The Kubernetes command-line interface (CLI),
kubectl, can be used to run commands against a Kubernetes cluster. Because OpenShift Container Platform is a certified Kubernetes distribution, you can use the supported
kubectl binaries that ship with OpenShift Container Platform, or you can gain extended functionality by using the
oc binary offers the same capabilities as the
kubectl binary, but it extends to natively support additional OpenShift Container Platform features, including:
Full support for OpenShift Container Platform resources
Resources such as
ImageStreamTag objects are specific to OpenShift Container Platform distributions, and build upon standard Kubernetes primitives.
oc binary offers a built-in
login command for authentication and lets you work with OpenShift Container Platform projects, which map Kubernetes namespaces to authenticated users.
Read Understanding authentication for more information.
The additional command
oc new-app, for example, makes it easier to get new applications started using existing source code or pre-built images. Similarly, the additional command
oc new-project makes it easier to start a project that you can switch to as your default.
If you installed an earlier version of the
Non-security API changes will involve, at minimum, two minor releases (4.1 to 4.2 to 4.3, for example) to allow older
oc binaries to update. Using new capabilities might require newer
oc binaries. A 4.3 server might have additional capabilities that a 4.2
oc binary cannot use and a 4.3
oc binary might have additional capabilities that are unsupported by a 4.2 server.
X.Y+N  (
X.Y+N  (Server)
oc client might not be able to access server features.
oc client might provide options and features that might not be compatible with the accessed server.
kubectl binary is provided as a means to support existing workflows and scripts for new OpenShift Container Platform users coming from a standard Kubernetes environment, or for those who prefer to use the
kubectl CLI. Existing users of
kubectl can continue to use the binary to interact with Kubernetes primitives, with no changes required to the OpenShift Container Platform cluster.
You can install the supported
kubectl binary by following the steps to Install the OpenShift CLI. The
kubectl binary is included in the archive if you download the binary, or is installed when you install the CLI by using an RPM.
For more information, see the kubectl documentation.