Overview

Service accounts provide a flexible way to control API access without sharing a regular user’s credentials.

User Names and Groups

Every service account has an associated user name that can be granted roles, just like a regular user. The user name is derived from its project and name:

system:serviceaccount:<project>:<name>

For example, to add the view role to the robot service account in the top-secret project:

$ oc policy add-role-to-user view system:serviceaccount:top-secret:robot

If you want to grant access to a specific service account in a project, you can use the -z flag. From the project to which the service account belongs, use the -z flag and specify the <serviceaccount_name>. This is highly recommended, as it helps prevent typos and ensures that access is granted only to the specified service account. For example:

 $ oc policy add-role-to-user <role_name> -z <serviceaccount_name>

If not in the project, use the -n option to indicate the project namespace it applies to, as shown in the examples below.

Every service account is also a member of two groups:

system:serviceaccount

Includes all service accounts in the system.

system:serviceaccount:<project>

Includes all service accounts in the specified project.

For example, to allow all service accounts in all projects to view resources in the top-secret project:

$ oc policy add-role-to-group view system:serviceaccount -n top-secret

To allow all service accounts in the managers project to edit resources in the top-secret project:

$ oc policy add-role-to-group edit system:serviceaccount:managers -n top-secret

Managing Service Accounts

Service accounts are API objects that exist within each project. To manage service accounts, you can use the oc command with the sa or serviceaccount object type or use the web console.

To get a list of existing service accounts in the current project:

$ oc get sa
NAME       SECRETS   AGE
builder    2         2d
default    2         2d
deployer   2         2d

To create a new service account:

$ oc create sa robot
serviceaccount "robot" created

As soon as a service account is created, two secrets are automatically added to it:

  • an API token

  • credentials for the

These can be seen by describing the service account:

$ oc describe sa robot
Name:		robot
Namespace:	project1
Labels:		<none>
Annotations:	<none>

Image pull secrets:	robot-dockercfg-qzbhb

Mountable secrets: 	robot-token-f4khf
                   	robot-dockercfg-qzbhb

Tokens:            	robot-token-f4khf
                   	robot-token-z8h44

The system ensures that service accounts always have an API token and registry credentials.

The generated API token and registry credentials do not expire, but they can be revoked by deleting the secret. When the secret is deleted, a new one is automatically generated to take its place.