Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

Kubernetes Solo cluster for macOS

This project is not maintained anymore, please use minikube instead

Zero to Kubernetes development environment setup under two minutes

Kube-Solo for macOS is a status bar App which allows in an easy way to bootstrap and control Kubernetes cluster on a standalone CoreOS VM machine. VM can also be controlled via ksolo cli. Also VM's docker API is exposed to macOS, so you can build your docker images with the same app and use them with Kubernetes.

Kube-Solo for macOS is a similar app to minikube, just has more functionality and is an older project. You can run both Apps on your Mac even in parallel.


It leverages macOS native Hypervisor virtualisation framework of using corectl command line tool, so there are no needs to use VirtualBox or any other virtualisation software anymore.

Includes: Helm v2 - The Kubernetes Package Manager and an option from shell to install Deis Workflow PaaS on top of Kubernetes with a simple: $ install_deis command.

App's menu looks as per image below:



Head over to the Releases Page to grab the latest release.

How to install Kube-Solo


  • macOS 10.10.3 Yosemite or later
  • Mac 2010 or later for this to work.
  • Note: Corectl App must be installed, which will serve as corectld server daemon control.
  • iTerm2 is required, if not found the app will install it by itself.
  • libev brew install libev


  • Download Corectl App latest dmg from the Releases Page and install it to /Applications folder, it allows to start/stop/update corectl tools needed to run CoreOS VMs on macOS
  • Open downloaded dmg file and drag the App e.g. to your Desktop. Start the Kube-Solo App and Initial setup of Kube-Solo VM will run, then follow the instructions there.


  • App's files are installed to ~/kube-solo folder
  • App will bootstrap master+worker Kubernetes cluster on the single VM
  • Mac user home folder is automaticly mounted via NFS (it has to work on Mac end of course) to /Users/my_user:/Users/my_user on each VM boot, check the PV example how to use Persistent Volumes.
  • macOS docker client is installed to ~/kube-solo/bin and preset in OS shell to be used from there, so you can build docker images on the VM and use with Kubernetes
  • After successful install you can control kube-solo VM via ksolo cli as well. Cli resides in ~/kube-solo/bin and ~/binfolders and has simple commands: ksolo start|stop|status|ip|ssh|shell, just add ~/bin to your pre-set path.

The install will do the following:

  • All dependent files/folders will be put under ~/kube-solo folder in the user's home folder e.g /Users/someuser/kube-solo.
  • Will download latest CoreOS ISO image (if there is no such one) and run corectl to initialise VM
  • When you first time do install or Up after destroying Kube-Solo setup, k8s binary files (with the version which was available when the App was built) get copied to VM, this allows to speed up Kubernetes setup.
  • It will install docker, helm, deis and kubectl clients to ~/kube-solo/bin/
  • Kubernetes Dashboard and DNS will be instlled as add-ons
  • Via assigned static IP (it will be shown in first boot and will survive VM's reboots) you can access any port on CoreOS VM
  • Persistent sparse disk (QCow2) data.img will be created and mounted to /data for these mount binds and other folders:
/data/var/lib/docker -> /var/lib/docker
/data/var/lib/rkt -> /var/lib/rkt
/var/lib/kubelet sym linked to /data/kubelet

How it works

Just start Kube-Solo application and you will find a small icon of Kubernetes logo with S in the Status Bar.

Menu options:

  • There you can Up and Halt k8solo-01 VM
  • SSH to k8solo-01 will open VM shell
  • Under Up OS Shell will be opened after VM boots up and it will have such environment pre-set:
kubernetes master - export KUBERNETES_MASTER=
etcd endpoint - export ETCDCTL_PEERS=
Path to `~/kube-solo/bin` where macOS clients and shell scripts are stored

ksolo cli options:

  • ksolo start will start k8solo-01 VM and shell environment will be pre-set as above.
  • ksolo stop will stop VM
  • ksolo statuswill show VM's status
  • ksolo ip will show VM's IP
  • ksolo ssh will ssh to VM
  • ksolo shell will open pre-set shell

Other menu options:

  • Kubernetes Dashboard will show nice Kubernetes Dashboard, where you can check Nodes, Pods, Replication, Deployments, Service Controllers, deploy Apps and etc.
  • Check for App updates will check for a new app version
  • Updates/Update Kubernetes to the latest version will update to latest version of Kubernetes.
  • Updates/Change Kubernetes version will download and install specified Kubernetes version from GitHub.
  • Updates/Update macOS helm and deis clients will update helm and deis to the latest version.
  • Setup/ will allow you to do:
- Change CoreOS Release Channel
- Change VM's RAM size
- Destroy Kube-Solo VM (just deletes data.img file)
- Initial setup of Kube-Solo VM

Example output of succesfull Kubernetes Solo install:

kubectl cluster-info:
Kubernetes master is running at
KubeDNS is running at
kubernetes-dashboard is running at

Cluster version:
Client version: v1.5.1
Server version: v1.5.1

kubectl get nodes:
k8solo-01   Ready     12s


You're now ready to use Kubernetes cluster.

Some examples to start with Kubernetes examples.

Other CoreOS VM based Apps for macOS


Kube-Solo for macOS is an open source project release under the Apache License, Version 2.0, hence contributions and suggestions are gladly welcomed!

Get A Weekly Email With Trending Projects For These Topics
No Spam. Unsubscribe easily at any time.
shell (10,423
kubernetes (1,778
kubernetes-setup (31