Easy install using minikube

In Step 1, we guide you through setting up your environment to launch Kubernetes via minikube

After it’s ready, dive into the two labs below to help you get acquainted with KubeVirt.

Step 1: Prepare minikube environment

This guide will help you deploying KubeVirt on Kubernetes, we’ll be using Minikube.

Our recommendation is to always run the latest (*) version of Minikube available for your platform of choice, following their installation instructions. For instance, to write this guide, the Linux version has been used, together with the KVM2 driver.

(*): KubeVirt >=v0.9.2 won’t run on Minikube <v0.35.0 by default because of lack of vhost-net device. (see more details at Issue#2056)

Finally, you’ll need kubectl installed (*), it can be downloaded from here or installed using the means available for your platform.

(*): Ensure that *kubectl* version complies with the supported release skew (The version of kubectl should be close to Kubernetes server version).

Start Minikube

Before starting with Minikube, let’s verify whether nested virtualization is enabled on the host where Minikube is being installed on:

cat /sys/module/kvm_intel/parameters/nested

If you get an N, follow the instructions described here for enabling it.


Nested virtualization is not mandatory for testing KubeVirt, but makes things smoother. If for any reason it can’t be enabled, don’t forget to enable emulation as shown in the Check for the Virtualization Extensions section.

Let’s begin, normally, Minikube can be started with default values and those will be enough to run this quickstart guide, that being said, if you can spare few more GiBs of RAM (by default it uses 2GiB), it’ll allow you to experiment further this guide.

We’ll create a profile for KubeVirt so it gets its own settings without interfering what any configuration you might had already, let’s start by increasing the default memory to 4GiB:

minikube config -p kubevirt set memory 4096

Now, set the VM driver to KVM2:

minikube config -p kubevirt set vm-driver kvm2

We’re ready to start the Minikube VM:

minikube start -p kubevirt

Deploy KubeVirt Operator

Having the Minikube VM is up and running, let’s set the version environment variable that will be used on few commands:

# On other OS you might need to define it like
export KUBEVIRT_VERSION="v0.18.0"

# On Linux you can obtain it using 'curl' via:
export KUBEVIRT_VERSION=$(curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/kubevirt/kubevirt/releases | grep tag_name | grep -v -- - | sort -V | tail -1 | awk -F':' '{print $2}' | sed 's/,//' | xargs)


Now, using the kubectl tool, let’s deploy the KubeVirt Operator:

kubectl create -f https://github.com/kubevirt/kubevirt/releases/download/${KUBEVIRT_VERSION}/kubevirt-operator.yaml

Check it’s running:

kubectl get pods -n kubevirt
NAME                             READY     STATUS              RESTARTS   AGE
virt-operator-6c5db798d4-9qg56   0/1       ContainerCreating   0          12s
virt-operator-6c5db798d4-9qg56   1/1       Running   0         28s

We’ll need to execute the command above few times (or add -w for watching the pods), until the operator is Running and Ready (1/1), then it’s time to head to the next section.

Check for the Virtualization Extensions

To check if your VM’s CPU supports virtualization extensions execute the following command:

minikube ssh -p kubevirt "egrep 'svm|vmx' /proc/cpuinfo"

If the command doesn’t generate any output, create the following ConfigMap so that KubeVirt uses emulation mode, otherwise skip to the next section:

kubectl create configmap kubevirt-config -n kubevirt --from-literal debug.useEmulation=true

Deploy KubeVirt

KubeVirt is then deployed by creating a dedicated custom resource:

kubectl create -f https://github.com/kubevirt/kubevirt/releases/download/${KUBEVIRT_VERSION}/kubevirt-cr.yaml

Check the deployment:

kubectl get pods -n kubevirt
NAME                               READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
virt-api-649859444c-fmrb7          1/1       Running   0          2m12s
virt-api-649859444c-qrtb6          1/1       Running   0          2m12s
virt-controller-7f49b8f77c-kpfxw   1/1       Running   0          2m12s
virt-controller-7f49b8f77c-m2h7d   1/1       Running   0          2m12s
virt-handler-t4fgb                 1/1       Running   0          2m12s
virt-operator-6c5db798d4-9qg56     1/1       Running   0          6m41s

Once we applied the Custom Resource the operator took care of deploying the actual KubeVirt pods (virt-api, virt-controller and virt-handler). Again we’ll need to execute the command until everything is up&running (or use -w).

Install virtctl

An additional binary is provided to get quick access to the serial and graphical ports of a VM, and handle start/stop operations. The tool is called virtctl and can be retrieved from the release page of KubeVirt:

curl -L -o virtctl \
chmod +x virtctl

If krew plugin manager is installed, virtctl can be installed via krew:

$ kubectl krew install virt

Then virtctl can be used as a kubectl plugin. For a list of available commands run:

$ kubectl virt help

Every occurrence throughout this guide of

$ ./virtctl <command>...

should then be read as

$ kubectl virt <command>...

Clean Up (after lab cleanups):

Delete the KubeVirt from minikube:

minikube delete -p kubevirt

Step 2: KubeVirt labs

After you have connected to your instance through SSH, you can work through a couple of labs to help you get acquainted with KubeVirt and how to use it to create and deploy VMs with Kubernetes.

The first lab is “Use KubeVirt”. This lab walks through the creation of a Virtual Machine Instance (VMI) on Kubernetes and then it is shown how virtctl is used to interact with its console.

The second lab is “Experiment with CDI”. This lab shows how to use the Containerized Data Importer (CDI) to import a VM image into a Persistent Volume Claim (PVC) and then how to define a VM to make use of the PVC.

The third lab is “KubeVirt upgrades”. This lab shows how easy and safe is to upgrade your KubeVirt installation with zero down-time.

Found a bug?

We are interested in hearing about your experience.

If experience a problem with the labs, please report it to the kubevirt.io issue tracker.