• dlorenc
  • r2d4
  • aaron-prindle title: Running Kubernetes Locally via Minikube

Minikube is a tool that makes it easy to run Kubernetes locally. Minikube runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster inside a VM on your laptop for users looking to try out Kubernetes or develop with it day-to-day.

  • TOC {:toc}

Minikube Features

  • Minikube supports Kubernetes features such as:
  • DNS
  • NodePorts
  • ConfigMaps and Secrets
  • Dashboards
  • Container Runtime: Docker, and rkt
  • Enabling CNI (Container Network Interface)
  • Ingress




See the installation instructions for the latest release.


Here's a brief demo of minikube usage. If you want to change the VM driver add the appropriate --vm-driver=xxx flag to minikube start. Minikube supports the following drivers:

Note that the IP below is dynamic and can change. It can be retrieved with minikube ip.

$ minikube start
Starting local Kubernetes cluster...
Running pre-create checks...
Creating machine...
Starting local Kubernetes cluster...

$ kubectl run hello-minikube --image=gcr.io/google_containers/echoserver:1.4 --port=8080
deployment "hello-minikube" created
$ kubectl expose deployment hello-minikube --type=NodePort
service "hello-minikube" exposed

# We have now launched an echoserver pod but we have to wait until the pod is up before curling/accessing it
# via the exposed service.
# To check whether the pod is up and running we can use the following:
$ kubectl get pod
NAME                              READY     STATUS              RESTARTS   AGE
hello-minikube-3383150820-vctvh   1/1       ContainerCreating   0          3s
# We can see that the pod is still being created from the ContainerCreating status
$ kubectl get pod
NAME                              READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
hello-minikube-3383150820-vctvh   1/1       Running   0          13s
# We can see that the pod is now Running and we will now be able to curl it:
$ curl $(minikube service hello-minikube --url)
real path=/
$ minikube stop
Stopping local Kubernetes cluster...
Stopping "minikube"...

Using rkt container engine

To use rkt as the container runtime run:

$ minikube start \
    --network-plugin=cni \
    --container-runtime=rkt \

This will use an alternative minikube ISO image containing both rkt, and Docker, and enable CNI networking.

Driver plugins

See DRIVERS for details on supported drivers and how to install plugins, if required.

Reusing the Docker daemon

When using a single VM of Kubernetes, it's really handy to reuse the minikube's built-in Docker daemon; as this means you don't have to build a docker registry on your host machine and push the image into it - you can just build inside the same docker daemon as minikube which speeds up local experiments. Just make sure you tag your Docker image with something other than 'latest' and use that tag while you pull the image. Otherwise, if you do not specify version of your image, it will be assumed as :latest, with pull image policy of Always correspondingly, which may eventually result in ErrImagePull as you may not have any versions of your Docker image out there in the default docker registry (usually DockerHub) yet.

To be able to work with the docker daemon on your mac/linux host use the docker-env command in your shell:

eval $(minikube docker-env)

you should now be able to use docker on the command line on your host mac/linux machine talking to the docker daemon inside the minikube VM:

docker ps

On Centos 7, docker may report the following error:

Could not read CA certificate "/etc/docker/ca.pem": open /etc/docker/ca.pem: no such file or directory

The fix is to update /etc/sysconfig/docker to ensure that minikube's environment changes are respected:

< DOCKER_CERT_PATH=/etc/docker
> if [ -z "${DOCKER_CERT_PATH}" ]; then
>   DOCKER_CERT_PATH=/etc/docker
> fi

Remember to turn off the imagePullPolicy:Always, as otherwise Kubernetes won't use images you built locally.

Managing your Cluster

Starting a Cluster

The minikube start command can be used to start your cluster. This command creates and configures a virtual machine that runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster. This command also configures your kubectl installation to communicate with this cluster.

If you are behind a web proxy, you will need to pass this information in e.g. via

https_proxy=<my proxy> minikube start --docker-env HTTP_PROXY=<my proxy> --docker-env HTTPS_PROXY=<my proxy> --docker-env NO_PROXY=

Unfortunately just setting the environment variables will not work.

Minikube will also create a "minikube" context, and set it to default in kubectl. To switch back to this context later, run this command: kubectl config use-context minikube.

Configuring Kubernetes

Minikube has a "configurator" feature that allows users to configure the Kubernetes components with arbitrary values. To use this feature, you can use the --extra-config flag on the minikube start command.

This flag is repeated, so you can pass it several times with several different values to set multiple options.

This flag takes a string of the form component.key=value, where component is one of the strings from the above list, key is a value on the configuration struct and value is the value to set.

Valid keys can be found by examining the documentation for the Kubernetes componentconfigs for each component. Here is the documentation for each supported configuration:


To change the MaxPods setting to 5 on the Kubelet, pass this flag: --extra-config=kubelet.MaxPods=5.

