QEMU driver


The qemu driver users QEMU (system) for VM creation.



To start minikube with the qemu driver:

minikube start --driver=qemu

Special features

minikube start supports some qemu specific flags:

  • --qemu-firmware-path: The path to the firmware image to be used.
    • Note: while the flag should override the config, if the flag does not take effect try running minikube delete.
    • MacPorts: if you are installing minikube and qemu via MacPorts on a Mac with M1, use the following flag: --qemu-firmware-path=/opt/local/share/qemu/edk2-aarch64-code.fd


The QEMU driver has two networking options, user & socket_vmnet.

The user network is not a dedicated network, it doesn’t support some networking commands such as minikube service and minikube tunnel, and its IP address is not reachable from the host.


Requires macOS 10.15 or later and socket_vmnet.

lima-vm/socket_vmnet install instructions:

git clone https://github.com/lima-vm/socket_vmnet.git && cd socket_vmnet
sudo make PREFIX=/opt/socket_vmnet install


minikube start --driver qemu --network socket_vmnet

The socket_vmnet network is a dedicated network and supports the minikube service and minikube tunnel commands.

Known Issues

1. Start stuck with user network on corp machine or custom DNS

When using the user network (default) the guest uses only the first nameserver entry in the hosts /etc/resolv.conf for DNS lookup. If your first nameserver entry is a corporate/internal DNS it’s likely it will cause an issue. If you see the warning ❗ This VM is having trouble accessing https://registry.k8s.io on minikube start you are likely being affected by this. This may prevent your cluster from starting entirely and you won’t be able to pull remote images. More details can be found at: #15021


  1. If possible, reorder your /etc/resolv.conf to have a general nameserver entry first (eg. and reboot your machine.
  2. Use --network=socket_vmnet

2. /var/db/dhcpd_leases errors

If you’re seeing errors related to /var/db/dhcpd_leases we recommend the following:

  1. Uninstall socket_vmnet:
cd socket_vmnet
sudo make uninstall
  1. Reboot
  2. Reinstall socket_vmnet:
cd socket_vmnet
sudo make install

Full list of open ‘qemu’ driver issues


  • Run minikube start --alsologtostderr -v=4 to debug crashes