Step-by-Step Tutorial: Install Minikube on Debian 12

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I want to run a single node Kubernetes cluster on my local machine. But how? Well, this step-by-step guide will take you through all the steps required to install Minikube on Debian 12 so that you can start to learn and experiment Kubernetes on your local development system.

Installing Minikube on Debian 12

So, what are the steps to install Minikube?


Before you can use Minikube, there are a number of requirements that you need to consider;

Kubernetes Concepts;

What are the core concepts in Kubernetes?

System Resources

Ensure your system has;

  • At least 2 CPUs
  • At least 2GB of free RAM
  • At least 20GB of free Disk space

Minikube Drivers

Drivers are components that Minikube uses to interact with various virtualization technologies used to run Kubernetes cluster. They can be a container or virtual machine manager, such as: Docker, QEMU, Hyperkit, Hyper-V, KVM, Parallels, Podman, VirtualBox, or VMware Fusion/Workstation.

You can check how to install Docker, VirtualBox or KVM on Debian 12 by following the links below;

How to Install Docker CE on Debian 12

Install VirtualBox 7 on Debian 12

Install KVM on Debian 12

We will be using Docker in this guide to run Minikube.

Internet Access

Ensure the system has Internet connection. This is required to download various Minikube components.

Install Kubectl

Install Kuberenetes command line tool, kubectl;

curl -LO "$(curl -L -s"
sudo install -o root -g root -m 0755 kubectl /usr/local/bin/kubectl

Verify the kubectl version;

kubectl version --client --output=yaml

  buildDate: "2023-06-14T09:53:42Z"
  compiler: gc
  gitCommit: 25b4e43193bcda6c7328a6d147b1fb73a33f1598
  gitTreeState: clean
  gitVersion: v1.27.3
  goVersion: go1.20.5
  major: "1"
  minor: "27"
  platform: linux/amd64
kustomizeVersion: v5.0.1

Installing Minikube on Debian 12

Installing Minikube on Debian is as easy as executing the commands below;

curl -LO
sudo apt install ./minikube_latest_amd64.deb

Once the installation is done, you should be able to proceed with using Minikube.

Let’s check the version;

minikube version

Sample output;

minikube version: v1.30.1
commit: 08896fd1dc362c097c925146c4a0d0dac715ace0

Starting Minikube

We are running the next commands with a non root user;

su - kifarunix

Add your user to Docker group;

sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Log out and login as user again

Ensure you are part of the Docker group;

uid=1000(kifarunix) gid=1000(kifarunix) groups=1000(kifarunix),100(users),992(docker),995(vboxsf)

Minikube Help Page

Run the command below to check Minikube help information;

minikube --help

minikube provisions and manages local Kubernetes clusters optimized for development workflows.

Basic Commands:
  start            Starts a local Kubernetes cluster
  status           Gets the status of a local Kubernetes cluster
  stop             Stops a running local Kubernetes cluster
  delete           Deletes a local Kubernetes cluster
  dashboard        Access the Kubernetes dashboard running within the minikube cluster
  pause            pause Kubernetes
  unpause          unpause Kubernetes

Images Commands:
  docker-env       Provides instructions to point your terminal's docker-cli to the Docker Engine inside minikube.
(Useful for building docker images directly inside minikube)
  podman-env       Configure environment to use minikube's Podman service
  cache            Manage cache for images
  image            Manage images

Configuration and Management Commands:
  addons           Enable or disable a minikube addon
  config           Modify persistent configuration values
  profile          Get or list the current profiles (clusters)
  update-context   Update kubeconfig in case of an IP or port change

Networking and Connectivity Commands:
  service          Returns a URL to connect to a service
  tunnel           Connect to LoadBalancer services

Advanced Commands:
  mount            Mounts the specified directory into minikube
  ssh              Log into the minikube environment (for debugging)
  kubectl          Run a kubectl binary matching the cluster version
  node             Add, remove, or list additional nodes
  cp               Copy the specified file into minikube

Troubleshooting Commands:
  ssh-key          Retrieve the ssh identity key path of the specified node
  ssh-host         Retrieve the ssh host key of the specified node
  ip               Retrieves the IP address of the specified node
  logs             Returns logs to debug a local Kubernetes cluster
  update-check     Print current and latest version number
  version          Print the version of minikube
  options          Show a list of global command-line options (applies to all commands).

Other Commands:
  completion       Generate command completion for a shell
  license          Outputs the licenses of dependencies to a directory

Use "minikube  --help" for more information about a given command.

Start Local Kubernetes cluster

You can show start Minikube local kubernetes cluster by running;

minikube start --driver=docker

So what does this command do?

