Minikube vs kubectl
Both Kubernetes and minikube are free and open-source software. Minikube has 15.2K GitHub stars and 2.39K GitHub forks whereas, Kubernetes has 56.2K GitHub stars and 19.6K forks. The latter being clearly, the more popular one.
Kubernetes is a Docker container orchestration solution. It facilitates workload scheduling on compute cluster nodes and actively maintains workloads to ensure that their status corresponds to the users’ stated intents.
Minikube, on the other hand, is described as a “Local Kubernetes engine.” It implements a local Kubernetes cluster on macOS, Linux, and Windows. Its purpose is to be the tool for developing local Kubernetes applications and to support all Kubernetes capabilities that are appropriate.
Kubernetes and minikube are “Container” tools in the broadest sense. Now to understand which application is better, we have to understand Minikube and Kubernetes individually and see what they are best used for.
What is Minikube
Minikube is a fitting name that tells what the tool accomplishes; It takes Kubernetes’ massive cloud-scale and compresses it down to fit in your laptop. But don’t mistake this for lack of strength or functionality, Minikube can accomplish a lot. While developers and DevOps engineers are most likely to utilize it daily, it may also be used by IT leaders and the C-suite.
Minikube is a program that allows you to run Kubernetes on your machine. It creates a single-node Kubernetes cluster on your computer so you may experiment with Kubernetes or conduct daily development work. It runs a single-node cluster on your local PC within a virtual machine.
Minikube is a Kubernetes SIGs project that has been in development for over 3 years. It works by generating a VM that is effectively a single-node K8s cluster. Since it supports a variety of hypervisors, minikube can be used on all major operating systems.
Minikube is a very user-friendly tool from the standpoint of the user. ‘Minikube start’ is used to start the cluster, and after a few minutes, your ‘kubectl’ ‘is ready to use. The Kubernetes-version option can be used to specify a particular Kubernetes version. Minikube provides the following features:
- Local Kubernetes
- Load Balancer
Minikube is a tool that allows users to gain hands-on experience with Kubernetes by administering a cluster locally. It’s also useful for day-to-day development work. Let us understand their uses in more depth.
Uses of Minikube
Here are 5 ways to put Minikube to good use:
1. Minikube allows you to learn and experiment quickly.
Minikube’s minimal footprint allows new and experienced developers to easily get their hands dirty with a Kubernetes cluster. This is highly important because access to another Kubernetes cluster, either on-premises or in any public cloud, may not always be accessible to experiment or test apps fast.
There are a few points worth mentioning here. Firstly, no prior familiarity with Kubernetes is necessary to use minikube, making it an excellent tool for those just getting started with the containerization technology. Minikube is also useful for continuing experimentation and learning for those who have some hands-on Kubernetes expertise.
2. Minikube may be used to examine key Kubernetes functionality.
With its range of built-in add-ons, Minikube effectively facilitates assessing essential aspects of a Kubernetes cluster, all of which can be easily activated or removed. Default storage class, storage provisioning, registry, Ingress, and other functionalities are among them.
NVIDIA GPUs are now supported experimentally in minikube. This is especially helpful for developers who have a CUDA-capable GPU on their local workstation. This allows them to focus on certain workloads, such as machine learning and gaming.
3. Experiment with Kubernetes’ extensibility.
Minikube, like Kubernetes, is open-source and licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. This is especially beneficial for developers and architects who want to play around with Kubernetes’ extensibility to add new features or build value-added capabilities on top of the existing platform.
4. Minikube can help you walk the talk.
Although CIOs may not necessarily require day-to-day command of a specific language or technology, this does not rule out the possibility of getting your hands dirty. Minikube has an additional advantage; as containers and orchestration become more prevalent in IT, the tool provides an opportunity for executives to better grasp one of the most important tools their teams are going to use (or will be soon) – with minimal overhead.
