To install maesh, the installation method is quite simple:

helm repo add maesh
helm repo update

Install maesh helm chart:

helm install --name=maesh --namespace=maesh maesh/maesh

Install from source

To build the image locally, run:


to build the binary and build/tag the local image.

Deploy helm chart

To deploy the helm chart, run:

helm install helm/chart/maesh --namespace maesh --set controller.image.pullPolicy=IfNotPresent --set controller.image.tag=latest

KubeDNS support

Maesh can support KubeDNS

helm install --name=maesh --namespace=maesh maesh/maesh --set kubedns=true

With this parameter Maesh will install a CoreDNS as a daemonset. KubeDNS will be patched with stubDomains

Custom cluster domain

If you use a cluster domain other than cluster.local set it by using the clusterDomain parameter:

helm install --name=maesh --namespace=maesh maesh/maesh --set

Service Mesh Interface

Maesh supports the SMI specification which defines a set of custom resources to provide a fine-grained control over instrumentation, routing and access control of east-west communications.

To enable SMI, install maesh in SMI mode by setting the smi.enable and smi.deploy helm chart options to true.

helm install --name=maesh --namespace=maesh maesh/maesh --set smi.enable=true --set smi.deploy=true`
  • The smi.enable option makes Maesh process SMI resources.
  • The smi.deploy option makes Maesh deploy the SMI CRDs with the helm chart.

Installation namespace

Maesh does not need to be installed in the maesh namespace, but it does need to be installed into its own namespace, separate from user namespaces.

Platform recommendations

Maesh will work on pretty much any kubernetes environment that conforms to the global kubernetes specification. That being said, we have had users encounter issues when using variants such as minikube, microk8s, and other development distributions.

Maesh runs without issue on most public clouds (AWS, GKE, Azure, DigitalOcean, and more). If you want to run Maesh in development, we would recommend using k3s, as it is fully conformant. We use k3s in Maesh's integration tests, so you can be sure that it works properly.

If you encounter issues on variants such as minikube or microk8s, please try and reproduce the issue on k3s. If you are unable to reproduce, it may be an issue with the distribution behaving differently than official kubernetes.

Verify your installation

You can check that Maesh has been installed properly by running the following command:

kubectl get all -n maesh

NAME                                    READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
pod/maesh-controller-676fb86b89-pj8ph   1/1     Running   0          11s
pod/maesh-mesh-w62z5                    1/1     Running   0          11s
pod/maesh-mesh-zjlpf                    1/1     Running   0          11s

NAME                     TYPE        CLUSTER-IP       EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)    AGE
service/maesh-mesh-api   ClusterIP   <none>        8080/TCP   29s

daemonset.apps/maesh-mesh   2         2         0       2            0           <none>          29s

NAME                               DESIRED   CURRENT   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
deployment.apps/maesh-controller   1         1         1            0           28s

NAME                                          DESIRED   CURRENT   READY   AGE
replicaset.apps/maesh-controller-676fb86b89   1         1         0       28s


To use maesh, instead of referencing services via their normal <servicename>.<namespace>, instead use <servicename>.<namespace>.maesh. This will access the maesh service mesh, and will allow you to route requests through maesh.

By default, maesh is opt-in, meaning you have to use the maesh service names to access the mesh, so you can have some services running through the mesh, and some services not.