OpenShift

Installing debugging tools into a Red Hat OpenShift container with oc-inject

Installing debugging tools into a Red Hat OpenShift container with oc-inject

A previous article, Debugging applications within Red Hat OpenShift containers, gives an overview of tools for debugging applications within Red Hat OpenShift containers, and existing restrictions on their use. One of the restrictions discussed in that article was an inability to install debugging tool packages into an ordinary, unprivileged container once it was already instantiated. In such a container, debugging tool packages have to be included when the container image is built, because once the container is instantiated, using package installation commands requires elevated privileges that are not available to the ordinary container user.

However, there are important situations where it is desirable to install a debugging tool into an already-instantiated container. In particular, if the resolution of a problem requires access to the temporary state of a long-running containerized application, the usual method of adding debugging tools to the container by rebuilding the container image and restarting the application will destroy that temporary state.

To provide a way to add debugging tools to unprivileged containers, I developed a utility, called oc-inject, that can temporarily copy a debugging tool into a container. Instead of relying on package management or other privileged operations, oc-inject’s implementation is based on the existing and well-supported OpenShift operations oc rsync and oc exec, which do not require any elevated privileges.

This article describes the current capabilities of the oc-inject utility, which is available on GitHub or via a Fedora COPR repository. The oc-inject utility works on any Linux system that includes Python 3, the ldd utility, and the Red Hat OpenShift command-line tool oc.

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Debugging applications within Red Hat OpenShift containers

Debugging applications within Red Hat OpenShift containers

When debugging an application within a Red Hat OpenShift container, it is important to keep in mind that the Linux environment within the container is subject to various constraints. Because of these constraints, the full functionality of debugging tools might not be available:

  • An unprivileged OpenShift container is restricted from accessing kernel interfaces that are required by some low-level debugging tools.

Note: Almost all applications on OpenShift run in unprivileged containers. Unprivileged containers allow the use of standard debugging tools such as gdbserver or strace. Examples of debugging tools that cannot be used in unprivileged containers include perf, which requires access to the kernel’s perf_events interface, and SystemTap, which depends on the kernel’s module-loading functionality.

  • Debug information for system packages within OpenShift containers is not accessible. There is ongoing work (as part of the elfutils project) to develop a file server for debug information (debuginfod), which would make such access possible.
  • The set of packages in an OpenShift container is fixed ahead of time, when the corresponding container image is built. Once a container is running, no additional packages can be installed. A few debugging tools are preinstalled in commonly used container base images, but any other tools must be added when the container image build process is configured.

To successfully debug a containerized application, it is necessary to understand these constraints and how they determine which debugging tools can be used.

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Red Hat support for Node.js

Red Hat support for Node.js

Node.js Foundation Logo

For the past two years, Red Hat Middleware has provided a supported Node.js runtime on Red Hat OpenShift as part of Red Hat Runtimes. Our goal has been to provide rapid releases of the upstream Node.js core project, example applications to get developers up and running quickly, Node.js container images, integrations with other components of Red Hat’s cloud-native stack, and (of course) provide world-class service and support for customers. Earlier this year, the team behind Red Hat’s distribution and support of Node.js even received a “Devie” award from DeveloperWeek for this work, further acknowledging Red Hat’s role in supporting the community and ecosystem.

Red Hat Node.js experts at your fingertips

Red Hat collaborates in more ways than one with the fastest growing runtimes used in business-critical applications on the cloud by contributing to the community, being part of the Technical Steering Committee, and even participating and driving strategic initiatives to carve the future of Node.js. Combining this work with our Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and OpenShift expertise, we can help you reach your goals of delivering and supporting business-critical applications on and off the cloud.

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Skupper.io: Let your services communicate across Kubernetes clusters

Skupper.io: Let your services communicate across Kubernetes clusters

In the past few years, the popularity and adoption of containers has skyrocketed, and the Kubernetes container orchestration platform has been largely adopted as well. With these changes, a new set of challenges has emerged when dealing with applications deployed on Kubernetes clusters in the real world. One challenge is how to deal with communication between multiple clusters that might be in different networks (even private ones), behind firewalls, and so on.

One possible solution to this problem is to use a Virtual Application Network (VAN), which is sometimes referred to as a Layer 7 network. In a nutshell, a VAN is a logical network that is deployed at the application level and introduces a new layer of addressing for fine-grained application components with no constraints on the network topology. For a much more in-depth explanation, please read this excellent article.

So, what is Skupper? In the project’s own words:

Skupper is a layer seven service interconnect. It enables secure communication across Kubernetes clusters with no VPNs or special firewall rules.

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Introducing the Service Binding Operator

Introducing the Service Binding Operator

Connecting applications to the services that support them—for example, establishing the exchange of credentials between a Java application and a database that it requires—is referred to as binding. The configuration and maintenance of this binding together of applications and backing services can be a tedious and inefficient process. Manually editing YAML files to define binding information is error-prone and can introduce difficult-to-debug failures.

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Introduction to the Red Hat OpenShift deployment extension for Microsoft Azure DevOps

Introduction to the Red Hat OpenShift deployment extension for Microsoft Azure DevOps

We are extremely pleased to present the new version of the Red Hat OpenShift deployment extension (OpenShift VSTS) 1.4.0 for Microsoft Azure DevOps. This extension enables users to deploy their applications to any OpenShift cluster directly from their Microsoft Azure DevOps account. In this article, we will look at how to install and use this extension as part of a YAML-defined pipeline with both Microsoft-hosted and self-hosted agents.

Note: The OpenShift VSTS extension can be downloaded directly from the marketplace at this link.

This article offers a demonstration where we explain how easy it is to set up everything and start working with the extension. Look at the README file for further installation and usage information.

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Red Hat simplifies transition to open source Kafka with new service registry and HTTP bridge

Red Hat simplifies transition to open source Kafka with new service registry and HTTP bridge

Red Hat continues to increase the features available for users looking to implement a 100% open source, event-driven architecture (EDA) through running Apache Kafka on Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The Red Hat Integration Q4 release provides new features and capabilities, including ones aimed at simplifying usage and deployment of the AMQ streams distribution of Apache Kafka. 

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