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Published: Oct 19, 2016 License: Apache-2.0 Imports: 2 Imported by: 0



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What is Minishift?

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

  • Minishift packages and configures a Linux VM, Docker and all OpenShift components, optimized for local development
  • Minishift supports OpenShift features such as:
    • DNS
    • NodePorts
    • ConfigMaps and Secrets
    • Console


  • OS X

    brew cask install minishift
  • Other OS

    See the installation instructions for the latest release.


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

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

$ minishift start
Starting local OpenShift cluster...
Running pre-create checks...
Creating machine...
Starting local OpenShift cluster...

$ oc run hello-minishift --port=8080 --expose --service-overrides='{"apiVersion": "v1", "spec": {"type": "NodePort"}}'
service "hello-minishift" created
deploymentconfig "hello-minishift" created

# 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:
$ oc get pod
NAME                              READY     STATUS              RESTARTS   AGE
hello-minishift-3383150820-vctvh   1/1       ContainerCreating   0          3s

# We can see that the pod is still being created from the ContainerCreating status
$ oc get pod
NAME                              READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
hello-minishift-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 $(minishift service hello-minishift --url)
real path=/

$ minishift stop
Stopping local OpenShift cluster...
Stopping "minishift"...
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 OpenShift its really handy to reuse the Docker daemon inside the VM; as this means you don't have to build on your host machine and push the image into a docker registry - you can just build inside the same docker daemon as minishift which speeds up local experiments.

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

eval $(minishift 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 minishift VM:

docker ps

Managing your Cluster

Starting a Cluster

The minishift 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 oc installation to communicate with this cluster.

Stopping a Cluster

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

Interacting With your Cluster

OpenShift Client binary (oc)

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

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

oc config set-context minishift

or pass the context on each command like:

oc get pods --context=minishift`

To access the OpenShift console, run this command in a shell after starting minishift to get the address:

minishift console

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

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


The minishift VM is exposed to the host system via a host-only IP address, that can be obtained with the minishift 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

Minishift supports PersistentVolumes of type hostPath. These PersistentVolumes are mapped to a directory inside the minishift VM.

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

  • /data
  • /var/lib/minishift
  • /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 of drivers will mount a host folder within the VM so that you can easily share files between the VM and host. These are no 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 minishift VM you can place the .dockercfg in the /home/docker directory or the config.json in the /home/docker/.docker directory.


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

Known Issues

  • Features that require a Cloud Provider will not work in Minishift. These include:
    • LoadBalancers
    • PersistentVolumes
    • Ingress
  • Features that require multiple nodes. These include:
    • Advanced scheduling policies
  • Alternate runtimes, like rkt.


Minishift uses libmachine for provisioning VMs, and OpenShift Origin for running the cluster.

Goals and Non-Goals

For the goals and non-goals of the minishift project, please see our roadmap.

Development Guide

See for an overview of how to send pull requests.

Building MiniShift

For instructions on how to build/test minishift from source, see the build guide.

Adding a New Dependency

For instructions on how to add a new dependency to minishift see the adding dependencies guide.

Updating Kubernetes

For instructions on how to add a new dependency to minishift see the updating kubernetes guide.

Steps to Release MiniShift

For instructions on how to release a new version of minishift see the release guide.


Contributions, questions, and comments are all welcomed and encouraged! minishift developers hang out on IRC in the #openshift-dev channel on Freenode.


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