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Deploying OpenWhisk on Minikube


Minikube runs a single node Kubernetes cluster inside of a VM (virtual machine) running on your host machine. Depending on your host machine, you will have different choices for the VM. Minikube is suitable for developing and testing of OpenWhisk. Because the Kubernetes cluster is run within another VM, Minikube is slightly more resource intensive and slightly less flexible than some of the other docker-in-docker based approaches to running Kubernetes.

Initial Minikube Setup

New versions of Minikube and Kubernetes are released fairly frequently. Over time, you will probably end up needing to have multiple versions installed on your development machine. We recommend using the asdf package manager to make it very easy to switch between versions and manage installation.

Install and configure asdf


brew install asdf

Edit your ~/.profile or equivalent

[ -s "/usr/local/opt/asdf/" ] && . /usr/local/opt/asdf/

Other Platforms

Follow the asdf installation instructions at

Add minikube and kubectl plugins

asdf plugin-add kubectl
asdf plugin-add minikube

Install minikube and kubectl using asdf.

We recommend starting a combination of minikube 0.28.2 and kubectl 1.10.5 that are known to work for running OpenWhisk. After you have experience with OpenWhisk on Minikube, feel free to experiment with additional versions.

asdf install kubectl 1.10.5
asdf global kubectl 1.10.5
asdf install minikube 0.28.2
asdf global minikube 0.28.2

Configure the Minikube VM

You will want at least 4GB of memory and 2 CPUs for Minikube to run OpenWhisk. If you have a larger machine, you may want to provision more (especially more memory).

minikube config set kubernetes-version v1.10.5
minikube config set cpus 2
minikube config set memory 4096
minikube config set WantUpdateNotification false

Start Minikube

With minikube v0.25.2:

minikube start --extra-config=apiserver.Authorization.Mode=RBAC

with minikube versions more recent than v0.25.2:

minikube start

Setup Docker network in promiscuous mode

Put the docker network in promiscuous mode.

minikube ssh -- sudo ip link set docker0 promisc on

Tip: Make sure to setup the Docker network after minkube start if you ran minkube delete as this configuration will be lost.

Your Minikube cluster should now be ready to deploy OpenWhisk.

Changing Kubernetes versions

To use a different version of Kubernetes with Minikube, you need to delete the VM, reconfigure minikube, restart, and redo the setup of the Docker network.

minikube delete
minikube config set kubernetes-version <NEW_VERSION>
minikube start [--extra-config=apiserver.Authorization.Mode=RBAC]
minikube ssh -- sudo ip link set docker0 promisc on

Configuring OpenWhisk

You will be using a NodePort ingress to access OpenWhisk. Assuming minikube ip returns and port 31001 is available to be used on your host machine, a mycluster.yaml for a standard deployment of OpenWhisk would be:

    type: NodePort
    apiHostPort: 31001

  httpsNodePort: 31001


Using Minikube is only appropriate for development and testing purposes. It is not recommended for production deployments of OpenWhisk.

TLS termination will be handled by OpenWhisk's nginx service and will use self-signed certificates. You will need to invoke wsk with the -i command line argument to bypass certificate checking.

You must remember to put the docker network in promiscuous mode via

minikube ssh -- sudo ip link set docker0 promisc on

every time you start minikube.

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