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  • Review Pixie's requirements to make sure that your Kubernetes cluster is supported.

  • Determine if you already have Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM) deployed to your cluster, possibly to the default olm namespace. Pixie uses the Kubernetes Operator pattern to manage its Vizier, which handles data collection and query execution (see the Architecture diagram). The OLM is used to install, update and manage the Vizier Operator.

  • Pixie interacts with the Linux kernel to install BPF programs to collect telemetry data. In order to install BPF programs, Pixie vizier-pem-* pods require privileged access.

1. Sign up

Visit our product page and sign up.

2. Set up a Kubernetes cluster (optional)

If you don't have a Kubernetes cluster available, you can set up Minikube as a local sandbox environment following these instructions.

3. Install the Pixie CLI

The easiest way to install Pixie's CLI is using the install script:

# Copy and run command to install the Pixie CLI.
bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://withpixie.ai/install.sh)"

For alternate install options (Docker, Debian package, RPM, direct download of the binary) see the CLI Install page.

4. Deploy Pixie 🚀

Pixie's CLI is the fastest and easiest way to deploy Pixie. You can also deploy Pixie using YAML or Helm. You can use these steps to install Pixie to one or more clusters.

To deploy Pixie using the CLI:

# List Pixie deployment options.
px deploy --help
# Deploy the Pixie Platform in your K8s cluster (No OLM present on cluster).
px deploy
# Deploy the Pixie Platform in your K8s cluster (OLM already exists on cluster).
px deploy --deploy_olm=false
# Deploy Pixie with a specific memory limit (2Gi is the default, 1Gi is the minimum recommended)
px deploy --pem_memory_limit=1Gi

Pixie deploys the following pods to your cluster. Note that the number of vizier-pem pods correlates with the number of nodes in your cluster, so your deployment may contain more PEM pods.

olm catalog-operator
olm olm-operator
pl kelvin
pl nats-operator
pl pl-nats-1
pl vizier-certmgr
pl vizier-cloud-connector
pl vizier-metadata
pl vizier-pem
pl vizier-pem
pl vizier-proxy
pl vizier-query-broker
px-operator 77003c9dbf251055f0bb3e36308fe05d818164208a466a15d27acfddeejt7tq
px-operator pixie-operator-index
px-operator vizier-operator

To deploy Pixie to another cluster, change your kubectl config current-context to point to that cluster. Then repeat the same deploy commands shown in this step.

More Deploy Options

For more deploy options that you can specify to configure Pixie, refer to our deploy options.

5. Invite others to your organization (optional)

Add users to your organization to share access to Pixie Live Views, query running clusters, and deploy new Pixie clusters. For instructions, see the User Management & Sharing reference docs.

6. Use Pixie

Deploy a demo microservices app (optional)

Deploy a simple demo app to monitor using Pixie:

# List available demo apps.
px demo list
# Example: deploy Weaveworks' "sock-shop".
px demo deploy px-sock-shop

This demo application takes several minutes to stabilize after deployment.

To check the status of the application's pods, run:

kubectl get pods -n px-sock-shop

Test out the CLI

Use px live to run a script to demonstrate observability. The http_data script shows a sample of the HTTP/2 traffic flowing through your cluster.

# List built-in scripts
px scripts list
# Run a script
px live px/http_data

For more information, checkout our CLI guide.

Explore the web app

Open Pixie's Live UI in a new tab.

  1. After reviewing the hints, click the X in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
  2. Select your cluster (you may see other clusters from members of your organization).
  3. Now, select a script, e.g. px/cluster or px/http_data.

For more information, check out our Live UI guide.

Check out the tutorials

Learn how to use Pixie for

Get Help

Please see our Troubleshooting guide, reach out on our Community Slack or file an issue on GitHub.

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