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Console Operator

An operator for OpenShift Console.

The console-operator installs and maintains the web console on a cluster.

Run on a 4.0.0 Cluster

The console operator is installed by default and will automatically maintain a console.

Development Setup

Clone the Repo & Build Locally

To avoid some of the standard quirks of gopath, the recommended way to clone and work with this repository is to do the following:

Cloning the Repo

# rather than ~/go for everything, provide separate gopaths
mkdir $HOME/gopaths

It is fine to have ~/gopaths next to ~/go if you have some legacy projects.

Now, create a dir under ~gopaths to hold the project:

mkdir $HOME/gopaths/consoleoperator 

The name of this directory doesn't matter much, but the child directories are important in order to install dependencies and build the project appropriately.

An src and bin dir is expected:

mkdir $HOME/gopaths/consoleoperator/src
mkdir $HOME/gopaths/consoleoperator/bin 

Then the familiar path for source code src/

# specifically for this repo
mkdir -p $HOME/gopaths/consoleoperator/src/
cd $HOME/gopaths/consoleoperator/src/

Now clone (or fork, then clone) into this directory:

git clone 
# or your fork 
git clone<your-fork>/console-operator.git


Note that we created $HOME/gopaths. This implies that each project will have its own gopath, so you will need to set that while working:

export GOPATH=$HOME/gopaths/consoleoperator

If you have multiple goprojects and don't want to fuss with maintaining this when you cd to different projects, give this script a try. It will add a command called calc_gopath to your prompt_command and set your gopath appropriately depending on the current working directory.

(At some point golang will fix $GOPATH and this won't be necessary)

Development & Building the Binary

Running the make command will build the binary:


The binary output will be:


You may want to add this to your path or symlink it:

# if your ~/bin is in your path:
ln -s ./_output/local/bin/<os>/<arch>/console ~/bin/console 

However, it is no longer recommended to run the operator locally. Instead, you should be building a docker image and deploying it into a development cluster. Continue below for instructions to do this with a reasonable feedback loop.

Verify Source Code

Test gofmt and other verification tools:

make verify

Let gofmt automatically update your source:

gofmt -w ./pkg
gofmt -w ./cmd 

Run Unit Tests

make test-unit

It is suggested to run integration and e2e tests with CI. This is automatic when opening a PR.

Development Against a 4.0 Dev Cluster

The approach here is to build & deploy your code in a new container on a development cluster. Don't be put off by the need to redeploy your container, this is intended to provide a quick feedback loop.

Create a Cluster

To develop features for the console-operator, you will need to run your code against a dev cluster. The console-operator expects to be running in a container. It is difficult to fake a local environment, and the debuggin experience is not like debugging a real container. Instead, do the following to set yourself up to build your binary & deploy a new container quickly and frequently.

Visit, download the installer and create a cluster. Instructions (including pull secret) are maintained here.

# create a directory for your install config
# aws is recommended
mkdir ~/openshift/aws/us-east
cd ~/openshift/aws/us-east
# generate configs using the wizard
openshift-install create install-config
# then run the installer to get a cluster 
openshift-install create cluster --dir ~/openshift/aws/us-east --log-level debug

If successful, you should have gotten instructions to set KUBECONFIG, login to the console, etc.

Shut down CVO & the Default Console Operator

We don't want the default console-operator to run if we are going to test our own. Therefore, do the following:

# Instruct CVO to stop managing the console operator
# CVO's job is to ensure all of the operators are functioning correctly
# if we want to make changes to the operator, we need to tell CVO to stop caring.
oc apply -f examples/cvo-unmanage-operator.yaml
# Then, scale down the default console-operator 
oc scale --replicas 0 deployment console-operator --namespace openshift-console-operator

Note that you can also simply delete the CVO namespace if you want to turn it off completely (for all operators).

Now we should be ready to build & deploy the operator with our changes.

Preparation to Deploy Operator Changes Quickly

Typically to build your binary you will use the make command:

# this will build for your platform:
# if you are running OSX, you will need to build for linux doing something like:
OS_DEBUG=true OS_BUILD_PLATFORMS=linux/amd64 make
# note that you can build for mulitiple platforms with:
make build-cross

But the make step is included in the Dockerfile, so this does not need to be done manually. You can instead simply build the container image and push the it to your own registry:

# the pattern is:
docker build -t <registry>/<your-username>/console-operator:<version> .
# following:
# for development, you are going to push to an alternate registry.
# specifically it can look something like this:
docker build -t .

You can optionally build a specific version.

Then, push your image:

docker push <registry>/<your-username>/console-operator:<version>
# Be sure your repository is public else the image will not be able to be pulled later
docker push

Then, you will want to deploy your new container. This means duplicating the manifests/07-operator.yaml and updating the line image: to instead use the image you just pushed.

# duplicate the operator manifest to /examples or your ~/ home dir
cp manifests/07-operator.yaml ~/07-operator-alt-image.yaml

Then, update the image & replicas in your 07-operator-alt-image.yaml file:

# before
replicas: 2
# after 
# image: <registry>/<your-username>/console-operator:<version>
replicas: 1

And ensure that the imagePullPolicy is still Always. This will ensure a fast development feedback loop.

imagePullPolicy: Always


At this point, your pattern will be

  • Change code
  • Build a new docker image
    • This will automatically & implicitly make build a new binary
  • Push the image to your repository
  • Delete the running console-operator pod
    • This will cause the Deployment to pull the image again before deploying a new pod

Which looks like the following:

# build binary + container
docker build -t .
# push container
docker push
# delete pod, trigger a new pull & deploy
oc delete pod console-operator --namespace openshift-console-operator

Docker containers are layered, so there should not be a significant time delay in between your pushes.

Manifest changes

If you are making changes to the manifests, you will need to oc apply the manifest.


# inspect the clusteroperator object
oc describe clusteroperator console
# get all events in openshift-console-operator namespace
oc get events -n openshift-console-operator
# retrieve deployment info (including related events)
oc describe deployment console-operator -n openshift-console-operator
# retrieve pod info (including related events)
oc describe pod console-operator-<sha> -n openshift-console-operator
# watch the logs of the operator pod (scale down to 1, no need for mulitple during dev)
oc logs -f console-operator-<sha> -n openshift-console-operator
# exec into the pod
 oc exec -it console-operator-<sha> -- /bin/bash


If you don't know where your kubeconfig is due to running against multiple clusters this can be handy:

# just a high number
oc whoami --loglevel=100
# likely output will be $HOME/.kube/config 

If you need to know information about your cluster:

# this will list all images, associated github repo, and the commit # currently running.
# very useful to see if the image is running current code...or not.
oc adm release info --commits
# get just the list of images & sha256 digest
oc adm release info
# coming soon...
oc adm release extract 

Quick Starts

See the Quick Starts README for contributing console quick starts.


The console operator installs and maintains the web console on a cluster




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