Engineers don’t usually have spare time to experiment with new tools and learn new things. However, the rapid evolution of development and IT tools necessitates the acquisition of new skills. When it comes to Kubernetes, Minikube is the most convenient method to get started. Here are 2 specific examples of how IT leaders can use Minikube in their best interests.
- For the Kubernetes Web UI/Dashboard, there is a Minikube add-on. With various utilization data, like CPU, RAM, and so on, the dashboard offers a fairly deep view into how the application operates on the cluster.
- As Minikube runs locally, it’s an excellent tool for presentations or demos. Minikube also allows IT executives to easily show app prototypes and Kubernetes capabilities in various forums without complexity or the need for external infrastructure.
It’s beneficial for IT executives to understand Kubernetes. Even better, if your firm is progressively deploying containerized apps, you should be able to at least begin to comprehend it from a daily practitioner’s viewpoint.
IT executives will benefit from this since they will be able to see the apps operating locally on a Kubernetes cluster.
5. Minikube can be used as a proof-of-concept tool.
Tinkering is one thing, making a case for new technology in your larger business is quite another. A proof of concept can be useful, but it might be difficult to get started if it necessitates a significant investment in infrastructure and/or other resources. Minikube can also be used to create a cluster. Let’s understand how.
Kubernetes manages a cluster of highly available machines that operate together as a single entity. Kubernetes’ abstractions allow you to deploy containerized apps to a cluster without attaching them to specific machines. Applications must be packaged in a way that decouples them from specific hosts in order to leverage this new deployment model i.e. they must be containerized.
Containerized apps are more flexible than programs put directly onto individual machines as packages fully embedded into the host in previous deployment paradigms.
Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform that automates the distribution and scheduling of application containers across a cluster. Kubernetes is a production-ready open-source platform. There are 2 sorts of resources in a Kubernetes cluster:
- The cluster is coordinated via the Control Plane.
- The workers who operate programs are known as nodes.
The Control Plane is in charge of cluster management. It is also responsible for coordinating all operations in a cluster, including application scheduling, maintaining the intended state of applications, scaling applications, and rolling out new updates.
In a Kubernetes cluster, a node is a virtual machine (VM) or a real computer that functions as a worker machine. A Kubelet is an agent that manages the node and communicates with the Kubernetes control plane for each node.
Container management technologies, such as containers and Docker, should be available on the node. The number of nodes in a Kubernetes cluster that handles production traffic should be at least 3.
You inform the control plane to start the application containers when you deploy apps on Kubernetes. The containers are scheduled to operate on the cluster’s nodes by the control plane. The Kubernetes API, which the control plane exposes, is used by the nodes to communicate with the control plane. End users can also communicate with the cluster directly via the Kubernetes API.
Kubernetes clusters may run on both real and virtual computers. Minikube can help you get started with Kubernetes development. It is a lightweight Kubernetes implementation that generates a virtual machine on your local PC and installs a one-node cluster. Start, stop, status, and delete are the essential bootstrapping procedures provided by the Minikube CLI for dealing with your cluster.
What is Kubernetes
Kubernetes is an open-source framework for managing containerized workloads and services that allow declarative setup as well as automation. It has a huge and fast-expanding ecology. Services, support, and tools for Kubernetes are widely accessible.
The acronym K8s comes from counting the 8 letters between the letters “K” and “s.” In 2014, Google made the Kubernetes project open-source. Kubernetes blends Google’s 15 years of expertise in operating production workloads at scale with community-sourced best-of-breed ideas and practices. A Kubernetes cluster is made up of 2 parts; the master and the nodes.
The master is the controlling machine, including components that serve as the primary administrative interface for users. Your containerized programs will execute on nodes. To put it another way, you execute your containerized programs on nodes and manage them through the master. Both the master and the nodes have critical components, which we’ll go over next.
Components of Master
- Etcd is the Kubernetes backup store for all cluster data. It is a consistent and highly available key-value store. It’s essentially a database for Kubernetes data that reflects the cluster’s current status.