  • It starts control plane node minikube in cluster.
  • Pulls the base image required to create Kubernetes cluster
  • Next, it downloads preconfigured set of Kubernetes binaries to bootstrap the cluster.
  • Setup Kubernetes on Docker
  • Configures container networking interface
  • Enable some Minikube add-ons such as for storage.

See sample output;

😄  minikube v1.30.1 on Debian 12.0
✨  Using the docker driver based on user configuration
📌  Using Docker driver with root privileges
👍  Starting control plane node minikube in cluster minikube
🚜  Pulling base image ...
💾  Downloading Kubernetes v1.26.3 preload ...
    > preloaded-images-k8s-v18-v1...:  397.02 MiB / 397.02 MiB  100.00% 1.25 Mi
    >  373.53 MiB / 373.53 MiB  100.00% 1.04 Mi
🔥  Creating docker container (CPUs=2, Memory=2200MB) ...
🐳  Preparing Kubernetes v1.26.3 on Docker 23.0.2 ...
    ▪ Generating certificates and keys ...
    ▪ Booting up control plane ...
    ▪ Configuring RBAC rules ...
🔗  Configuring bridge CNI (Container Networking Interface) ...
    ▪ Using image
🔎  Verifying Kubernetes components...
🌟  Enabled addons: storage-provisioner, default-storageclass
🏄  Done! kubectl is now configured to use "minikube" cluster and "default" namespace by default

Check Minikube Status

You can check Minikube status using the command below;

minikube status

type: Control Plane
host: Running
kubelet: Running
apiserver: Running
kubeconfig: Configured

Administering Kubernetes on Minikube

You should now be able to administer Kubernetes on Minikube.

Minikube SSH Login

You can SSH into minikube using the command below;

minikube ssh

You land into the the minikube docker shell.

Run docker commands inside;

docker ps

CONTAINER ID   IMAGE                       COMMAND                  CREATED         STATUS         PORTS     NAMES
0d92ee88b84f   6e38f40d628d                "/storage-provisioner"   4 minutes ago   Up 4 minutes             k8s_storage-provisioner_storage-provisioner_kube-system_6afa8ea3-36d7-41ad-938f-843f25aa6d4a_1
be75fdc607c6   5185b96f0bec                "/coredns -conf /etc…"   4 minutes ago   Up 4 minutes             k8s_coredns_coredns-787d4945fb-49k2m_kube-system_e37b1967-be5d-4554-a46f-05a2997de74e_0
fe9b2a99b6ec   "/pause"                 4 minutes ago   Up 4 minutes             k8s_POD_coredns-787d4945fb-49k2m_kube-system_e37b1967-be5d-4554-a46f-05a2997de74e_0
9a9a928c9cf7   92ed2bec97a6                "/usr/local/bin/kube…"   4 minutes ago   Up 4 minutes             k8s_kube-proxy_kube-proxy-q8thm_kube-system_9f6fae56-0458-49d6-8ba5-82ec9c2189b1_0
7dc47e863ff0   "/pause"                 4 minutes ago   Up 4 minutes             k8s_POD_kube-proxy-q8thm_kube-system_9f6fae56-0458-49d6-8ba5-82ec9c2189b1_0
c1fcaf7f7d56   "/pause"                 4 minutes ago   Up 4 minutes             k8s_POD_storage-provisioner_kube-system_6afa8ea3-36d7-41ad-938f-843f25aa6d4a_0
04d74488c2bf   1d9b3cbae03c                "kube-apiserver --ad…"   5 minutes ago   Up 5 minutes             k8s_kube-apiserver_kube-apiserver-minikube_kube-system_cdcbce216c62c4407ac9a51ac013e7d7_0
c6561bab22ad   ce8c2293ef09                "kube-controller-man…"   5 minutes ago   Up 5 minutes             k8s_kube-controller-manager_kube-controller-manager-minikube_kube-system_466b9e73e627277a8c24637c2fa6442d_0
37040d7add6b   5a7904736932                "kube-scheduler --au…"   5 minutes ago   Up 5 minutes             k8s_kube-scheduler_kube-scheduler-minikube_kube-system_0818f4b1a57de9c3f9c82667e7fcc870_0
698ab8856b5e   fce326961ae2                "etcd --advertise-cl…"   5 minutes ago   Up 5 minutes             k8s_etcd_etcd-minikube_kube-system_a121e106627e5c6efa9ba48006cc43bf_0
38cb851be00c   "/pause"                 5 minutes ago   Up 5 minutes             k8s_POD_kube-scheduler-minikube_kube-system_0818f4b1a57de9c3f9c82667e7fcc870_0
80d9696d3a3f   "/pause"                 5 minutes ago   Up 5 minutes             k8s_POD_kube-controller-manager-minikube_kube-system_466b9e73e627277a8c24637c2fa6442d_0
9fb63368a575   "/pause"                 5 minutes ago   Up 5 minutes             k8s_POD_kube-apiserver-minikube_kube-system_cdcbce216c62c4407ac9a51ac013e7d7_0
cea349f8a641   "/pause"                 5 minutes ago   Up 5 minutes             k8s_POD_etcd-minikube_kube-system_a121e106627e5c6efa9ba48006cc43bf_0

