$ oc adm upgrade channel <channel>
In OpenShift Container Platform 4.1, Red Hat introduced the concept of channels for recommending the appropriate release versions for cluster updates. By controlling the pace of updates, these upgrade channels allow you to choose an update strategy. Upgrade channels are tied to a minor version of OpenShift Container Platform. For instance, OpenShift Container Platform 4.10 upgrade channels recommend updates to 4.10 and updates within 4.10. They also recommend updates within 4.9 and from 4.9 to 4.10, to allow clusters on 4.9 to eventually update to 4.10. They do not recommend updates to 4.11 or later releases. This strategy ensures that administrators explicitly decide to update to the next minor version of OpenShift Container Platform.
Upgrade channels control only release selection and do not impact the version of the cluster that you install; the
openshift-install binary file for a specific version of OpenShift Container Platform always installs that version.
OpenShift Container Platform 4.11 offers the following upgrade channels:
eus-4.y (only when running an even-numbered 4.y cluster release, like 4.10)
If you do not want the Cluster Version Operator to fetch available updates from the update recommendation service, you can use the
oc adm upgrade channel command in the OpenShift CLI to configure an empty channel. This configuration can be helpful if, for example, a cluster has restricted network access and there is no local, reachable update recommendation service.
Red Hat recommends upgrading to versions suggested by OpenShift Update Service only. For a minor version update, versions must be contiguous. Red Hat does not test updates to noncontiguous versions and cannot guarantee compatibility with earlier versions.
Cluster administrators can configure the upgrade channel from the web console.
candidate-4.11 channel contains candidate builds for a z-stream (4.11.z) and previous minor version releases. Release candidates contain all the features of the product but are not supported. Use release candidate versions to test feature acceptance and assist in qualifying the next version of OpenShift Container Platform. A release candidate is any build that is available in the candidate channel, including ones that do not contain a pre-release version such as
-rc in their names. After a version is available in the candidate channel, it goes through more quality checks. If it meets the quality standard, it is promoted to the
stable-4.11 channels. Because of this strategy, if a specific release is available in both the
candidate-4.11 channel and in the
stable-4.11 channels, it is a Red Hat-supported version. The
candidate-4.11 channel can include release versions from which there are no recommended updates in any channel.
You can use the
candidate-4.11 channel to update from a previous minor version of OpenShift Container Platform.
fast-4.11 channel is updated with new and previous minor versions of 4.11 as soon as Red Hat declares the given version as a general availability release. As such, these releases are fully supported, are production quality, and have performed well while available as a release candidate in the
candidate-4.11 channel from where they were promoted. Some time after a release appears in the
fast-4.11 channel, it is added to the
stable-4.11 channel. Releases never appear in the
stable-4.11 channel before they appear in the
You can use the
fast-4.11 channel to upgrade from a previous minor version of OpenShift Container Platform.
fast-4.11 channel contains releases as soon as their errata are published, releases are added to the
stable-4.11 channel after a delay. During this delay, data is collected from Red Hat SRE teams, Red Hat support services, and pre-production and production environments that participate in connected customer program about the stability of the release.
You can use the
stable-4.11 channel to upgrade from a previous minor version of OpenShift Container Platform.
In addition to the stable channel, all even-numbered minor versions of OpenShift Container Platform offer an Extended Update Support (EUS). These EUS versions extend the Full and Maintenance support phases for customers with Standard and Premium Subscriptions to 18 months.
Although there is no difference between
eus-4.y channels until OpenShift Container Platform 4.y transitions to the EUS phase, you can switch to the
eus-4.y channel as soon as it becomes available.
When upgrades to the next EUS channel are offered, you can switch to the next EUS channel and upgrade until you have reached the next EUS version.
This upgrade process does not apply for the
Both standard and non-EUS subscribers can access all EUS repositories and necessary RPMs (
OpenShift Container Platform maintains an upgrade recommendation service that understands the version of OpenShift Container Platform you have installed as well as the path to take within the channel you choose to get you to the next release.
You can imagine seeing the following in the
The service recommends only upgrades that have been tested and have no serious issues. It will not suggest updating to a version of OpenShift Container Platform that contains known vulnerabilities. For example, if your cluster is on 4.11.1 and OpenShift Container Platform suggests 4.11.4, then it is safe for you to update from 4.11.1 to 4.11.4. Do not rely on consecutive patch numbers. In this example, 4.11.2 is not and never was available in the channel.
Update stability depends on your channel. The presence of an update recommendation in the
candidate-4.11 channel does not imply that the update is supported. It means that no serious issues have been found with the update yet, but there might not be significant traffic through the update to suggest stability. The presence of an update recommendation in the
stable-4.11 channels at any point is a declaration that the update is supported. While releases will never be removed from a channel, update recommendations that exhibit serious issues will be removed or made conditional from all channels. When an update recommendation is supported, it remains supported for the life of 4.11, even if the update recommendation is later dropped or made conditional.
Red Hat will eventually provide supported update paths from any supported release in the
stable-4.11 channels to the latest release in 4.11.z, although there can be delays while safe paths away from troubled releases are constructed and verified.
stable-4.11 channels present a choice between receiving general availability releases as soon as they are available or allowing Red Hat to control the rollout of those updates. If issues are detected during rollout or at a later time, upgrades to that version might be blocked in both the
stable-4.11 channels, and a new version might be introduced that becomes the new preferred upgrade target.
Customers can improve this process by configuring pre-production systems on the
fast-4.11 channel, configuring production systems on the
stable-4.11 channel, and participating in the Red Hat connected customer program. Red Hat uses this program to observe the impact of updates on your specific hardware and software configurations. Future releases might improve or alter the pace at which updates move from the
fast-4.11 to the
If you manage the container images for your OpenShift Container Platform clusters yourself, you must consult the Red Hat errata that is associated with product releases and note any comments that impact upgrades. During upgrade, the user interface might warn you about switching between these versions, so you must ensure that you selected an appropriate version before you bypass those warnings.
A channel can be switched from the web console or through the
adm upgrade channel command:
$ oc adm upgrade channel <channel>
The web console will display an alert if you switch to a channel that does not include the current release. The web console does not recommend any updates while on a channel without the current release. You can return to the original channel at any point, however.
Changing your channel might impact the supportability of your cluster. The following conditions might apply:
Your cluster is still supported if you change from the
stable-4.11 channel to the
You can switch to the
candidate-4.11 channel at any time, but some releases for this channel might be unsupported.
You can switch from the
candidate-4.11 channel to the
fast-4.11 channel if your current release is a general availability release.
You can always switch from the
fast-4.11 channel to the
stable-4.11 channel. There is a possible delay of up to a day for the release to be promoted to
stable-4.11 if the current release was recently promoted.
The OpenShift Update Service might declare conditionally recommended updates associated with known risks.
The Cluster Version Operator (CVO) continually evaluates known risks associated with updates from the current OpenShift Container Platform release to later releases.
When no risks apply, the update is recommended. You can update from the Administrator perspective on the web console, as well as the OpenShift CLI (
When an update is not recommended because a risk might apply, you can view the update from the OpenShift CLI (
oc). If the cluster administrator evaluates the potential known risks and decides it is acceptable for the current cluster, the administrator can waive the safety guards and proceed to an update.
For more information, see Updating along a conditional upgrade path