Luiz H. Rapatão

Luiz H. Rapatão

Staff Software Engineer

4-Minute Read

Installing and using minikube

In my current project, we use Kubernetes massively and with that, I needed to perform tests more than once to verify that my deployment file was correct. Although there are environments that I could use to test, I decided to use minikube, in order to carry out tests locally and not risk impacting other users/applications.


The minikube package is available for macOS, Linux and Windows platforms, however, I will only demonstrate how to install it on macOS using Homebrew. If you want to install on other platforms or with a different method, just check the options here.

Installation on macOS with Homebrew

The minikube package is available on Homebrew and can be installed using the following command:

brew install minikube

This way, not only minikube will be installed, but also the kubernetes-cli package, necessary to access Kubernetes resources through the terminal.

Cluster initialization

To initialize a Kubernetes cluster using minikube, just open a terminal and run the following command:

minikube start

With this command, a cluster will be initialized and also the local settings to access via the kubectl command will be defined.

The creation of this cluster, preferably, will be in a Docker container, however, if this is not available, other methods can be used. The minikube command is in charge of identifying the available methods (drivers) and using them.

It is possible to specify which driver to use, for that, just add an argument specifying which driver you want to use, as in the following example, in which the use of Hyperkit is specified.

# minikube start --driver=<driver name>
# eg:
minikube start --driver=hyperkit

There is also the option of defining a driver as default, so that whenever the cluster is created, this is the method used. To do so, just run the following command, changing it to the desired driver.

# minikube config set driver <driver name>
# It is.:
minikube config set driver hyperkit

For more details on supported drivers, I recommend checking the official documentation, which also details differences, customizations, and limitations for each driver.

Access to the dashboard (web interface)

The cluster created with minikube provides a dashboard which can be accessed using the following command:

minikube dashboard

Executing this command should automatically open your default browser, however, if it happens, in the terminal output it is possible to identify which URL should be used to access the dashboard.

Access to a service or ingress

When creating a service of type LoadBalancer or even creating an Ingress, to access it it is necessary to execute the following command in terminal:

minikube tunnel

For the specific case of Ingress, it is still necessary to install an addon in Kubernetes. To do this, just run the following command:

minikube addons enable ingress

Stop or Remove the cluster

The process of stopping the cluster can be performed using the following command in a terminal:

minikube stop

This command only pauses the cluster and, consequently, releases the used resources (CPU/Memory) to the host. When running the minikube start command again, this same cluster is recovered, with all the modifications made so far.

If you want to remove the cluster, the command to be executed will be:

minikube delete

This command will also remove all persisted data, ie when the minikube start command is executed, a new cluster will be created.


Although not detailed in this text, several other features and customizations are available in minikube, some in addons format, which can be seen using the following command:

minikube addons list

In summary, minikube is useful for anyone who wants or needs to carry out tests in a cluster Kubernetes locally, because, in addition to being easy to install, it is also possible to install several extensions that can greatly facilitate its development and/or or application testing.

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