the namespaces accessible and visible to Kiali.


The default Kiali installation (as mentioned in the Installation guide) gives Kiali access to all namespaces available in the cluster.

It is possible to restrict Kiali to a set of desired namespaces by providing a list of the ones you want, excluding the ones you don’t want, or filtering by a label selector. You can use a combination of these options.

Accessible Namespaces

You can configure which namespaces are accessible and observable through Kiali. You can use regex expressions which will be matched against the operator’s visible namespaces. If not set in the Kiali CR, the default makes accessible all cluster namespaces, with the exception of a predefined set of the cluster’s system workloads.

The list of accessible namespaces is specified in the Kiali CR via the accessible_namespaces setting, under the main deployment section. As an example, if Kiali is to be installed in the istio-system namespace, and is expected to monitor all namespaces prefixed with mycorp_, the setting would be:

    - istio-system
    - mycorp_.*

Note that the namespaces declared here (including any regex expressions) are evaluated and discovered at install time. Namespaces that do not exist at the time of install but are created later in the future will not be accessible by Kiali. For Kiali to be given access to namespaces created in the future, you must edit the Kiali CR and update the accessible_namespaces setting to include the new namespaces. The one exception is if you set accessible_namespaces to the special value ["**"] - in that case, all namespaces (including any namespaces created in the future) will be accessible to Kiali.

This configuration accepts the special pattern accessible_namespaces: ["**"] which denotes that Kiali is given access to all namespaces in the cluster, including any namespaces created in the future.

When installing multiple Kiali instances into a single cluster, accessible_namespaces must be mutually exclusive. In other words, a namespace set must be matched by only one Kiali CR. Regular expressions must not have overlapping patterns.

Maistra supports multi-tenancy and the accessible_namespaces extends that feature to Kiali. However, explicit naming of accessible namespaces can benefit non-Maistra installations as well - with it Kiali does not need cluster roles and the Kiali Operator does not need permissions to create cluster roles.

Excluded Namespaces

The Kiali CR tells the Kiali Operator which accessible namespaces should be excluded from the list of namespaces provided by the API and UI. This can be useful if wildcards are used when specifying Accessible Namespaces. This setting has no effect on namespace accessibility. It is only a filter, not security-related.

For example, if the accessible_namespaces configuration includes mycorp_.* but it is not desirable to see test namespaces, the following configuration can be used:

      - mycorp_test.*

Namespace Selectors

To fetch a subset of the available namespaces, Kiali supports an optional Kubernetes label selector. This selector is especially useful when spec.deployment.accessible_namespaces is set to ["**"] but you want to reduce the namespaces presented in the UI’s namespace list.

The label selector is defined in the Kiali CR setting spec.api.namespaces.label_selector.

The example below selects all namespaces that have a label kiali-enabled: true:

    label_selector: kiali-enabled=true

For further information on how this api.namespaces.label_selector interacts with spec.deployment.accessible_namespaces read the Kiali CR Reference documentation.

To label a namespace you can use the following command. For more information see the Kubernete’s official documentation.

  kubectl label namespace my-namespace kiali-enabled=true

Note that when deploying multiple control planes in the same cluster, you will want to set the label selector’s value unique to each control plane. This allows each Kiali instance to select only the namespaces relevant to each control plane. Because in this “soft-multitenancy” mode spec.deployment.accessible_namespaces is typically set to an explicit set of namespaces (i.e. not ["**"]), you do not have to do anything with this label_selector. This is because the default value of label_selector is <spec.istio_namespace> when spec.deployment.accessible_namespaces is not set to the “all namespaces” value ["**"]. This allows you to have multiple control planes in the same cluster, with each control plane having its own Kiali instance. If you set your own Kiali instance name in the Kiali CR (i.e. you set spec.deployment.instance_name to something other than kiali), then the default label will be<spec.deployment.instance_name>.member-of: <spec.istio_namespace>.

Last modified February 11, 2022 : make namespace access more clear (#511) (a044b29)