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Using Minishift

The following sections describe different aspects of using Minishift and provide an overview of different components and services.

Managing your OpenShift instance

This section contains information about basic virtual machine and OpenShift management operations.

Starting OpenShift

The minishift start command is used to start your OpenShift instance. This command creates and configures a virtual machine that runs a single-node OpenShift instance.

Stopping OpenShift

The minishift stop command is used to stop your OpenShift instance. This command shuts down the Minishift virtual machine, but preserves the cluster state. Starting Minishift again will restore the cluster, allowing you to continue work from where you left-off.

Deleting OpenShift

The minishift delete command is used to delete the OpenShift instance. This command shuts down and deletes the Minishift virtual machine. No data or state is preserved.

Updating OpenShift configuration

Once you have started OpenShift, you can view and change the master and node configuration of your OpenShift cluster.

You can view the current OpenShift master configuration (master-config.yaml) via:

$ minishift openshift config view

For displaying the node configuration, you can specify the target flag. For more details about the view command refer its synopsis.

Let's look at Cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) as an example for patching the OpenShift master configuration. Per default, OpenShift will only allow cross origin resource requests from the IP of the cluster as well as localhost. This is specified via the corsAllowedOrigins property in the master configuration master-config.yaml. To change this value and allow cross origin requests from all domains, one can execute:

$  minishift openshift config set --patch '{"corsAllowedOrigins": [".*"]}'

Per default, the master configuration is targeted, but you can also path the node config by specifying the target flag. For more details about the set command refer to its synopsis.

Note: OpenShift will be restarted after applying the patch.

Minishift runtime options

The runtime behavior of Minishift can be controlled through flags, environment variables, and persistent configuration options, as discussed in the following sections.

The following precedence order is applied to control the behavior of Minishift. Each item in the following list takes precedence over the item below it:

  1. Use a command line flag as specified in the Flags section.
  2. Set environment variable as described in the Environment variables section.
  3. Use persistent configuration option as described in the Persistent configuration section.
  4. Accept the default value as defined by Minishift.


You can use command line flags with Minishift to specify options and direct its behavior. This has the highest precedence. Almost all commands have flags, however different commands take different flags. Some of the commonly used command line flags of the minishift start command are cpus, memory or vm-driver.

Environment variables

Minishift allows you to specify command line flags you commonly use through environment variables. To do so, apply the following rules to the flag you want to set as an environment variable.

  1. Apply MINISHIFT_ as a prefix to the flag you want to set as an environment variable. For example, the vm-driver flag of the minishift start command becomes MINISHIFT_vm-driver.
  2. Use uppercase for the flag, so MINISHIFT_vm-driver in the above example becomes MINISHIFT_VM-DRIVER.
  3. Finally, replace - with _, so MINISHIFT_VM-DRIVER becomes MINISHIFT_VM_DRIVER.

Environment variables can be used to replace any option of any Minishift command. A common example is the URL of the ISO to be used. Usually you specify it with the iso-url flag of the minishift start command. Applying the above rules, you can also specify this URL by setting the environment variable as MINISHIFT_ISO_URL.

Note: You can also use the MINISHIFT_HOME environment variable, to choose a different home directory for Minishift. Per default, Minishift places all its runtime state into ~/.minishift. This is currently experimental and semantics might change in future releases.

Persistent configuration

Using persistent configuration allows you to control Minishift's behavior without specifying actual command line flags, similar to the way you use environment variables.

Minishift maintains a configuration file $MINISHIFT_HOME/config/config.json which can be used to set commonly used command line flags persistently.

Note: Persistent configuration can only be applied to the set of supported configuration options listed in the synopsis of the minishift config sub-command, unlike environment variables which can be used to replace any option of any command, .

Setting persistent configuration values

The easiest way to change a persistent configuration option, is with the config set sub-command. For example:

# Set default memory 4096 MB
$ minishift config set memory 4096

To view persistent configuration values, you can use the view sub-command:

$ minishift config view
- memory: 4096

Alternatively one can just display a single value with the get sub-command:

$ minishift config get memory

Unsetting persistent configuration values

To remove a persistent configuration option, the unset sub-command can be used:

$ minishift config unset memory

Interacting with OpenShift

OpenShift client binary (oc)

The minishift start command creates an OpenShift instance using the cluster up approach.

For this purpose it copies the oc binary onto your host. You find it under ~/.minishift/cache/oc/\<OpenShift version\>/oc. You can add this binary to your PATH variable in order to use oc, for example:

$ export PATH=$PATH:~/.minishift/cache/oc/v1.4.1

In future versions we will provide a command to assist in setting up the PATH. See Github issue #142.

