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What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes (or K8s) is an open-source container orchestration system for automating computer application deployment, scaling, and management. Kubernetes manages and runs Docker containers on numerous hosts. The project was started by Google and is supported by many companies, including Microsoft, RedHat, IBM.

There are two main versions of Kubernetes, a production environment and a learning environment. The following instructions are for installing a simple Kubernetes learning framework. The tools used to deploy this type of environment are Minikube and Kubectl.

What is Minikube?

Minikube is a tool that allows us to run a Kubernetes setup locally within a virtual machine. It lets us run a single-node Kubernetes cluster on our personal computer to try out Kubernetes or essential development work.

What is Kubectl?

Kubectl is a command-line tool for Kubernetes that allows us to run commands on our Kubernetes cluster. We can also use kubectl to deploy applications, check and manage cluster resources, and view logs.

Installing Kubectl on Ubuntu 20

There are two options for the official installation of kubectl on the Linux system. 

  1. The first option is to install the kubectl binary using the curl commands on any versions of Linux.
  2. The second option uses the built-in package manager apt in Ubuntu. As a best practice, the second option is recommended.

As always, we update all our packages and install the https transport protocol.

root@host:~$ apt-get update && apt-get install -y apt-transport-https

Install GPG Repository Security Key

First, download the gpg security key for the repository.

root@host:~$ curl -s | apt-key add -

Now, we add the key and apply it.

root@host:~$ echo "deb kubernetes-xenial main" | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/kubernetes.list
deb kubernetes-xenial main

Finally, update the package manager repository again. 

root@host:~$ apt-get update

Install Kubectl

Now we can install kubectl using the following command.

root@host:~$ apt-get install -y kubectl

Next, we will verify that it has been installed using the version command.

root@host:~$ kubectl version --client
 Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"19", GitVersion:"v1.19.1", GitCommit:"206bcadf021e76c27513500ca24182692aabd17e", GitTreeState:"clean", BuildDate:"2020-09-09T11:26:42Z", GoVersion:"go1.15", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"linux/amd64"}

Additional Kubectl Configuration

Install Shell Autocompletion

Kubectl supports autocompletion input in Bash and Zsh (Autocompletion is used to complete a partially typed command). This feature saves us time when typing long commands.

We need to install the bash-completion package so that we can add the kubectl auto-completion script. Install it with this command.

root@host:~$ apt-get install -y bash-completion
 Reading package lists... Done
 Building dependency tree
 Reading state information... Done
 bash-completion is already the newest version (1:2.10-1ubuntu1).
 bash-completion set to manually installed.
 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.

For the commands in ~ /.bashrc to work, use the following command in the terminal to implement it.

root@host:~$ source /usr/share/bash-completion/bash_completion

To verify we have the package installed correctly, run the following command.

root@host:~$ type _init_completion

Enable Shell Autocompletion

Now, we add a script to the ~/.bashrc file with the following command:

root@host:~$ echo 'source <(kubectl completion bash)' >>~/.bashrc

Next, add the script to the directory /etc/bash_completion.d

root@host:~$ kubectl completion bash >/etc/bash_completion.d/kubectl

After restarting the OS, you should have an AutoComplete input to kubectl.

Install Kubectl on macOS

We will use Homebrew on macOS to install kubectl.

Install Kubectl

Use the following installation command in the terminal.

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % brew install kubectl

Verify Installation

To check that the installation was successful, run the following command.

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % kubectl version --client
When setting up the autocompletion script for kubectl on macOS, there is one crucial factor. The scheme is very similar to a Linux system, but there are two versions of bash-completion. The first (v1) is for Bash 3.2 (which is the default on macOS). The second (v2) is for Bash 4.1+. The kubectl add-on script does not work correctly with bash-completion v1 and Bash 3.2. Bash-completion v2 and Bash 4.1 + are required, so we need to update both bash and bash-completion.

We can check our version of bash using this command.

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % bash --version
 GNU bash, version 3.2.57(1)-release (x86_64-apple-darwin19)
 Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ %

Update Bash

Now we will update bash with Homebrew by running the following command. 

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % brew install bash

Verify Update

Check it has been updated using this command.

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % /usr/local/bin/bash --version
 GNU bash, version 5.0.18(1)-release (x86_64-apple-darwin19.5.0)
 Copyright (C) 2019 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
 License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>
 This is free software; you are free to change and redistribute it.
 There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
 admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ %

Install Bash Completion

Install bash-completion using this command.

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % brew install bash-completion@2

Now, add the following line to the ~/.bashrc file.

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % export BASH_COMPLETION_COMPAT_DIR="/usr/local/etc/bash_completion.d"
 [[ -r "/usr/local/etc/profile.d/" ]] && . "/usr/local/etc/profile.d/"
admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ %

Next, add the script to the directory.

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % kubectl completion bash >/usr/local/etc/bash_completion.d/kubectl
admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ %

The autocompletion for kubectl on macOS is now ready for use.

Install Kubectl on Windows Server 2019

There are multiple installation options on Windows. The best option is to install using Chocolatey in Powershell. We will use the third-party package manager Chocolatey. Start Windows PowerShell (Admin) by right-click on start and select Windows PowerShell (Admin). Install Chocolatey (choco) by entering the following command in PowerShell.

Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol -bor 3072; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(''))

Next, check the installation was successful using this command.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> choco
 Chocolatey v0.10.15
 Please run 'choco -?' or 'choco <command> -?' for help menu.
 PS C:\Users\Administrator>

Now we install kubectl on Windows with the following command. Choose “Y” when agreeing to the installation.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> choco install kubernetes-cli

Enter the version command to verify that everything is installed

PS C:\Users\Administrator> kubectl version --client
 Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"19", GitVersion:"v1.19.1", GitCommit:"206bcadf021e76c27513500ca24182692aabd17e", GitTreeState:"clean", BuildDate:"2020-09-09T11:26:42Z", GoVersion:"go1.15", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"windows/amd64"}
 PS C:\Users\Administrator>

You have successfully installed kubectl on Windows Server 2019. 