Check docker images;

docker images

REPOSITORY                                TAG       IMAGE ID       CREATED         SIZE            v1.26.3   1d9b3cbae03c   3 months ago    134MB   v1.26.3   ce8c2293ef09   3 months ago    123MB            v1.26.3   5a7904736932   3 months ago    56.4MB                v1.26.3   92ed2bec97a6   3 months ago    65.6MB                      3.5.6-0   fce326961ae2   6 months ago    299MB                     3.9       e6f181688397   8 months ago    744kB           v1.9.3    5185b96f0bec   12 months ago   48.8MB   v5        6e38f40d628d   2 years ago     31.5MB

docker system df

Images          8         8         751.9MB   3.967MB (0%)
Containers      15        14        162B      0B (0%)
Local Volumes   0         0         0B        0B
Build Cache     0         0         0B        0B

Get Kubernetes Cluster Resource Information

Let’s run a few Kubernetes commands;

  • Get Kubernetes cluster information;
kubectl cluster-info

Kubernetes control plane is running at
CoreDNS is running at

To further debug and diagnose cluster problems, use 'kubectl cluster-info dump'.
  • Lists all the nodes in the current namespace.
kubectl get nodes

NAME       STATUS   ROLES           AGE     VERSION
minikube   Ready    control-plane   7h52m   v1.26.3

List all services in the current namespace;

kubectl get services

kubernetes   ClusterIP            443/TCP   7h53m

You can basically manage your Kubernetes cluster just as would on any prod environment.

Deploy Simple Kubernets Application

Let’s create a simple Nginx manifest file to define the desired state;

vim nginx-deployment.yaml

Paste the following content;

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: nginx-deployment
  replicas: 2
      app: nginx
        app: nginx
      - name: nginx
        image: nginx:latest
        - containerPort: 80

Deploy Nginx;

kubectl apply -f nginx-deployment.yaml

List deployments;

kubectl get deployments

nginx-deployment   0/2     2            0           13s

Check the pods. You should see two of them due to replica of 2;

kubectl get pods

NAME                                READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
nginx-deployment-6b7f675859-ljsh8   1/1     Running   0          7s
nginx-deployment-6b7f675859-qvnpn   1/1     Running   0          7s

Next, you need to expose this service for external access;

vim nginx-service.yaml

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: nginx-service
  type: NodePort
    app: nginx
    - name: http
      port: 80
      targetPort: 80
      nodePort: 30000  # Choose an available port number

Ensure no other service is being exposed via port 31500/tcp defined above.

Apply the service;

kubectl apply -f nginx-service.yaml

Check the services to find out an external port to access it;

kubectl get services

NAME            TYPE        CLUSTER-IP      EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)        AGE
kubernetes      ClusterIP               443/TCP        60m
nginx-service   NodePort           80:30000/TCP   3s

get more details;

kubectl describe service nginx-service

Name:                     nginx-service
Namespace:                default
Selector:                 app=nginx
Type:                     NodePort
IP Family Policy:         SingleStack
IP Families:              IPv4
Port:                     http  80/TCP
TargetPort:               80/TCP
NodePort:                 http  30000/TCP
Endpoints:      ,
Session Affinity:         None
External Traffic Policy:  Cluster

Accessing the Service. You can print the url or open service on the default browser;

minikube service nginx-service

Sample browser;

Install Minikube on Debian 12

and command line output;

| NAMESPACE |     NAME      | TARGET PORT |            URL            |
| default   | nginx-service | http/80     | |
🎉  Opening service default/nginx-service in default browser...

Unfortunately, our service is exposed via docker bridge interface IP and hence, makes it hard to access externally.

You can do port forwarding of Nginx target port to some other unused ports as follows;

kubectl port-forward service/nginx-service --address= 8080:80

Sample output;

Forwarding from -> 80
Handling connection for 8080
Handling connection for 8080

Press CTRL+C to cancel.

You should now be able to access your App outside Minikube cluster, http://<server-IP>:8080.

Install Minikube on Debian 12

You can now proceed to explore Kubernetes!