- As its name indicates, the API Server exposes the Kubernetes API. It serves as the cluster’s primary management hub. It serves as a link between different components, spreading data and commands. Put simply, it is the front-end of the Kubernetes control plane.
- The Controller Manager is in charge of maintaining the cluster’s status and executing normal activities. The replication controller, for example, guarantees that the number of replicas declared for a service corresponds to the number of replicas currently deployed on the cluster. Another example is the endpoints controller, which adjusts endpoints by monitoring Etcd changes.
- The Scheduler Service is responsible for allocating workloads to nodes. Here’s how it works:
- Reads the operation needs of the task.
- Examine the present infrastructural situation.
- Assign the burden to a suitable node(s).
- Docker is used to operating your containers, of course! As an alternative to Docker, it can be utilized.
- Kubelet is the cluster group’s principal point of contact for each node, transmitting data to and from the control pane services (master).
- Proxy is used to keep track of network rules and forward connections. This is what makes Kubernetes’ service abstraction possible (DNS).
You won’t engage with these components directly, but it’s useful to understand what’s going on behind the scenes. Kubernetes has several functionalities, including:
- Lightweight, simple, and simple to use.
- Designed to work in a multi-cloud environment, whether public, private, or hybrid.
- It’s meant to be very modular, with all of its components being simply swappable.
Uses of Kubernetes
Now let’s break down what Kubernetes can do and how it helps the developers. Containers are a convenient method to package and run your apps. You must manage the containers that execute the apps in a production environment and guarantee that there is no downtime. For instance, if one container fails, another must be started. Wouldn’t it be more convenient if a computer program handled this behavior?
That’s when Kubernetes comes in handy! Kubernetes is a framework for running distributed systems in a resilient manner. It handles scaling and failover for your application, as well as providing deployment patterns and other features. Kubernetes, for example, can effortlessly manage your system’s canary deployment.
Kubernetes offers you:
- Service discovery and load balancing – Kubernetes may expose a container using its own IP address or its DNS name. If a container receives a lot of traffic, Kubernetes may load balance and spread the traffic to keep the deployment stable.
- Storage orchestration – Kubernetes lets you mount whatever storage system you choose, including local storage and public cloud providers.
- Automated rollouts and rollbacks – Kubernetes allows you to specify the intended state for your deployed containers and then change the actual state to the intended state at a controlled rate.
You may use Kubernetes to automate the creation of new containers for your deployment, as well as the removal of current containers and the adoption of all their resources to the new container.
- Automatic bin packing – You provide Kubernetes with a cluster of nodes to use for containerized task execution. Kubernetes is told how much CPU and memory (RAM) each container requires. To make the most of your resources, Kubernetes may fit containers onto your nodes.
- Self-healing – When containers fail, Kubernetes restarts them, replaces them, kills them if they don’t answer your user-defined health check, and doesn’t broadcast them to clients until they’re ready to serve.
- Secret and configuration management – Kubernetes allows you to store and handle sensitive data like passwords, OAuth tokens, and SSH keys.
Google, Slack, and Shopify are some of the well-known organizations using Kubernetes, whereas Kalibrr, CommonBond, and Fivestars use minikube. Minikube is cited in 3 company stacks and 5 developer stacks, whereas Kubernetes is cited in 1,440 company stacks and 5,226 developer stacks.
Now, after we have explained what Minikube and Kubernetes do, it must be understood that both have them have varying scope of activity. Kubernetes is a more comprehensive orchestration tool that is good for large scale projects and to manage the developed applications with a whole range of libraries. Whereas, Minikube, as a local Kubernetes engine, is great for deployment purposes and comes with limited nodes and external testing capabilities.
One cannot essentially replace the other as their utility varies to a significant extent. Though this discussion will provide you with a better understanding of what will fulfill your project needs.