Install kubernetes on windows + WSL

Dario De Bastiani
Jan 12, 2018 · 3 min read

While Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) does a decent job providing a unix system, it cannot run natively anything that requires access to virtualisation — for now.

If you already have docker installed, there’s a workaround: install minikube on windows, and then connect to that from within WSL.

To do that, start by opening powershell as an administrator:

Image for post
Image for post
Windows key, search “powershell”, right click, “Run as Administrator”

In the powershell window, paste the following commands to install minikube and kubectl:

cd $env:userprofile\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps
# replace 1.9.0 with the most recent version
.9.0/bin/windows/amd64/kubectl.exe -OutFile kubectl.exe
# replace 0.24.1 with the most recent version
wget -OutFile minikube.exe

Now we need to create a virtual machine using hyper-v.
There’s currently a bug that keeps minikube hanging on start — as a workaround, create a new external virtual switch.
Name it “Primary Virtual Switch” (“The neighbours stole my dog” works just as well tbh) and use it to start the kubernetes cluster:

minikube.exe start --vm-driver=hyperv --hyperv-virtual-switch="Primary Virtual Switch"

That’s everything we need to do in powershell, now open the WSL bash:

# install kubectl
curl -LO$(curl -s && \
chmod +x kubectl && \
sudo mv kubectl /usr/local/bin/

That’s almost everything needed to see your service running — at this stage, it will only be accessible to kubernetes’ internal network.
Let’s make sure the deployment is working first:

$ kubectl get deployment
hello-minikube 1 1 1 1 21s
$ kubectl get pod
hello-minikube-7844bdb9c6-wkqtb 1/1 Running 0 34s

Now we can expose the service to the outside world:

$ kubectl expose deployment hello-minikube --type=NodePort
service "hello-minikube" exposed
$ kubectl get service hello-minikube
hello-minikube NodePort <none> 8080:30668/TCP 19s
# ☝ ️30668 externally reachable port

We need to go back to powershell to see the service in action:

## should open a browser tab showing the service just deployed
minikube.exe service hello-minikube

That’s it! Now might be a good time to enable autocompletion for kubectl.
Go deploy all the things!

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