Install Minikube

After we install kubectl, we need to install Minikube. Minikube is the tool that allows us to quickly run a single-node version of K8s locally in a virtual machine. 

Ubuntu 20

First, we need to check if our computer supports VT-x / AMD-v virtualization using this command.

root@host:~$ grep -E --color 'vmx|svm' /proc/cpuinfo

Everyone will have different information in the output (based on your CPU type), but we should verify that we see the vmx or svm flags. If so, the CPU is capable of running hardware virtualization.

Next, we install Virtualbox as the hypervisor (Virtualbox is a software product for virtualizing OS Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, macOS, Solaris, etc.).Install Virtualbox with this command.

root@host:~$ apt install virtualbox virtualbox-ext-pack

Now, we download Minikube using the direct link and make the Minikube executable using the chmod command. 

root@host:~$ curl -Lo minikube \ && chmod +x minikube

Then, we move the file to the bin directory. 

root@host:~$ cp minikube-linux-amd64 /usr/local/bin/minikube

To verify we have everything installed enter the command:

root@host:~$ minikube version
 minikube version: v1.13.0
 commit: 0c5e9de4ca6f9c55147ae7f90af97eff5befef5f-dirty

Minikube installation on macOS

Verify Virtualization possibility with this command:

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % sysctl -a | grep -E --color 'machdep.cpu.features|VMX'

You should have something similar to the following output. 

Then install HyperKit. This is a popular hypervisor popular. It's used for lightweight virtual machines and container deployments. We install it using brew.

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % brew install hyperkit

To verify installation, use the version command.

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % hyperkit -v
 hyperkit: 0.20200224
 License: BSD
admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ %

We can also install minikube using brew.

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % brew install minikube
 Updating Homebrew...
 ==> Downloading
 ==> Pouring minikube-1.13.0.catalina.bottle.1.tar.gz
 ==> Caveats
 Bash completion has been installed to:
 zsh completions have been installed to:
 ==> Summary
 🍺 /usr/local/Cellar/minikube/1.13.0: 8 files, 62.2MB
 admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ %

Check that minikube has been installed using the version command:

admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ % minikube version
 minikube version: v1.13.0
 commit: 0c5e9de4ca6f9c55147ae7f90af97eff5befef5f
 admin@MacBook-Pro-4 ~ %

Minikube installation on Windows Server 2019

First, we need to check if virtualization is supported on the server. Enter the following command:

PS C:\Users\Administrator> systeminfo
 Host Name: WIN-SG77QKRNOA6
 OS Name: Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Standard
 OS Version: 10.0.17763 N/A Build 17763
 OS Manufacturer: Microsoft Corporation
 OS Configuration: Standalone Server
 OS Build Type: Multiprocessor Free
 Registered Owner: Windows User
 Registered Organization:
 Product ID: 00429-70000-00000-AA065
 Original Install Date: 9/13/2020, 6:53:39 AM
 System Boot Time: 9/13/2020, 7:31:43 AM
 System Manufacturer: innotek GmbH
 System Model: VirtualBox
 System Type: x64-based PC
 Processor(s): 1 Processor(s) Installed.
                            [01]: AMD64 Family 23 Model 113 Stepping 0 AuthenticAMD ~3593 Mhz
 BIOS Version: innotek GmbH VirtualBox, 12/1/2006
 Windows Directory: C:\Windows
 System Directory: C:\Windows\system32
 Boot Device: \Device\HarddiskVolume1
 System Locale: en-us;English (United States)
 Input Locale: en-us;English (United States)
 Time Zone: (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
 Total Physical Memory: 2,048 MB
 Available Physical Memory: 1,242 MB
 Virtual Memory: Max Size: 3,200 MB
 Virtual Memory: Available: 2,468 MB
 Virtual Memory: In Use: 732 MB
 Page File Location(s): C:\pagefile.sys
 Logon Server: \\WIN-SG77QKRNOA6
 Network Card(s): 1 NIC(s) Installed.
                            [01]: Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Desktop Adapter
                                  Connection Name: Ethernet
                                  DHCP Enabled: Yes
                                  DHCP Server:
                                  IP address(es)
                                  [02]: fe80::b115:cdee:3a22:1b65
 Hyper-V Requirements: VM Monitor Mode Extensions: Yes
                            Virtualization Enabled In Firmware: Yes
                            Second Level Address Translation: No
                            Data Execution Prevention Available: Yes
 PS C:\Users\Administrator>

Pay attention to these lines:

Hyper-V Requirements:
   VM Monitor Mode Extensions: Yes
   Virtualization Enabled In Firmware: Yes
   Second Level Address Translation: No
   Data Execution Prevention Available: Yes

Now install Hypervisor using choco.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> choco install virtualbox

Install minikube using choco.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> choco install minikube

Check that Minikube has been installed using the version command.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> minikube version
 minikube version: v1.13.0
 commit: 0c5e9de4ca6f9c55147ae7f90af97eff5befef5f-dirty
PS C:\Users\Administrator>

This completes the minikube installation on Windows Server.


In this article, we discussed how to install and configure minikube and kubectl on Linux, macOS, and Windows. We provided the command line instructions to aid users in walking through a local installation of minikube and kubectl, allowing a user to test a locally installed version of Kubernetes.

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About the Author: Margaret Fitzgerald

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