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Enterprise Kubernetes for Developers

OpenShift Application Platform

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OpenShift Origin is a distribution of Kubernetes optimized for continuous application development and multi-tenant deployment. OpenShift adds developer and operations-centric tools on top of Kubernetes to enable rapid application development, easy deployment and scaling, and long-term lifecycle maintenance for small and large teams.

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  • Easily build applications with integrated service discovery and persistent storage.
  • Quickly and easily scale applications to handle periods of increased demand.
    • Support for automatic high availability, load balancing, health checking, and failover.
  • Push source code to your Git repository and automatically deploy containerized applications.
  • Web console and command-line client for building and monitoring applications.
  • Centralized administration and management of an entire stack, team, or organization.
    • Create reusable templates for components of your system, and iteratively deploy them over time.
    • Roll out modifications to software stacks to your entire organization in a controlled fashion.
    • Integration with your existing authentication mechanisms, including LDAP, Active Directory, and public OAuth providers such as GitHub.
  • Multi-tenancy support, including team and user isolation of containers, builds, and network communication.
    • Allow developers to run containers securely with fine-grained controls in production.
    • Limit, track, and manage the developers and teams on the platform.
  • Integrated Docker registry, automatic edge load balancing, cluster logging, and integrated metrics.

Learn More:

For questions or feedback, reach us on IRC on #openshift-dev on Freenode or post to our mailing list.

Getting Started


If you have downloaded the client tools from the releases page, place the included binaries in your PATH.

  • On any system with a Docker engine installed, you can run oc cluster up to get started immediately. Try it out now!
  • For a full cluster installation using Ansible, follow the Advanced Installation guide
  • To build and run from source, see CONTRIBUTING.adoc


OpenShift builds a developer-centric workflow around Docker containers and Kubernetes runtime concepts. An Image Stream lets you easily tag, import, and publish Docker images from the integrated registry. A Build Config allows you to launch Docker builds, build directly from source code, or trigger Jenkins Pipeline jobs whenever an image stream tag is updated. A Deployment Config allows you to redeploy whenever a new image becomes available. Routes make it trivial to expose your Kubernetes services via a public DNS name. As an administrator, you can enable your developers to request new Projects which come with predefined roles, quotas, and security controls to fairly divide access.

For more on the underlying concepts of OpenShift, please see the documentation site.

OpenShift API

The OpenShift API is located on each server at https://<host>:8443/oapi/v1. These APIs are described via Swagger v1.2 at https://<host>:8443/swaggerapi/oapi/v1. For more, see the API documentation.


OpenShift embeds Kubernetes and extends it with security and other integrated concepts. An OpenShift Origin release corresponds to the Kubernetes distribution - for example, OpenShift 1.4 includes Kubernetes 1.4.

If you're looking for more information about using Kubernetes or the lower level concepts that Origin depends on, see the following:

What can I run on OpenShift?

OpenShift is designed to run any existing Docker images. Additionally, you can define builds that will produce new Docker images using a Dockerfile.

For an easier experience running your source code, Source-to-Image (S2I) allows developers to simply provide an application source repository containing code to build and run. It works by combining an existing S2I-enabled Docker image with application source to produce a new runnable image for your application.

You can see the full list of Source-to-Image builder images and it's straightforward to create your own. Some of our available images include:

Your application image can be easily extended with a database service with our database images:

What sorts of security controls does OpenShift provide for containers?

OpenShift runs with the following security policy by default:

  • Containers run as a non-root unique user that is separate from other system users
    • They cannot access host resources, run privileged, or become root
    • They are given CPU and memory limits defined by the system administrator
    • Any persistent storage they access will be under a unique SELinux label, which prevents others from seeing their content
    • These settings are per project, so containers in different projects cannot see each other by default
  • Regular users can run Docker, source, and custom builds
    • By default, Docker builds can (and often do) run as root. You can control who can create Docker builds through the builds/docker and builds/custom policy resource.
  • Regular users and project admins cannot change their security quotas.

Many Docker containers expect to run as root (and therefore edit all the contents of the filesystem). The Image Author's guide gives recommendations on making your image more secure by default:

* Don't run as root
* Make directories you want to write to group-writable and owned by group id 0
* Set the net-bind capability on your executables if they need to bind to ports &lt;1024

If you are running your own cluster and want to run a container as root, you can grant that permission to the containers in your current project with the following command:

# Gives the default service account in the current project access to run as UID 0 (root)
oc adm add-scc-to-user anyuid -z default 

See the security documentation more on confining applications.

Support for Kubernetes Alpha Features

Some features from upstream Kubernetes are not yet enabled in OpenShift, for reasons including supportability, security, or limitations in the upstream feature.

Kubernetes Definitions:

  • Alpha
    • The feature is available, but no guarantees are made about backwards compatibility or whether data is preserved when feature moves to Beta.
    • The feature may have significant bugs and is suitable for testing and prototyping.
    • The feature may be replaced or significantly redesigned in the future.
    • No migration to Beta is generally provided other than documentation of the change.
  • Beta
    • The feature is available and generally agreed to solve the desired solution, but may need stabilization or additional feedback.
    • The feature is potentially suitable for limited production use under constrained circumstances.
    • The feature is unlikely to be replaced or removed, although it is still possible for feature changes that require migration.

