About Operator catalogs

An Operator catalog is a repository of metadata that Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM) can query to discover and install Operators and their dependencies on a cluster. OLM always installs Operators from the latest version of a catalog. As of OpenShift Container Platform 4.6, Red Hat-provided catalogs are distributed using index images.

An index image, based on the Operator bundle format, is a containerized snapshot of a catalog. It is an immutable artifact that contains the database of pointers to a set of Operator manifest content. A catalog can reference an index image to source its content for OLM on the cluster.

As catalogs are updated, the latest versions of Operators change, and older versions may be removed or altered. In addition, when OLM runs on an OpenShift Container Platform cluster in a restricted network environment, it is unable to access the catalogs directly from the internet to pull the latest content.

As a cluster administrator, you can create your own custom index image, either based on a Red Hat-provided catalog or from scratch, which can be used to source the catalog content on the cluster. Creating and updating your own index image provides a method for customizing the set of Operators available on the cluster, while also avoiding the aforementioned restricted network environment issues.

Kubernetes periodically deprecates certain APIs that are removed in subsequent releases. As a result, Operators are unable to use removed APIs starting with the version of OpenShift Container Platform that uses the Kubernetes version that removed the API.

If your cluster is using custom catalogs, see Controlling Operator compatibility with OpenShift Container Platform versions for more details about how Operator authors can update their projects to help avoid workload issues and prevent incompatible upgrades.

Support for the legacy package manifest format for Operators, including custom catalogs that were using the legacy format, is removed in OpenShift Container Platform 4.8 and later.

When creating custom catalog images, previous versions of OpenShift Container Platform 4 required using the oc adm catalog build command, which was deprecated for several releases and is now removed. With the availability of Red Hat-provided index images starting in OpenShift Container Platform 4.6, catalog builders must use the opm index command to manage index images.

About Red Hat-provided Operator catalogs

The following Operator catalogs are distributed by Red Hat:

Catalog Index image Description

redhat-operators

registry.redhat.io/redhat/redhat-operator-index:v4.8

Red Hat products packaged and shipped by Red Hat. Supported by Red Hat.

certified-operators

registry.redhat.io/redhat/certified-operator-index:v4.8

Products from leading independent software vendors (ISVs). Red Hat partners with ISVs to package and ship. Supported by the ISV.

redhat-marketplace

registry.redhat.io/redhat/redhat-marketplace-index:v4.8

Certified software that can be purchased from Red Hat Marketplace.

community-operators

registry.redhat.io/redhat/community-operator-index:v4.8

Software maintained by relevant representatives in the operator-framework/community-operators GitHub repository. No official support.