This section explores some of the preparation required to install OpenShift Container Platform as a set of services within containers. This applies to hosts using either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Red Hat Atomic Host.

When installing an environment with multiple masters, the load balancer cannot be deployed by the installation process as a container. See Advanced Installation for load balancer requirements using the native HA method.

The following sections detail the preparation for a containerized OpenShift Container Platform installation.

Required Images

Containerized installations make use of the following images:

  • openshift3/ose

  • openshift3/node

  • openshift3/openvswitch

  • registry.access.redhat.com/rhel7/etcd

By default, all of the above images are pulled from the Red Hat Registry at registry.access.redhat.com.

If you need to use a private registry to pull these images during the installation, you can specify the registry information ahead of time. For the advanced installation method, you can set the following Ansible variables in your inventory file, as required:


For the quick installation method, you can export the following environment variables on each target host:

# export OO_INSTALL_ADDITIONAL_REGISTRIES=<registry_hostname>
# export OO_INSTALL_INSECURE_REGISTRIES=<registry_hostname>

Blocked Docker registries cannot currently be specified using the quick installation method.

The configuration of additional, insecure, and blocked Docker registries occurs at the beginning of the installation process to ensure that these settings are applied before attempting to pull any of the required images.

Starting and Stopping Containers

The installation process creates relevant systemd units which can be used to start, stop, and poll services using normal systemctl commands. For containerized installations, these unit names match those of an RPM installation, with the exception of the etcd service which is named etcd_container.

This change is necessary as currently RHEL Atomic Host ships with the etcd package installed as part of the operating system, so a containerized version is used for the OpenShift Container Platform installation instead. The installation process disables the default etcd service. The etcd package is slated to be removed from RHEL Atomic Host in the future.

File Paths

All OpenShift configuration files are placed in the same locations during containerized installation as RPM based installations and will survive os-tree upgrades.

However, the default image stream and template files are installed at /etc/origin/examples/ for containerized installations rather than the standard /usr/share/openshift/examples/, because that directory is read-only on RHEL Atomic Host.

Storage Requirements

RHEL Atomic Host installations normally have a very small root file system. However, the etcd, master, and node containers persist data in the /var/lib/ directory. Ensure that you have enough space on the root file system before installing OpenShift Container Platform; see the System Requirements section for details.

Open vSwitch SDN Initialization

OpenShift Container Platform SDN initialization requires that the Docker bridge be reconfigured and that Docker is restarted. This complicates the situation when the node is running within a container. When using the Open vSwitch (OVS) SDN, you will see the node start, reconfigure Docker, restart Docker (which restarts all containers), and finally start successfully.

In this case, the node service may fail to start and be restarted a few times because the master services are also restarted along with Docker. The current implementation uses a workaround which relies on setting the Restart=always parameter in the Docker based systemd units.