OpenShift uses these terms in the same fashion as Kubernetes, and adds four more:

  • Not Yet Secure
    • Features which are not yet enabled because they have significant security or stability risks to the cluster
    • Generally this applies to features which may allow escalation or denial-of-service behavior on the platform
    • In some cases this is applied to new features which have not had time for full security review
  • Potentially Insecure
    • Features that require additional work to be properly secured in a multi-user environment
    • These features are only enabled for cluster admins by default and we do not recommend enabling them for untrusted users
    • We generally try to identify and fix these within 1 release of their availability
  • Tech Preview
    • Features that are considered unsupported for various reasons are known as 'tech preview' in our documentation
    • Kubernetes Alpha and Beta features are considered tech preview, although occasionally some features will be graduated early
    • Any tech preview feature is not supported in OpenShift Container Platform except through exemption
  • Disabled Pending Migration
    • These are features that are new in Kubernetes but which originated in OpenShift, and thus need migrations for existing users
    • We generally try to minimize the impact of features introduced upstream to Kubernetes on OpenShift users by providing seamless migration for existing clusters.
    • Generally these are addressed within 1 Kubernetes release

The list of features that qualify under these labels is described below, along with additional context for why.

Feature Kubernetes OpenShift Justification
Third Party Resources Alpha (1.4, 1.5) Not Yet Secure Third party resources are still under active development upstream.
Known issues include failure to clean up resources in etcd, which may result in a denial of service attack against the cluster.
We are considering enabling them for development environments only.
Garbage Collection Alpha (1.3)
Beta (1.4, 1.5)
Tech Preview (1.4, 1.5) Garbage collection will automatically delete related resources on the server, and thus given the potential for data loss we are waiting for GC to graduate to beta and have a full release cycle of testing before enabling it in Origin.
Stateful Sets Alpha (1.3, 1.4)
Beta (1.5)
Tech Preview (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) Stateful Sets are still being actively developed and no backwards compatibility is guaranteed until 1.5 is released. Starting in 1.5, Stateful Sets will be enabled by default and some backwards compatibility will be guaranteed.
Init Containers Alpha (1.3, 1.4)
Tech Preview (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) Init containers are properly secured, but will not be officially supported until 1.6.
Federated Clusters Alpha (1.3)
Beta (1.4, 1.5)
Tech Preview (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) A Kubernetes federation server may be used against Origin clusters with the appropriate credentials today.
Known issues include tenant support in federation and the ability to have consistent access control between federation and normal clusters.
No Origin specific binary is being distributed for federation at this time.
Deployment Beta (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) Tech Preview (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) OpenShift launched with DeploymentConfigs, a more fully featured Deployment object. DeploymentConfigs are more appropriate for developer flows where you want to push code and have it automatically be deployed, and also provide more advanced hooks and custom deployments. Use Kubernetes Deployments when you are managing change outside of OpenShift.
Replica Sets Beta (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) Tech Preview (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) Replica Sets perform the same function as Replication Controllers, but have a more powerful label syntax. Both ReplicationControllers and ReplicaSets can be used.
Ingress Beta (1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5) Tech Preview (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) OpenShift launched with Routes, a more full featured Ingress object. In 1.5, Ingress rules can be read by the router (disabled by default), but because Ingress objects reference secrets you must grant the routers a very level of access to your cluster to run with them. Future changes will likely reduce the security impact of enabling Ingress.
PodSecurityPolicy Beta (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) Tech Preview (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) OpenShift launched with SecurityContextConstraints, and then upstreamed them as PodSecurityPolicy. We plan to enable upstream PodSecurityPolicy so as to automatically migrate existing SecurityContextConstraints. PodSecurityPolicy has not yet completed a full security review, which will be part of the criteria for tech preview.
SecurityContextConstraints are a superset of PodSecurityPolicy features.
PodAntiAffinitySelectors Beta (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) Not Yet Secure (1.3)
Tech Preview (1.4, 1.5)
End users are not allowed to set PodAntiAffinitySelectors that are not the node name due to the possibility of attacking the scheduler via denial of service.
NetworkPolicy Beta (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) Tech Preview (1.3, 1.4, 1.5) Starting with 1.5, OpenShift SDN will expose an experimental mode that uses network policy to restrict access to pods. Future releases will expand this support.

Please contact us if this list omits a feature supported in Kubernetes which does not run in Origin.


You can develop locally on your host or with a virtual machine, or if you want to just try out Origin download the latest Linux server, or Windows and Mac OS X client pre-built binaries.

First, get up and running with the Contributing Guide.

All contributions are welcome - Origin uses the Apache 2 license and does not require any contributor agreement to submit patches. Please open issues for any bugs or problems you encounter, ask questions on the OpenShift IRC channel (#openshift-dev on freenode), or get involved in the Kubernetes project at the container runtime layer.

See HACKING.md for more details on developing on Origin including how different tests are setup.

If you want to run the test suite, make sure you have your environment set up, and from the origin directory run:

# run the verifiers, unit tests, and command tests
$ make check

# run a command-line integration test suite
$ hack/test-cmd.sh

# run the integration server test suite
$ hack/test-integration.sh

# run the end-to-end test suite
$ hack/test-end-to-end.sh

# run all of the tests above
$ make test

You'll need etcd installed and on your path for the integration and end-to-end tests to run, and Docker must be installed to run the end-to-end tests. To install etcd you should be able to run:

$ hack/install-etcd.sh

Some of the components of Origin run as Docker images, including the builders and deployment tools in images/builder/docker/* and images/deploy/*. To build them locally run

$ hack/build-images.sh

To hack on the web console, check out the assets/README.md file for instructions on testing the console and building your changes.

Security Response

If you've found a security issue that you'd like to disclose confidentially please contact Red Hat's Product Security team. Details at https://access.redhat.com/security/team/contact


OpenShift is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

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