Linkerd 2.10: Lighter Weight, More Secure Deployments w/ Extensions, Multi-cluster TCP, Opaque Ports

Mar 11, 2021

The maintainers of Linkerd, the world’s lightest and fastest service mesh, today announced the release of Linkerd 2.10. The newest version extends the maintainers’ dedication to minimalism, composability, and building on top of the existing ecosystem, introducing new opt-in extensions that pare down Linkerd’s default control plane install and allow for third-party augmentation. This release also extends Linkerd’s seamless, secure multi-cluster support to all TCP connections, and adds opaque ports to make it easier to apply mTLS to all protocols. Linkerd 2.10 now weighs in at under 200mb at startup, down from ~500mb in Linkerd 2.9, shedding non-critical components that previously shipped by default.

“Complexity is the enemy. Despite what other projects would have you believe, the service mesh doesn’t have to be complex. We are fanatically dedicated to making Linkerd as small and simple as possible while delivering the features necessary to build secure, reliable applications on Kubernetes,” said William Morgan, CEO of Buoyant, the creator of Linkerd. “The introduction of extensions gives Linkerd adopters more control over their service mesh and provides crucial points of extensibility, in a way that fits in the ethos of the project of simplicity, composability, and empathy for our users.”

The initial set of new Linkerd extensions includes:

By offering Prometheus, Grafana, dashboard, and other components as opt-in extensions, Linkerd adopters can choose exactly which elements of Linkerd they want to install on their cluster. This update also enables the Linkerd community to build Linkerd-specific operators and controllers without having to modify the core Linkerd CLI. Linkerd 2.10 makes service mesh easier to use and increasingly flexible so that its benefits namely security, observability, and reliability can be applied to a wider number of use cases.

Linkerd 2.10 also extends multi-cluster support to all TCP connections, allowing Linkerd to connect Kubernetes services across cluster boundaries in a way that’s secure, fully transparent to the application, and independent of network topology. 2.10 also introduces new opaque ports feature which further extends Linkerd’s ability to provide zero-config mutual TLS for all TCP traffic.

Linkerd’s focus on flexibility, security, simplicity, and transparency has led to the rapid adoption of the project by both innovative startups and large international enterprises, including Microsoft, H-E-B, EverQuote, HP, and Elkjøp, the Nordic electronics retailer that used Linkerd as the foundation of its enterprise-ready Kubernetes platform. To reinforce Linkerd’s dedication to open governance, its maintainers recently launched the Linkerd Steering Committee. Linkerd was also named Best Open Source DevOps Tool of 2020 by the Tech Ascension Awards underscoring its focus on delivering security, reliability, and observability features to address core challenges faced by engineers building modern applications without changing code.

Linkerd 2.10 includes a number of other improvements, performance enhancements, and bug fixes that enhance its user experience, outlined in the full release notes. For more information on Linkerd, click here, or install the latest release from GitHub.

About Buoyant

Buoyant was founded by William Morgan and Oliver Gould in 2015 with the mission of making the fundamental tools for reliability and security of software accessible to every engineer in the world. They pioneered the service mesh category with Linkerd, the open source, open governance service mesh. Today, Buoyant’s software powers critical production infrastructure for leading organizations around the world. Buoyant investors include GV, Benchmark, #ANGELS, A Capital and SV Angel. For more information, visit

About Linkerd

Linkerd is an ultralight, security-first service mesh for Kubernetes. Linkerd is open source and open governance. Created in 2016, Linkerd was the first service mesh project and introduced the term “service mesh” to the industry lexicon. Linkerd is hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). For more information, visit