Installing Kubernetes: Minikube

There are a bunch of ways to install Kubernetes.

Here we’ll take a look at Minikube but see future posts for Google Container Engine (GKE), AWS and a Manual Install.


Minikube is a tool that is used to run Kubernetes locally. It  runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster inside a VM so you can try out Kubernetes or develop with it.


Start: minikube start


brew update
brew cask reinstall minikube

Important note: the default minikube startup config for me was 4GB. With a Mac that has 8GB of memory, it will very quickly die from memory pressure as com.docker.hyperkit has 1.58GB.

To fix this use:

minikube config set memory 2048

(I’ve found I get memory pressure with less – e.g. 1024)


[RANT: why not just use upgrade rather than reinstall. And why should you have to spend several minutes Google’ing then have to go to a Stackoverflow page to find out how to upgrade a piece of software? Wouldn’t it have made sense to put some info somewhere like here:

What is Minikube

Minikube creates a VM which has a Master and Node that can be managed from the Host (via kubectl).

Components are:

VM: minikube

Localkube (binary): runs Master and Node

Container runtime: currently runs Docker

Host: kubectl


brew install kubectl
brew cask install minikube
brew install docker-machine-driver-xhyve
sudo chown root:wheel /usr/local/opt/docker-machine-driver-xhyve/bin/docker-machine-driver-xhyve
sudo chmod u+s /usr/local/opt/docker-machine-driver-xhyve/bin/docker-machine-driver-xhyve
minikube start --vm-driver=xhyve

Note: this driver now seems to be deprecated. i.e.

WARNING: The xhyve driver is now deprecated and support for it will be removed in a future release.
Please consider switching to the hyperkit driver, which is intended to replace the xhyve driver.

Also, kubectl is the same as kubernetes-cli:


Checking which cluster we’re managing:

kubectl config current-context


Note: we could use kubectl to manage another Kubernetes cluster (e.g. Production). Just need to switch clusters.


List nodes

kubectl get nodes

If it’s not running you may get something like:

kubectl get nodes
No resources found.
Unable to connect to the server: dial tcp i/o timeout

Annoyingly, it takes around 2:30 mins to timeout!

Stop minikube

minikube stop

(keeps config)

I got an error here:

Stopping local Kubernetes cluster…
Error stopping machine: Error stopping host: minikube: unexpected EOF

and hanging occasionally at:

Starting cluster components…

Solution seemed to be:

minikube delete; rm -rf ~/.minikube


Note: be patient. On a 2018 top-end MacBook Pro with a 10Mbps network connection, this took just under 14 minutes with the major chunks of time being:

Downloading Minikube ISO and

Starting cluster components...

If you’ve already downloaded and started the components previously then this step will only take around 1 minute.

Delete Kubernetes cluster

minikube delete

Start Minikube with a Kubernetes version

Note however that downgrading is not supported. E.g. if you’ve already run v1.10.0 then

minikube start --vm-driver=xhyve --kubernetes-version="v1.6.0"

will fail with

Kubernetes version downgrade is not supported. Using version: v1.10.0

minikube commands

minikube by itself shows all the minikube commands.

minikube dashboard opens the dashboard. This shows (amongst much else):

  • Nodes
  • Pods (note: choose kube-systemrather than the default default from Namespace to see these)

minikube statusshows the current status.


Create a test application


var http = require('http');

var handleRequest = function(request, response) {
  console.log('Received request for URL: ' + request.url);
  response.end('Hello World!');
var www = http.createServer(handleRequest);

Run with

node server.js

And test with


Package into a docker image

Create a file in the same folder called Dockerfile

FROM node:6.9.2
COPY server.js .
CMD node server.js

Note from

Because this tutorial uses Minikube, instead of pushing your Docker image to a registry, you can simply build the image using the same Docker host as the Minikube VM, so that the images are automatically present. To do so, make sure you are using the Minikube Docker daemon:

eval $(minikube docker-env)
Note: Later, when you no longer wish to use the Minikube host, you can undo this change by running eval $(minikube docker-env -u).

Build with

docker build -t hello-node:v1 .

The -ttags it as hello-node:v1

Run with `kubectl run hello-node –image=hello-node:v1 –port=8080 –image-pull-policy=Never`

--image-pull-policy=Never‘cos you’ve only built it locally (i.e. you haven’t pushed it to the Docker registry).

View deployments

kubectl get deployments

View the pod

kubectl get pods

Note: you can see this all via a GUI if you run minikube dashboardand select Overview.

E.g. events

kubectl get events

and via Dashboard:

Workloads > Pods > <select pod> > Events

Create a Service

To make the Pod accessible from outside (it’s currently only accessibly via its internal IP address), use the expose command. i.e.

kubectl expose deployment hello-node --type=LoadBalancer

and view the Service:

kubectl get services


minikube service hello-node

and you should see the logs for this via:

kubectl get pods
hello-node-57c6b66f9c-csxq5 1/1 Running 0 29m
hellonode > kubectl logs hello-node-57c6b66f9c-csxq5
Received request for URL: /
Received request for URL: /favicon.ico

Update your app

Update server.jsto return a new message

e.g.  `response.end(‘Hello World version 2!’);`

Build a new version (e.g. v2):

docker build -t hello-node:v2 .

Update the image of your deployment (i.e. replacing the previous one):

kubectl set image deployment/hello-node hello-node=hello-node:v2

and run with:

minikube service hello-node

Clean up

Clean up the resources created in the cluster:

kubectl delete service hello-node
kubectl delete deployment hello-node

Optionally, force removal of the Docker images created:

docker rmi hello-node:v1 hello-node:v2 -f

Optionally, stop the Minikube VM:

minikube stop
eval $(minikube docker-env -u)

Optionally, delete the Minikube VM:

minikube delete


Errors / Problems

“Starting cluster components” hangs


Ignore the suggestion to use  --show-libmachine-logs  – that doesn’t work.


minikube delete
rm -rf ~/.minikube

Other issues