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Published: Jul 8, 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
    • Dashboards



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...
OpenShift is available at

$ oc run hello-minishift --hostport=8000 --port=8080
deployment "hello-minishift" created
# We have now launched an echoserver pod but we have to wait until the pod is up before curling/accessing it
# 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 http://$(minishift ip):8000
real path=/
$ minishift stop
Stopping local OpenShift cluster...
Stopping "minishiftVM"...
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


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 this: oc get pods --context=minishift.


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

minishift 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 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.

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 localkube (originally written and donated to this project by RedSpread) for running the cluster.

For more information about minishift, see the proposal.

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.

Build Requirements
  • A recent Go distribution (>1.6)
  • If you're not on Linux, you'll need a Docker installation
  • Minishift requires at least 4GB of RAM to compile, which can be problematic when using docker-machine
Build Instructions
Run Instructions

Start the cluster using your built minishift with:

$ ./out/minishift start
Running Tests
Unit Tests

Unit tests are run on Travis before code is merged. To run as part of a development cycle:

make test
Integration Tests

Integration tests are currently run manually. To run them, build the binary and run the tests:

make integration
Conformance Tests

These are kubernetes tests that run against an arbitrary cluster and exercise a wide range of kubernetes features. You can run these against minishift by following these steps:

  • Clone the kubernetes repo somewhere on your system.
  • Run make quick-release in the k8s repo.
  • Start up a minishift cluster with: minishift start.
  • Set these two environment variables:
export KUBECONFIG=$HOME/.kube/config
  • Run the tests (from the k8s repo):
go run hack/e2e.go -v --test --test_args="--ginkgo.focus=\[Conformance\]" --check_version_skew=false --check_node_count=false
Adding a New Dependency

Minishift uses Godep to manage vendored dependencies. Godep can be a bit finnicky with a project with this many dependencies. Here is a rough set of steps that usually works to add a new dependency.

  1. Make a clean GOPATH, with minishift in it. This isn't strictly necessary, but it usually helps.
mkdir -p $HOME/newgopath/src/
export GOPATH=$HOME/newgopath
cd $HOME/newgopath/src/
git clone
  1. go get your new dependency.
go get mynewdepenency
  1. Use it in code, build and test.

  2. Import the dependency from GOPATH into vendor/

godep save ./...

If it is a large dependency, please commit the vendor/ directory changes separately. This makes review easier in Github.

git add vendor/
git commit -m "Adding dependency foo"
git add --all
git commit -m "Adding cool feature"
Updating Kubernetes

To update Kubernetes, follow these steps:

  1. Make a clean GOPATH, with minishift in it. This isn't strictly necessary, but it usually helps.
mkdir -p $HOME/newgopath/src/
export GOPATH=$HOME/newgopath
cd $HOME/newgopath/src/
git clone
  1. Copy your vendor directory back out to the new GOPATH.
cd minishift
godep restore ./...
  1. Kubernetes should now be on your GOPATH. Check it out to the right version. Make sure to also fetch tags, as Godep relies on these.
cd $GOPATH/src/
git fetch --tags

Then list all available Kubernetes tags:

git tag

Then checkout the correct one and update its dependencies with:

git checkout $DESIREDTAG
godep restore ./...
  1. Build and test minishift, making any manual changes necessary to build.

  2. Update godeps

cd $GOPATH/src/
rm -rf Godeps/ vendor/
godep save ./...
  1. Verify that the correct tag is marked in the Godeps.json file by running this script:
python hack/
-X -X -X

The -X flag should contain the right tag.

Once you've build and started minishift, you can also run:

oc version
Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"2", GitVersion:"v1.2.4", GitCommit:"3eed1e3be6848b877ff80a93da3785d9034d0a4f", GitTreeState:"clean"}
Server Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"3+", GitVersion:"v1.3.0-beta.2", GitCommit:"caf9a4d87700ba034a7b39cced19bd5628ca6aa3", GitTreeState:"clean"}

The Server Version should contain the right tag in version.Info.GitVersion.

If any manual changes were required, please commit the vendor changes separately. This makes the change easier to view in Github.

git add vendor/
git commit -m "Updating Kubernetes to foo"
git add --all
git commit -m "Manual changes to update Kubernetes to foo"


Contributions, questions, and comments are all welcomed and encouraged! minishift developers hang out on Slack in the #minishift 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 "minishift: ".


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