Docsright arrowTelepresenceright arrowInstall/Uninstall the Traffic Manager

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Install/Uninstall the Traffic Manager

Telepresence uses a traffic manager to send/recieve cloud traffic to the user. Telepresence uses Helm under the hood to install the traffic manager in your cluster. The telepresence binary embeds both helm and a helm-chart for a traffic-manager that is of the same version as the binary.

You can also use helm command directly, provided that you have it installed, see Installing With Helm for more details.


Before you begin, you need to have Telepresence installed. In addition, you may need certain prerequisites depending on your cloud provider and platform. See the cloud provider installation notes for more.

Install the Traffic Manager

The telepresence cli can install the traffic manager for you. The basic install will install the same version as the client used.

  1. Install the Telepresence Traffic Manager with the following command:

Customizing the Traffic Manager.

For details on what the Helm chart installs and what can be configured, see the Helm chart configuration on artifacthub.

  1. Create a values.yaml file with your config values.

  2. Run the install command with the --values flag set to the path to your values file:

    alternatively, provide values using the --set flag:

Install into custom namespace

The Helm chart supports being installed into any namespace, not necessarily ambassador. Simply pass a different namespace argument to telepresence helm install. For example, if you wanted to deploy the traffic manager to the staging namespace:

Note that users of Telepresence will need to configure their kubeconfig to find this installation of the Traffic Manager:

See the kubeconfig documentation for more information.

Upgrading/Downgrading the Traffic Manager.

  1. Download the cli of the version of Telepresence you wish to use.

  2. Run the upgrade command. Optionally with --values and/or --set flags

    You can also use the --reuse-values or --reset-values to specify if previously installed values should be reused or reset.


The telepresence cli can uninstall the traffic manager for you using the telepresence helm uninstall.

  1. Uninstall the Telepresence Traffic Manager and all the agents installed by it using the following command:


Installing a namespace-scoped traffic manager

You might not want the Traffic Manager to have permissions across the entire kubernetes cluster, or you might want to be able to install multiple traffic managers per cluster (for example, to separate them by environment). In these cases, the traffic manager supports being installed with a namespace scope, allowing cluster administrators to limit the reach of a traffic manager's permissions.

For example, suppose you want a Traffic Manager that only works on namespaces dev and staging. To do this, create a values.yaml like the following:

This can then be installed via:

NOTE Do not install namespace-scoped Traffic Managers and a global Traffic Manager in the same cluster, as it could have unexpected effects.

Namespace collision detection

The Telepresence Helm chart will try to prevent namespace-scoped Traffic Managers from managing the same namespaces. It will do this by creating a ConfigMap, called traffic-manager-claim, in each namespace that a given install manages.

So, for example, suppose you install one Traffic Manager to manage namespaces dev and staging, as:

You might then attempt to install another Traffic Manager to manage namespaces staging and prod:

This would fail with an error:

To fix this error, fix the overlap either by removing staging from the first install, or from the second.

Namespace scoped user permissions

Optionally, you can also configure user rbac to be scoped to the same namespaces as the manager itself. You might want to do this if you don't give your users permissions throughout the cluster, and want to make sure they only have the minimum set required to perform telepresence commands on certain namespaces.

Continuing with the dev and staging example from the previous section, simply add the following to values.yaml (make sure you set the subjects!):

Installing RBAC only

Telepresence Traffic Manager does require some RBAC for the traffic-manager deployment itself, as well as for users. To make it easier for operators to introspect / manage RBAC separately, you can use rbac.only=true to only create the rbac-related objects. Additionally, you can use clientRbac.create=true and managerRbac.create=true to toggle which subset(s) of RBAC objects you wish to create.

Ambassador Agent

The Ambassador Agent is installed alongside the Traffic Manager to report your services to Ambassador Cloud and give you the ability to trigger intercepts from the Cloud UI.

If you are already using the Emissary-Ingress or Edge-Stack you do not need to install the Ambassador Agent. When installing the traffic-manager you can add the flag --set ambassador-agent.enabled=false, to not include the ambassador-agent. Emissary and Edge-Stack both already include this agent within their deployments.

If your namespace runs with tight security parameters you may need to set a few additional parameters. These parameters are securityContext, tolerations, and resources. You can set these parameters in a values.yaml file under the ambassador-agent prefix to fit your namespace requirements.

Adding an API Key to your Ambassador Agent

While installing the traffic-manager you can pass your cloud-token directly to the helm chart using the flag, --set ambassador-agent.cloudConnectToken=<API_KEY>. The API Key will be created as a secret and your agent will use it upon start-up. Telepresence will not override the API key given via Helm.

Creating a secret manually

The Ambassador agent watches for secrets with a name ending in agent-cloud-token. You can create this secret yourself. This API key will always be used.

Running air-gapped

If your cluster is on an isolated network such that it cannot communicate with Ambassador Cloud, then some additional configurationis required. Check the technical reference on Air-gapped cluster for details.

Install the Traffic Manager with Helm

The Telepresence Helm chart is hosted by Ambassador Labs and published at

Start by adding this repo to your Helm client with the following command:


When you run the Helm chart, it installs all the components required for the Telepresence Traffic Manager.

  1. If you are installing the Telepresence Traffic Manager for the first time on your cluster, create the ambassador namespace in your cluster:

  2. Install the Telepresence Traffic Manager with the following command:


Versions of the Traffic Manager Helm chart are coupled to the versions of the Telepresence CLI that they are intended for. Thus, for example, if you wish to use Telepresence v2.18.1, you'll need to install version v2.18.1 of the Traffic Manager Helm chart.

Upgrading the Traffic Manager is the same as upgrading any other Helm chart; for example, if you installed the release into the ambassador namespace, and you just wished to upgrade it to the latest version without changing any configuration values:

If you want to upgrade the Traffic-Manager to a specific version, add a --version flag with the version number to the upgrade command. For example: --version v2.18.1