Detailed walkthroughs of common Kubernetes operations and workflows.

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Hello Minikube

The goal of this tutorial is for you to turn a simple Hello World Node.js app into an application running on Kubernetes. The tutorial shows you how to take code that you have developed on your machine, turn it into a Docker container image and then run that image on Minikube. Minikube provides a simple way of running Kubernetes on your local machine for free.


Before you begin

Create a Minikube cluster

This tutorial uses Minikube to create a local cluster. This tutorial also assumes you are using Docker for Mac on OS X. If you are on a different platform like Linux, or using VirtualBox instead of Docker for Mac, the instructions to install Minikube may be slightly different. For general Minikube installation instructions, see the Minikube installation guide.

Use curl to download and install the latest Minikube release:

curl -Lo minikube https://storage.googleapis.com/minikube/releases/latest/minikube-darwin-amd64 && \
  chmod +x minikube && \
  sudo mv minikube /usr/local/bin/

Use Homebrew to install the xhyve driver and set its permissions:

brew install docker-machine-driver-xhyve
sudo chown root:wheel $(brew --prefix)/opt/docker-machine-driver-xhyve/bin/docker-machine-driver-xhyve
sudo chmod u+s $(brew --prefix)/opt/docker-machine-driver-xhyve/bin/docker-machine-driver-xhyve

Use Homebrew to download the kubectl command-line tool, which you can use to interact with Kubernetes clusters:

brew install kubectl

Determine whether you can access sites like https://cloud.google.com/container-registry/ directly without a proxy, by opening a new terminal and using

curl --proxy "" https://cloud.google.com/container-registry/

If NO proxy is required, start the Minikube cluster:

minikube start --vm-driver=xhyve

If a proxy server is required, use the following method to start Minikube cluster with proxy setting:

minikube start --vm-driver=xhyve --docker-env HTTP_PROXY=http://your-http-proxy-host:your-http-proxy-port  --docker-env HTTPS_PROXY=http(s)://your-https-proxy-host:your-https-proxy-port

The --vm-driver=xhyve flag specifies that you are using Docker for Mac. The default VM driver is VirtualBox.

Note if minikube start --vm-driver=xhyve is unsuccessful due to the error:

Error creating machine: Error in driver during machine creation: Could not convert the UUID to MAC address: exit status 1

Then the following may resolve the minikube start --vm-driver=xhyve issue:

rm -rf ~/.minikube
sudo chown root:wheel $(brew --prefix)/opt/docker-machine-driver-xhyve/bin/docker-machine-driver-xhyve
sudo chmod u+s $(brew --prefix)/opt/docker-machine-driver-xhyve/bin/docker-machine-driver-xhyve

Now set the Minikube context. The context is what determines which cluster kubectl is interacting with. You can see all your available contexts in the ~/.kube/config file.

kubectl config use-context minikube

Verify that kubectl is configured to communicate with your cluster:

kubectl cluster-info

Create your Node.js application

The next step is to write the application. Save this code in a folder named hellonode with the filename server.js:

var http = require('http');

var handleRequest = function(request, response) {
  console.log('Received request for URL: ' + request.url);
  response.end('Hello World!');
var www = http.createServer(handleRequest);

Run your application:

node server.js

You should be able to see your “Hello World!” message at http://localhost:8080/.

Stop the running Node.js server by pressing Ctrl-C.

The next step is to package your application in a Docker container.

Create a Docker container image

Create a file, also in the hellonode folder, named Dockerfile. A Dockerfile describes the image that you want to build. You can build a Docker container image by extending an existing image. The image in this tutorial extends an existing Node.js image.

FROM node:6.9.2
COPY server.js .
CMD node server.js

This recipe for the Docker image starts from the official Node.js LTS image found in the Docker registry, exposes port 8080, copies your server.js file to the image and starts the Node.js server.

