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Kiali Service Mesh

Kiali Service Mesh

Configure, visualize, validate and troubleshoot your mesh

Kiali plugin for Backstage

The Kiali Plugin This plugin exposes information about your entity-specific ServiceMesh objects.


The Kiali plugin has the following capabilities:

  • Overview
    • Metrics by namespace
    • Health by namespace
    • Canary info
    • Istio Config warnings

For administrators

Setting up the Kiali plugin


  • The following annotation is added to the entity's catalog-info.yaml file to identify whether an entity contains the Kubernetes resources:


    You can also add the annotation to identify the Kubernetes resources using the defined namespace.

    ... <RESOURCE_NS>
  • The following annotation is added to the catalog-info.yaml file of entity to view the latest PipelineRun in the CI/CD tab of the application:

    ... : 'true'
  • A custom label selector can be added, which Backstage uses to find the Kubernetes resources. The label selector takes precedence over the ID annotations.

    ... 'app=my-app,component=front-end'
  • The following label is added to the resources so that the Kubernetes plugin gets the Kubernetes resources from the requested entity:



    When using the label selector, the mentioned labels must be present on the resource.


  1. Install the Kiali plugin using the following commands:

    yarn workspace app add @janus-idp/backstage-plugin-kiali
    yarn workspace app add @janus-idp/backstage-plugin-kiali-backend
  2. Enable the Kiali tab on the entity view page using the packages/app/src/components/catalog/EntityPage.tsx file:

    import { EntityKialiContent } from '@janus-idp/backstage-plugin-kiali';

    const serviceEntityPage = (
    {/* ... */}
    <EntityLayout.Route path="/kiali" title="kiali">
    <EntityKialiContent />
  3. Create a file called kiali.ts inside packages/backend/src/plugins/ and add the following:

import { CatalogClient } from '@backstage/catalog-client';

import { Router } from 'express';

import { createRouter } from '@janus-idp/backstage-plugin-kiali-backend';

import { PluginEnvironment } from '../types';

export default async function createPlugin(
env: PluginEnvironment,
): Promise<Router> {
const catalogApi = new CatalogClient({ discoveryApi: env.discovery });
return await createRouter({
logger: env.logger,
config: env.config,
  1. import the plugin to packages/backend/src/index.ts. There are three lines of code you'll need to add, and they should be added near similar code in your existing Backstage backend.
// ..
import kiali from './plugins/kiali';

async function main() {
// ...
const kialiEnv = useHotMemoize(module, () => createEnv('kiali'));
// ...
apiRouter.use('/kiali', await kiali(kialiEnv));
  1. Configure you app-config.yaml with kiali configuration
# Required. Kiali endpoint
# Required. Kiali authentication. Supported anonymous and token
# Optional. Required by token authentication
# Optional. defaults false
skipTLSVerify: true
# Optional
# Optional. Local path to CA file
caFile: ''
# Optional. Time in seconds that session is enabled, defaults to 1 minute.
sessionTime: 60

Authentication methods:

The following table describes the parameters that you can configure to enable the plugin under catalog.providers.keycloakOrg.<ENVIRONMENT_NAME> object in the app-config.yaml file:

NameDescriptionDefault ValueRequired
urlLocation of the kIALI server, such as https://localhost:4000""Yes
strategyAuthentication strategy. MethodsanonymousYes
serviceAccountTokenService Account Token which is used for querying data from Kiali""Yes if using token based authentication
skipTLSVerifySkip TLS certificate verification presented by the API serverfalseNo
caDataBase64-encoded certificate authority bundle in PEM format""No
caFileFilesystem path (on the host where the Backstage process is running) to a certificate authority bundle in PEM format""No
sessionTimeTime in seconds that session is enabled60No

For users

  1. Open your Backstage application and select a component from the Catalog page.


  1. Check that you entity has the annotations.


  1. Go to the Kiali tab.

    The Kiali tab displays the Overview view associated to a Servicemesh.


    There is also a Go To Kiali Graph option at the bottom of each card, which redirects you to the Graph in the Kiali Standalone.


To develop/contribute in kiali plugin follow these instructions