Foundations of OpenShift

Learn the foundations of OpenShift through hands-on experience deploying and working with applications, using a no-cost OpenShift cluster through the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift.


In this lesson, you will learn the basics about the structure and use of the OpenShift web console as well as the various resources it provides.

What you need to know

In order to get full benefit from taking this lesson, you need to:

What you will learn

In this lesson you will learn:

  • How to take a hands-on approach to learning about the Administrative and Developer perspectives.
  • How to access the technical documentation for OpenShift using the web console.
  • How to access the Quick Starts and other learning resources available within the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift.
  • The nature and use of an OpenShift project.
  • How to view project details in Administrator and Developer perspectives.

View Administrator and Developer Perspectives

The OpenShift web console is designed let administrators and developers perform the relevant tasks to their respective roles. Developers execute tasks relevant to installing and configuring applications and services, while administrators ensure that applications operating in a given cluster run efficiently and safely while paying attention to resource allocation and security administration. 

In the web console, OpenShift separates developer tasks from administrator tasks by providing specific visual perspectives for each group. Developers see the Developer perspective. Administrators see the Administrator perspective.

The following steps show you how to access each perspective:

  1. Using your web browser, navigate here and select Start your sandbox for free (Figure 1).
  2. The entry point for access to the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift.
    Figure 1: The entry point for access to the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift.
  3. When the sandbox login page appears, input the username and password for your Red Hat account.
  4. Once you've logged in, a vertical menu bar will appear on the left side of the web console. At the top of the vertical menu bar, there's a drop-down menu that lets you select a viewing perspective.
  5. To view the Developer perspective, select Developer (Figure 2, Callout 1).
  6. To view the Administrator perspective, select Administrator from the drop-down (Figure 2, Callout 2).
The two perspectives available in the Developer Sandbox are Developer and Administrator.
Figure 2: The two perspectives available in the Developer Sandbox: Developer and Administrator.

Once you select a perspective, the OpenShift web console reconfigures itself to present the features, services, and permissions relevant to the perspective.

For example, notice that the Administrator perspective shown in Figure 2 displays a User Management listing near the bottom of the menu bar while the Developer perspective does not. 

Access the learning features

The OpenShift web console is a powerful, complex tool for working with an OpenShift cluster. As with any complex tool, there is a learning curve. Fortunately, the OpenShift web console provides access to a variety of available resources, features, and services.

  1. To access OpenShift learning resources from the web console, select the question mark icon in the upper right corner. A drop-down listing a variety of resources will appear (Figure 3).
Clicking the question mark icon in the upper right corner of the sandbox displays the available learning features.
Figure 3: Clicking the question mark icon in the upper right corner of the sandbox displays the available learning features.
  • The Quick Starts option displays a page within the web console that displays a number of quick start lessons that are conducted directly within the web console. Each lesson displays instructional content that you can execute directly within the web console user-interface (UI).
  • The Documentation option takes you to OpenShift technical documentation.
  • The Guided Tour provides a short overview lesson directly within the web console that points out the use and purpose of the various OpenShift features at a high level.
  • The Learning Tour option takes you to a page that provides a wide variety of interactive lessons about topics relevant to OpenShift, with experience levels ranging from beginner to advanced.

Work with OpenShift projects

The most important concept to understand about working with OpenShift is the notion of projects. OpenShift organizes applications and services by projects, and an OpenShift cluster can have one or more projects.

A project is an OpenShift representation of a Kubernetes namespace. As pointed out in the previous lesson, an OpenShift cluster is an undercover Kubernetes cluster. The benefit is that OpenShift removes a lot of the complexities of working with Kubernetes in favor of a simplified user experience.

Applications and services running in a given Kubernetes namespace cannot typically see applications and services running in another namespace. That's because a single namespace provides the isolation and security required to run an application and service in a cluster. However, managing multiple unique namespaces can be complex.

OpenShift removes the complexity by representing the namespace as a project. Once you declare an application or service to be part of a project, full-blown instances of OpenShift running either in a local or cloud setting within Red Hat OpenShift Local 2 lets you to create any number of projects.

Note: The OpenShift instance running within the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift supports only a single OpenShift project and a single Kubernetes namespace.

The default single project is named according to the naming convention <login_name>-dev. Thus, if your log in name is joe123, the default project in your instance of OpenShift is the Developer Sandbox will be named joe123-dev.

You can view projects running in an OpenShift cluster from either the Developer or Administrator perspective. Access your available projects within the Developer perspective using the Project option on the menu bar along the left side, as shown by the left arrow below in Figure 4. The right arrow shows you how to access a list of projects in the Administrator perspective by selecting the Project tab under Home.

The Developer and Administrator perspectives have different permissions.
Figure 4: The Developer and Administrator perspectives have different permissions.

A list of projects appears in the Project page. Select a project in the list to view its project details. An Overview pane will appear. The Administrator perspective contains an expanded set of details which are relevant to the administration of a project, such as resource utilization, configuration, and security settings. (Figure 5)

The Administrator perspective shows an expanded set of details associated with a project, like resource utilization and security settings.
Figure 5: The Administrator perspective shows an expanded set of details associated with a project.


Congratulations! You’ve learned about the OpenShift web console in a high-level overview. You learned about the Developer and Administrator perspectives in the web console UI as well as how to access each perspective.

You also learned what an OpenShift project is and how to access information about a project from both perspectives.


In the next lesson, you will learn how to use the terminal window built into the OpenShift console to work with various OpenShift and Kubernetes resources.

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