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Local Kubernetes setup on macOS with minikube on VirtualBox and local Docker registry


Minikube requires that VT-x/AMD-v virtualization is enabled in BIOS. To check that this is enabled on OSX / macOS run:

sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu.features | grep VMX

If there's output, you're good!


  • kubectl
  • docker (for Mac)
  • minikube
  • virtualbox
brew update && brew install kubectl && brew install --cask docker virtualbox && brew install minikube


docker --version                # Docker version 17.09.0-ce, build afdb6d4
docker-compose --version        # docker-compose version 1.16.1, build 6d1ac21
docker-machine --version        # docker-machine version 0.12.2, build 9371605
minikube version                # minikube version: v0.22.3
kubectl version --client        # Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"8", GitVersion:"v1.8.1", GitCommit:"f38e43b221d08850172a9a4ea785a86a3ffa3b3a", GitTreeState:"clean", BuildDate:"2017-10-12T00:45:05Z", GoVersion:"go1.9.1", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"darwin/amd64"}      


minikube start

This can take a while, expected output:

Starting local Kubernetes cluster...
Kubectl is now configured to use the cluster.

Great! You now have a running Kubernetes cluster locally. Minikube started a virtual machine for you, and a Kubernetes cluster is now running in that VM.

Check k8s

kubectl get nodes

Should output something like:

minikube   Ready     <none>    40s       v1.7.5

Use minikube's built-in docker daemon:

eval $(minikube docker-env)

Add this line to .bash_profile or .zshrc or ... if you want to use minikube's daemon by default (or if you do not want to set this every time you open a new terminal).

You can revert back to the host docker daemon by running:

eval $(docker-machine env -u)

If you now run docker ps, it should now output something like:

CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                                         COMMAND                 CREATED             STATUS              PORTS               NAMES
e97128790bf9   "/opt/"   22 seconds ago      Up 22 seconds                           k8s_kube-addon-manager_kube-addon-manager-minikube_kube-system_c654b2f084cf26941c334a2c3d6db53d_0
69707e54d1d0      "/pause"                33 seconds ago      Up 33 seconds                           k8s_POD_kube-addon-manager-minikube_kube-system_c654b2f084cf26941c334a2c3d6db53d_0

Build, deploy and run an image on your local k8s setup

First setup a local registry, so Kubernetes can pull the image(s) from there:

docker run -d -p 5000:5000 --restart=always --name registry registry:2


First of, store all files (Dockerfile, my-app.yml, index.html) in this gist locally in some new (empty) directory.

You can build the Dockerfile below locally if you want to follow this guide to the letter. Store the Dockerfile locally, preferably in an empty directory and run:

docker build . --tag my-app

You should now have an image named 'my-app' locally, check by using docker images (or your own image of course). You can then publish it to your local docker registry:

docker tag my-app localhost:5000/my-app:0.1.0

Running docker images should now output the following:

REPOSITORY                                             TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
my-app                                                 latest              cc949ad8c8d3        44 seconds ago      89.3MB
localhost:5000/my-app                                  0.1.0               cc949ad8c8d3        44 seconds ago      89.3MB
httpd                                                  2.4-alpine          fe26194c0b94        7 days ago          89.3MB

Deploy and run

Store the file below my-app.yml on your system and run the following:

kubectl create -f my-app.yml

You should now see your pod and your service:

kubectl get all

The configuration exposes my-app outside of the cluster, you can get the address to access it by running:

minikube service my-app --url

This should give an output like (the port will most likely differ). Go there with your favorite browser, you should see "Hello world!". You just accessed your application from outside of your local Kubernetes cluster!

Kubernetes GUI

minikube dashboard

Delete deployment of my-app

kubectl delete deploy my-app
kubectl delete service my-app

You're now good to go and deploy other images!

Reset everything

minikube stop;
minikube delete;
rm -rf ~/.minikube ~/.kube;
brew uninstall kubectl;
brew cask uninstall docker virtualbox minikube;


Last tested on 2017 October 20th macOS Sierra 10.12.6

# Just for demo purposes obviously
FROM httpd:2.4-alpine
COPY ./index.html /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/
Hello world!
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
run: my-app
name: my-app
replicas: 1
run: my-app-exposed
run: my-app-exposed
- image: localhost:5000/my-app:0.1.0
name: my-app
- containerPort: 80
protocol: TCP
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
run: my-app
name: my-app
- port: 80
protocol: TCP
targetPort: 80
run: my-app-exposed
type: NodePort
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naviat commented Mar 18, 2020

Update: Minikube is not delivered with cask right now. Change command brew cask install minikube to brew install minikube

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kevin-smets commented Mar 18, 2020

Done, thanks for the heads up!

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cijalba commented Apr 20, 2021

Another update: brew cask has been deprecated. so the cmd should be something similar to:

brew update && brew install kubectl && brew install docker virtualbox && brew install minikube

or with docker-compose and machine if it's also needed:

brew update && brew install kubectl && brew install docker docker-compose docker-machine virtualbox && brew install minikube

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ajaychinthapalli commented Oct 31, 2022

Thanks for this

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