Because this tutorial uses Minikube, instead of pushing your Docker image to a registry, you can simply build the image using the same Docker host as the Minikube VM, so that the images are automatically present. To do so, make sure you are using the Minikube Docker daemon:

eval $(minikube docker-env)

Note: Later, when you no longer wish to use the Minikube host, you can undo this change by running eval $(minikube docker-env -u).

Build your Docker image, using the Minikube Docker daemon:

docker build -t hello-node:v1 .

Now the Minikube VM can run the image you built.

Create a Deployment

A Kubernetes Pod is a group of one or more Containers, tied together for the purposes of administration and networking. The Pod in this tutorial has only one Container. A Kubernetes Deployment checks on the health of your Pod and restarts the Pod’s Container if it terminates. Deployments are the recommended way to manage the creation and scaling of Pods.

Use the kubectl run command to create a Deployment that manages a Pod. The Pod runs a Container based on your hello-node:v1 Docker image:

kubectl run hello-node --image=hello-node:v1 --port=8080

View the Deployment:

kubectl get deployments


hello-node   1         1         1            1           3m

View the Pod:

kubectl get pods


NAME                         READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
hello-node-714049816-ztzrb   1/1       Running   0          6m

View cluster events:

kubectl get events

View the kubectl configuration:

kubectl config view

For more information about kubectlcommands, see the kubectl overview.

Create a Service

By default, the Pod is only accessible by its internal IP address within the Kubernetes cluster. To make the hello-node Container accessible from outside the Kubernetes virtual network, you have to expose the Pod as a Kubernetes Service.

From your development machine, you can expose the Pod to the public internet using the kubectl expose command:

kubectl expose deployment hello-node --type=LoadBalancer

View the Service you just created:

kubectl get services


hello-node    <pending>     8080/TCP   6m
kubernetes     <none>        443/TCP    14d

The --type=LoadBalancer flag indicates that you want to expose your Service outside of the cluster. On cloud providers that support load balancers, an external IP address would be provisioned to access the Service. On Minikube, the LoadBalancer type makes the Service accessible through the minikube service command.

minikube service hello-node

This automatically opens up a browser window using a local IP address that serves your app and shows the “Hello World” message.

Assuming you’ve sent requests to your new web service using the browser or curl, you should now be able to see some logs:

kubectl logs <POD-NAME>

Update your app

Edit your server.js file to return a new message:

response.end('Hello World Again!');

Build a new version of your image:

docker build -t hello-node:v2 .

Update the image of your Deployment:

kubectl set image deployment/hello-node hello-node=hello-node:v2

Run your app again to view the new message:

minikube service hello-node

Enable addons

Minikube has a set of built-in addons that can be enabled, disabled and opened in the local Kubernetes environment.

First list the currently supported addons:

minikube addons list


- storage-provisioner: enabled
- kube-dns: enabled
- registry: disabled
- registry-creds: disabled
- addon-manager: enabled
- dashboard: disabled
- default-storageclass: enabled
- coredns: disabled
- heapster: disabled
- efk: disabled
- ingress: disabled

Minikube must be running for these command to take effect. To enable heapster addon, for example:

minikube addons enable heapster


heapster was successfully enabled

View the Pod and Service you just created:

kubectl get po,svc -n kube-system


NAME                             READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
po/heapster-zbwzv                1/1       Running   0          2m
po/influxdb-grafana-gtht9        2/2       Running   0          2m

NAME                       TYPE        CLUSTER-IP   EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)             AGE
svc/heapster               NodePort    <none>        80:31655/TCP        2m
svc/monitoring-grafana     NodePort    <none>        80:30002/TCP        2m
svc/monitoring-influxdb    ClusterIP    <none>        8083/TCP,8086/TCP   2m

Open the endpoint to interacting with heapster in a browser:

minikube addons open heapster


Opening kubernetes service kube-system/monitoring-grafana in default browser...

Clean up

Now you can clean up the resources you created in your cluster:

kubectl delete service hello-node
kubectl delete deployment hello-node

Optionally, stop the Minikube VM:

minikube stop
eval $(minikube docker-env -u)

Optionally, delete the Minikube VM:

minikube delete

What’s next


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