Fundamental K8s Terms, Part 01: Kubectl and Minikube

Minikube is a great way to quickly get hands-on with Kubernetes and kubectl is essential for clusters of all sizes.

This is an installment in the Fundamental K8s Terms series. Feel free to check out the previous installment where we cover cluster, node and pod.

Fundamental K8s Terms

In today’s installment, we are going to cover kubectl and minikube:


The Collabnix tutorial on kubectl puts it this way:

From a user’s point of view, kubectl is your cockpit to control Kubernetes. It allows you to perform every possible Kubernetes operation.

From a technical point of view, kubectl is a client for the Kubernetes API.

This table of kubectl operations gives a good idea of the kinds of operations that can be performed via kubectl. Here are just a few examples:

The kubectl command uses the concept of contexts in order to determine which cluster it sends commands to. This is helpful for situations where you have more than one cluster.

READ Configure Access to Multiple Clusters

READ intro to kubectl from the Kubectl (and Kustomize) book


A lot of people are very concerned with how kubectl is pronounced. The two main camps are:

You can read and watch more about it:


minikube quickly sets up a local Kubernetes cluster on macOS, Linux, and Windows.

minikube is a tool that lets you have a single node Kubernetes cluster on your local computer. Yep, it’s true. With minikube, you can have a local Kubernetes cluster. My first (second, third, and fourth) Kubernetes cluster was spun up via minikube. Minikube is good because it let’s you get started quickly. It is important to note that there are limitations and minikube is not intended for production use.

Learn More

I highly recommend listening to the Minikube Redux, with Thomas episode of Kubernetes Podcast from Google. The conversation covers improvements made to minikube in the prior 18 months. Hearing the pain points that they hav emoved past provides great insight into the minikube experience.

Hello, Minikube: Get hands-on with an in-browser Kubernetes environment via Katacoda.

Learn more at