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A purpose-built proxy for the Linkerd service mesh. Written in Rust.


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The Linkerd Proxy


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This repo contains the transparent proxy component of Linkerd2. While the Linkerd2 proxy is heavily influenced by the Linkerd 1.X proxy, it comprises an entirely new codebase implemented in the Rust programming language.

This proxy's features include:

  • Transparent, zero-config proxying for HTTP, HTTP/2, and arbitrary TCP protocols.
  • Automatic Prometheus metrics export for HTTP and TCP traffic;
  • Transparent, zero-config WebSocket proxying;
  • Automatic, latency-aware, layer-7 load balancing;
  • Automatic layer-4 load balancing for non-HTTP traffic;
  • Automatic Mutual TLS;
  • An on-demand diagnostic tap API.

This proxy is primarily intended to run on Linux in containerized environments like Kubernetes, though it may also work on other Unix-like systems (like macOS).

The proxy supports service discovery via DNS and the linkerd2 Destination gRPC API.

The Linkerd project is hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

Building the project

We use just-cargo which provide a thin wrapper around just and cargo.

We recommend that you use the included Dev Container to avoid setting up the complex development environment by hand.


A justfile is provided to automate most build tasks. It provides the following recipes:

  • just build -- Compiles the proxy on your local system using cargo
  • just test -- Runs unit and integration tests on your local system using cargo
  • just docker -- Builds a Docker container image that can be used for testing.


Usually, Cargo, Rust's package manager, is used to build and test this project. If you don't have Cargo installed, we suggest getting it via


A Devcontainer is provided for use with Visual Studio Code. It includes all of the tooling needed to build and test the proxy.

Repository Structure

This project is broken into many small libraries, or crates, so that components may be compiled & tested independently. The following crate targets are especially important:

Code of conduct

This project is for everyone. We ask that our users and contributors take a few minutes to review our code of conduct.


We test our code by way of fuzzing and this is described in

A third party security audit focused on fuzzing Linkerd2-proxy was performed by Ada Logics in 2021. The full report is available here.


linkerd2-proxy is copyright 2018 the linkerd2-proxy authors. All rights reserved.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use these files except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.