This feature also supports nested structs. To change the LeaderElection.LeaderElect setting to true on the scheduler, pass this flag: --extra-config=scheduler.LeaderElection.LeaderElect=true.

To set the AuthorizationMode on the apiserver to RBAC, you can use: --extra-config=apiserver.AuthorizationMode=RBAC.

Stopping a Cluster

The minikube stop command can be used to stop your cluster. This command shuts down the minikube virtual machine, but preserves all cluster state and data. Starting the cluster again will restore it to it's previous state.

Deleting a Cluster

The minikube delete command can be used to delete your cluster. This command shuts down and deletes the minikube virtual machine. No data or state is preserved.

Interacting With your Cluster


The minikube start command creates a "kubectl context" called "minikube". This context contains the configuration to communicate with your minikube cluster.

Minikube sets this context to default automatically, but if you need to switch back to it in the future, run:

kubectl config use-context minikube,

or pass the context on each command like this: kubectl get pods --context=minikube.


To access the Kubernetes Dashboard, run this command in a shell after starting minikube to get the address:

minikube dashboard


To access a service exposed via a node port, run this command in a shell after starting minikube to get the address:

minikube service [-n NAMESPACE] [--url] NAME


The minikube VM is exposed to the host system via a host-only IP address, that can be obtained with the minikube ip command. Any services of type NodePort can be accessed over that IP address, on the NodePort.

To determine the NodePort for your service, you can use a kubectl command like this:

kubectl get service $SERVICE --output='jsonpath="{.spec.ports[0].nodePort}"'

Persistent Volumes

Minikube supports PersistentVolumes of type hostPath. These PersistentVolumes are mapped to a directory inside the minikube VM.

The Minikube VM boots into a tmpfs, so most directories will not be persisted across reboots (minikube stop). However, Minikube is configured to persist files stored under the following host directories:

  • /data
  • /var/lib/localkube
  • /var/lib/docker

Here is an example PersistentVolume config to persist data in the '/data' directory:

apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolume
  name: pv0001
    - ReadWriteOnce
    storage: 5Gi
    path: /data/pv0001/

Mounted Host Folders

Some drivers will mount a host folder within the VM so that you can easily share files between the VM and host. These are not configurable at the moment and different for the driver and OS you are using. Note: Host folder sharing is not implemented in the KVM driver yet.

Driver OS HostFolder VM
Virtualbox Linux /home /hosthome
Virtualbox OSX /Users /Users
Virtualbox Windows C://Users /c/Users
VMWare Fusion OSX /Users /Users
Xhyve OSX /Users /Users

Private Container Registries

To access a private container registry, follow the steps on this page.

We recommend you use ImagePullSecrets, but if you would like to configure access on the minikube VM you can place the .dockercfg in the /home/docker directory or the config.json in the /home/docker/.docker directory.


In order to have minikube properly start/restart custom addons, place the addons you wish to be launched with minikube in the .minikube/addons directory. Addons in this folder will be moved to the minikubeVM and launched each time minikube is started/restarted.


For a list of minikube's available commands see the full CLI docs.

Using Minikube with an HTTP Proxy

Minikube creates a Virtual Machine that includes Kubernetes and a Docker daemon. When Kubernetes attempts to schedule containers using Docker, the Docker daemon may require external network access to pull containers.

If you are behind an HTTP proxy, you may need to supply Docker with the proxy settings. To do this, pass the required environment variables as flags during minikube start.

For example:

$ minikube start --docker-env HTTP_PROXY=http://$YOURPROXY:PORT \
                 --docker-env HTTPS_PROXY=https://$YOURPROXY:PORT

Known Issues

  • Features that require a Cloud Provider will not work in Minikube. These include:
  • LoadBalancers
  • Features that require multiple nodes. These include:
  • Advanced scheduling policies


Minikube uses libmachine for provisioning VMs, and localkube (originally written and donated to this project by RedSpread) for running the cluster.

For more information about minikube, see the proposal.

  • Goals and Non-Goals: For the goals and non-goals of the minikube project, please see our roadmap.
  • Development Guide: See CONTRIBUTING.md for an overview of how to send pull requests.
  • Building Minikube: For instructions on how to build/test minikube from source, see the build guide
  • Adding a New Dependency: For instructions on how to add a new dependency to minikube see the adding dependencies guide
  • Updating Kubernetes: For instructions on how to add a new dependency to minikube see the updating Kubernetes guide


Contributions, questions, and comments are all welcomed and encouraged! minkube developers hang out on Slack in the #minikube channel (get an invitation here). We also have the kubernetes-dev Google Groups mailing list. If you are posting to the list please prefix your subject with "minikube: ".