For an introduction to oc usage, refer to the Get Started with the CLI section in the OpenShift documentation.


Per default cluster up uses an AllowAllPasswordIdentityProvider for authentication against the local cluster. This means any non-empty username and password can be used to login to the local cluster. The recommended username and password are developer/developer, since it also has a default project myproject set up.

To login as administrator, use the system account:

$ oc login -u system:admin

In this case client certificates are used which are stored in ~/.kube/config. cluster up will install the appropriate certificates as part of the bootstrap.

Note: If you type oc login -u system -p admin, you will get logged in, but not as administrator, but rather as unprivileged user with no particular rights.

To view the currently available login contexts, run:

$ oc config view


To access the OpenShift console, run this command in a shell after starting Minishift to get the address:

$ minishift console


To access a service exposed with a node port, run this command in a shell after starting Minishift to get the address:

$ minishift service [-n NAMESPACE] [--url] NAME


If you are behind a HTTP/HTTPS proxy, you need to supply proxy options to allow Docker and OpenShift to work properly. To do this, pass the required flags during minishift start.

For example:

$ minishift start --http-proxy http://YOURPROXY:PORT --https-proxy https://YOURPROXY:PORT

In an authenticated proxy environment, the proxy_user and proxy_password should be part of proxy URI.

 $ minishift start --http-proxy http://<proxy_username>:<proxy_password>@YOURPROXY:PORT \
                   --https-proxy https://<proxy_username>:<proxy_password>YOURPROXY:PORT

You can also use --no-proxy to specify a comma-separated list of hosts which should not be proxied. For a list of all available options refer to the synopsis of the start command.

Using the proxy options will transparently configure the Docker daemon as well as OpenShift to use the specified proxies.

Note: Using the proxy options requires that you run with an OpenShift version >=1.5.0-alpha.2. Use the openshift-version option to request a specific version of OpenShift. You can list all Minishift compatible OpenShift versions via minishift get-openshift-versions.

Mounted host folders

Some drivers will mount a host folder within the VM so that you can easily share files between the VM and the host. These are not configurable at the moment and are different for each driver and the OS that you use.

Driver OS HostFolder VM
Virtualbox Linux /home /hosthome
Virtualbox OSX /Users /Users
Virtualbox Windows C://Users /c/Users
VMWare Fusion OSX /Users /Users
Xhyve OSX /Users /Users

Note: Host folder sharing is not implemented in the KVM and Hyper-V driver. You can mount a CIFS-based shared folder inside the virtual machine instead.

Mounting custom shared folders

The Boot2Docker and the CentOS image include cifs-utils, which allows you to mount CIFS-based shared folders inside the virtual machine. For example, on Windows 10 the C:\Users folder is shared and only needs locally authenticated users. The following procedure describes how to mount this folder.

  1. Find the local IP address from the same network segment as your Minishift instance.

    $ Get-NetIPAddress | Format-Table
  2. Create a mountpoint and mount the shared folder.

    $ minishift ssh "sudo mkdir -p /Users"
    $ minishift ssh "sudo mount -t cifs //[machine-ip]/Users /Users -o username=[username],password=[password],domain=$env:computername

    If no error appears, the mount succeeded.

  3. Verify the share mount.

    $ minishift ssh "ls -al /Users"

    A successful mount will show a folder with the authenticated user name.


  • If you use this method to mount the folder, you might encounter issues if your password string contains a $ sign, because this is used by PowerShell as a variables to be replaced. You can use ' (single quotes) instead and replace the value of $env:computername with the contents of this variable.

  • If your Windows account is linked to a Microsoft account, you must use the full Microsoft account email address to authenticate, for example This ensures that the domain value that contains the computer name is provided.


The Minishift VM is exposed to the host system via a host-only IP address, that can be obtained with the minishift ip command.

Persistent volumes

Minishift supports PersistentVolumes of type hostPath. These PersistentVolumes are mapped to a directory inside the Minishift VM.

The MiniShift VM boots into a tmpfs, so most directories will not be persisted across reboots (for example, when you use minishift stop). However, MiniShift is configured to persist files stored under the following host directories:

  • /data
  • /var/lib/minishift
  • /var/lib/docker

Here is an example PersistentVolume config to persist data in the /data directory:

apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolume
  name: pv0001
    - ReadWriteOnce
    storage: 5Gi
    path: /data/pv0001/

Private container registries

To access a private container registry, follow the steps on this page.

We recommend you to use ImagePullSecrets, but if you would like to configure access on the Minishift VM you can place the .dockercfg in the /home/docker directory or the config.json in the /home/docker/.docker directory.