Enable Minikube Addons

Addons are components that can be used to extend the functionality of Minikube;

There is quite a number of addons;

minikube addons list

|         ADDON NAME          | PROFILE  |    STATUS    |           MAINTAINER           |
| ambassador                  | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (Ambassador)         |
| auto-pause                  | minikube | disabled     | Google                         |
| cloud-spanner               | minikube | disabled     | Google                         |
| csi-hostpath-driver         | minikube | disabled     | Kubernetes                     |
| dashboard                   | minikube | disabled     | Kubernetes                     |
| default-storageclass        | minikube | enabled ✅   | Kubernetes                     |
| efk                         | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (Elastic)            |
| freshpod                    | minikube | disabled     | Google                         |
| gcp-auth                    | minikube | disabled     | Google                         |
| gvisor                      | minikube | disabled     | Google                         |
| headlamp                    | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (         |
| helm-tiller                 | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (Helm)               |
| inaccel                     | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (InAccel             |
|                             |          |              | [[email protected]])            |
| ingress                     | minikube | disabled     | Kubernetes                     |
| ingress-dns                 | minikube | disabled     | Google                         |
| istio                       | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (Istio)              |
| istio-provisioner           | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (Istio)              |
| kong                        | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (Kong HQ)            |
| kubevirt                    | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (KubeVirt)           |
| logviewer                   | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (unknown)            |
| metallb                     | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (MetalLB)            |
| metrics-server              | minikube | disabled     | Kubernetes                     |
| nvidia-driver-installer     | minikube | disabled     | Google                         |
| nvidia-gpu-device-plugin    | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (Nvidia)             |
| olm                         | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (Operator Framework) |
| pod-security-policy         | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (unknown)            |
| portainer                   | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (       |
| registry                    | minikube | disabled     | Google                         |
| registry-aliases            | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (unknown)            |
| registry-creds              | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (UPMC Enterprises)   |
| storage-provisioner         | minikube | enabled ✅   | Google                         |
| storage-provisioner-gluster | minikube | disabled     | 3rd party (Gluster)            |
| volumesnapshots             | minikube | disabled     | Kubernetes                     |

You can enable an addon using the command;

minikube addons enable <name>

For example, enable Minikube dashboard;

minikube addons enable dashboard

💡  dashboard is an addon maintained by Kubernetes. For any concerns contact minikube on GitHub.
You can view the list of minikube maintainers at:
    ▪ Using image
    ▪ Using image
💡  Some dashboard features require the metrics-server addon. To enable all features please run:

	minikube addons enable metrics-server	

🌟  The 'dashboard' addon is enabled

Also enable Metrics server;

minikube addons enable metrics-server

You can check the services for these addons on the kube-system namespace;

kubectl get services --all-namespaces

NAMESPACE              NAME                        TYPE        CLUSTER-IP       EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)                  AGE
default                kubernetes                  ClusterIP                443/TCP                  18m
default                nginx-service               NodePort            80:30000/TCP             6m15s
kube-system            kube-dns                    ClusterIP               53/UDP,53/TCP,9153/TCP   18m
kube-system            metrics-server              ClusterIP             443/TCP                  6m46s
kubernetes-dashboard   dashboard-metrics-scraper   ClusterIP            8000/TCP                 7m21s
kubernetes-dashboard   kubernetes-dashboard        ClusterIP           80/TCP                   7m21s

To access the dashboard externally;

kubectl port-forward service/kubernetes-dashboard -n kubernetes-dashboard --address= 8888:80

You dashboard is now availanle on http://minikube-server-IP:8888;

Install Minikube on Debian 12

Explore the dashboard further.

Stop and Delete Minikube Profile

You can always stop and delete Minikube profile;

minikube profile list

Sample output;

| Profile  | VM Driver | Runtime |      IP      | Port | Version | Status  | Nodes | Active |
| minikube | docker    | docker  | | 8443 | v1.26.3 | Running |     1 | *      |

Or get current profile;

minikube profile

Stop Minikube;

minikube stop

Delete current profile;

minikube delete

or specific profile;

minikube delete --profile <profile name>

See example;

minikube delete --profile minikube

🔥  Deleting "minikube" in docker ...
🔥  Deleting container "minikube" ...
🔥  Removing /home/kifarunix/.minikube/machines/minikube ...
💀  Removed all traces of the "minikube" cluster.

And that concludes our guide on how to install Minikube on Debian 12.

Other Tutorials;

Monitor Docker Swarm and Container metrics using Metricbeat


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Linux Certified Engineer, with a passion for open-source technology and a strong understanding of Linux systems. With experience in system administration, troubleshooting, and automation, I am skilled in maintaining and optimizing Linux infrastructure.

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