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Setting up Kubernetes on Windows with Minikube

harshadranganathan profile image Harshad Ranganathan Originally published at rharshad.com Updated on ・4 min read

Originally published at rharshad.com

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

Minikube can be installed in multiple operating systems (Linux, MacOS & Windows) and supports multiple drivers (VirtualBox, Hyper-V in case of Windows).

We are going to look at Windows setup of Minikube using both VirtualBox & Hyper-V drivers.

If you have Docker in your local system then you would have enabled Hyper-V. In that case, it makes sense to make use of Hyper-V driver instead of VirtualBox as the latter doesn't work with Hyper-V enabled.

So, in such a case if you choose VirtualBox as your driver you might end up toggling Hyper-V and restarting your system based on whether you want to use Docker or VirtualBox for Kubernetes.

Install Chocolatey

Chocolatey is a package manager for Windows similar to how homebrew is for MacOS. It simplifies our installation process so we will use it here.

Open PowerShell as an administrator and run below commands.

# Check the execution policy and ensure that it is not restricted
Get-ExecutionPolicy

# If execution policy is restricted then set the policy to All-Signed
Set-ExecutionPolicy AllSigned

# Install chocolatey
iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))

Install Minikube

Once chocolately is installed, we run below command to install Minikube

choco install minikube --version 0.27 -y

Note: Versions above 0.27 have an issue with shutdown

Install VirtualBox

If you're planning to use VirtualBox as the driver for Minikube then run below command. Otherwise skip this step.

choco install virtualbox -y

We'll look at running Kubernetes cluster in both VirtualBox and Hyper-V next.

Running Kubernetes Cluster in VirtualBox

Start Minikube

Run this command in PowerShell as an administrator.

minikube start --alsologtostderr

Minikube will perform below steps

  • Downloads MinikubeISO and places it in .minikube folder in your user directory
  • Connects to VirtualBox and runs a minikube virtual machine
  • Downloads the necessary files and moves them to the cluster
  • Runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster inside the VM

Jump to Interacting With Your Cluster section next.

Troubleshooting

If you face any issues during the setup process perform below steps:

Delete the minikube VM

minikube delete

Delete .minikube and .kube folders in your home directory

Run minikube start command with appropriate options.

Running Kubernetes Cluster in Hyper-V

Create vSwitch

First step is to create a vSwitch in Hyper-V.

Open Hyper-V Manager in your windows system. On the right pane, select Virtual Switch Manager option.

Select External and choose Create Virtual Switch option in the Virtual Switch Manager window.

Give a name for the virtual switch e.g. Minikube with connection type as External and below option enabled

  • Allow management operating system to share this network adapter

Now select Apply to create a new vSwitch.

If you see an error message Failed while adding virtual Ethernet switch connections it means that you have enabled sharing on your wifi connection which needs to be disabled.

Go to Network and Sharing Center and select your Wi-Fi connection. In the Wi-Fi status window select Properties.

In the Wi-Fi properties window under Sharing tab uncheck this option

  • Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection

Start Minikube

Run this command in PowerShell as an administrator.

minikube start --vm-driver "hyperv" --hyperv-virtual-switch "Minikube" --disk-size 10g --memory 4096 --alsologtostderr

Minikube will perform below steps

  • Downloads MinikubeISO and places it in .minikube folder in your user directory
  • Connects to Hyper-V and runs a minikube virtual machine
  • Downloads the necessary files and moves them to the cluster
  • Runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster inside the VM

You will see below logs if everything went fine.

Connecting to cluster...
Setting up kubeconfig...
I1125 23:05:12.192115    4588 config.go:125] Using kubeconfig:  
Starting cluster components...
I1125 23:05:12.196100    4588 ssh_runner.go:80] Run with output:
sudo /usr/bin/kubeadm init --config /var/lib/kubeadm.yaml 
ts --ignore-preflight-errors=DirAvailable--data-minikube 
FileAvailable--etc-kubernetes-manifests-kube-scheduler.yaml 
fests-kube-apiserver.yaml --ignore-preflight-errors=FileAvailable
 --ignore-preflight-errors=FileAvailable--etc-kubernetes-manifests-etcd.yaml
flight-errors=CRI  &&
sudo /usr/bin/kubeadm alpha phase addon kube-dns

Kubectl is now configured to use the cluster.
Loading cached images from config file.

Troubleshooting

If you face any issues during the setup process perform below steps:

Delete the minikube VM

minikube delete

Delete .minikube and .kube folders in your home directory

Run minikube start command with appropriate options.

Interacting With Your Cluster

To check if minikube is running use below command

minikube status

which outputs

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> minikube status
minikube: Running
cluster: Running
kubectl: Correctly Configured: pointing to minikube-vm at

To ensure all the cluster components are running we use below command

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> kubectl get pods -n kube-system
NAME                                    READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
coredns-c4cffd6dc-565mc                 1/1     Running   0          12m
etcd-minikube                           1/1     Running   0          11m
kube-addon-manager-minikube             1/1     Running   0          11m
kube-apiserver-minikube                 1/1     Running   0          11m
kube-controller-manager-minikube        1/1     Running   0          12m
kube-dns-86f4d74b45-vxrr9               3/3     Running   0          12m
kube-proxy-fn5c9                        1/1     Running   0          12m
kube-scheduler-minikube                 1/1     Running   0          11m
kubernetes-dashboard-6f4cfc5d87-hgdnq   1/1     Running   5          12m
storage-provisioner                     1/1     Running   0          12m

If any of the above pods are in failed status you can get it's logs as follows for debugging

kubectl logs kubernetes-dashboard-6f4cfc5d87-hgdnq -n kube-system

If you notice any of the pods in CrashLoopBackOff status then perform the steps as mentioned in the troubleshooting guide earlier.

To access the Kubernetes dashboard run below command

minikube dashboard

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