How To Set Up Minikube Behind A VPN And Proxy On A Mac

I’ve been fighting with my local Minikube environment behind a VPN for months now. I resigned to using a remote server that doesn’t use the VPN, but decided to revisit the local environment setup recently and finally figured it out!

What I Think The Problem Was

I’ve always used the Virtualbox driver for Minikube. It works fine behind a proxy by just setting the HTTP_PROXY, HTTPS_PROXY, and NO_PROXY variables. I think what messes up a lot of people is they forget to add all the Minikube-related IPs to their NO_PROXY variables. A cool thing about Kubernetes is it respects CIDR notation in your NO_PROXY. I even wrote a script to set up all the proxy variables.

But for some reason, Virtualbox doesn’t like my VPN…

$ minikube delete
🔥  Deleting "minikube" in virtualbox ...
💀  Removed all traces of the "minikube" cluster.
$ .
$ minikube start --driver virtualbox
😄  minikube v1.23.2 on Darwin 11.6.1
✨  Using the virtualbox driver based on user configuration
👍  Starting control plane node minikube in cluster minikube
🔥  Creating virtualbox VM (CPUs=2, Memory=6000MB, Disk=20000MB) ...
🌐  Found network options:
    ▪ NO_PROXY=,localhost,,,,,.internal
    ▪ http_proxy=
    ▪ https_proxy=
    ▪ no_proxy=,localhost,,,,,.internal
❌  minikube is unable to connect to the VM: dial tcp i/o timeout

        This is likely due to one of two reasons:

        - VPN or firewall interference
        - virtualbox network configuration issue

        Suggested workarounds:

        - Disable your local VPN or firewall software
        - Configure your local VPN or firewall to allow access to
        - Restart or reinstall virtualbox
        - Use an alternative --vm-driver
        - Use --force to override this connectivity check

❌  Exiting due to GUEST_PROVISION: Failed to validate network: dial tcp i/o timeout

│                                                                                           │
│    😿  If the above advice does not help, please let us know:                             │
│    👉                           │
│                                                                                           │
│    Please run `minikube logs --file=logs.txt` and attach logs.txt to the GitHub issue.    │
│                                                                                           │

After reading the Minikube VPN documentation, I suspected my VPN client was configured to not allow local traffic, but when I tried to configure it, I couldn’t find any option to do so. So after reading the Pulse Secure VPN client documentation, I also suspected my IT department doesn’t allow users to configure the client. I tried the VMware driver with similar results. (The VMware driver seems to work now, and it works well, so maybe use that if you have VMware Fusion.) I broke up with Docker Desktop the first time because it didn’t respect NO_PROXY, and then again after they changed their license, and after all that, I just don’t want to use the Docker driver. So finally I checked out the HyperKit driver and that’s what solved all my problems. All I know about HyperKit is that it’s a Mac hypervisor developed by the Moby project, and it works with my VPN, so let’s get things set up…

Install Minikube and HyperKit

Install Homebrew if you haven’t already. Once you have Homebrew set up, install Minikube and HyperKit.

brew install minikube hyperkit

Create a Minikube Instance

Make sure you set up your proxy variables if required. Use my script if you want. The following command sets up a Minikube instance with a default configuration using HyperKit, but there’s a ton of options you can change. See minikube --help for those.

minikube start --driver hyperkit

There was an error about not being able to connect to, but I just ignored it as it didn’t seem to affect the instance creation. Once the VM was created, I set up my Kubernetes/Docker clients. I wrote a script for that so you can just run . --driver hyperkit to set everything up. When I tried to pull an image, I got another error:

Error response from daemon: Get "": proxyconnect tcp: dial tcp: lookup on read udp> read: connection refused

It took me a while to resolve this, but when a co-worker posted a DNS config he used to get Docker running behind the VPN, I was able to adopt his method to configure Minikube’s DNS to use my host’s DNS server. Maybe Minikube has an option that does this automagically?

minikube ssh sudo resolvectl dns eth0
minikube ssh sudo resolvectl domain eth0

And then I was rocking!

    $ docker image pull timescale/timescaledb-postgis:2.3.0-pg13
    2.3.0-pg13: Pulling from timescale/timescaledb-postgis
    540db60ca938: Pull complete 
    a3cb73039552: Pull complete 
    39855706e49a: Pull complete 
    19d88c3ceadb: Downloading [===============================>                   ]  37.52MB/59.45MB
    9ef572e3c9bb: Download complete 
    261ea2d28080: Download complete 
    1716633ec467: Download complete 
    051e02f33f5f: Download complete 
    79ceec13a19e: Download complete 
    f43ce1b5bcdc: Download complete 
    9e276ca2472d: Download complete 
    3e6c8f42f360: Download complete 
    c9bfa14dc9b6: Download complete 
    101a245191b9: Downloading [===================>                               ]  16.91MB/44.11MB

Hope that works out for you with your VPN, but if not, let me know in the comments.

UPDATE: Things Are Still Broken

I thought my troubles were over, but it seems VMware and HyperKit drivers want me to use `minikube mount` to mount my host files in the VM so bind mounts will work. Virtualbox driver seem to do that automagically. I ran into this issue which required specifying the network IP address of the VM.

minikube mount /Users/me:/Users/me –ip

Then I ran into an error when running pytest:

OSError: [Errno 526] Unknown error 526

I followed some advice in this issue and increased msize to no avail.

minikube mount /Users/me:/Users/me –ip –msize 524288

So now I’m back to just using a server without a VPN and Virtualbox. :*(