Maintenance and Update of an OpenShift 4 cluster

  1. Get list of available updates:

    oc adm upgrade --as cluster-admin


kubectl --as cluster-admin get clusterversion version -o json | jq '.status.availableUpdates[] | {image: .image, version: .version}'

If you don’t get the newest available version, this might be intended. Red Hat does release new updates to specific cluster, when they do have no known issues. So on a stable channel you need some patience!

  1. Update the configuration hierarchy

    Set the following parameters to the values retrieved in the previous step:

    • parameters.openshift4_version.spec.desiredUpdate.image

    • parameters.openshift4_version.spec.desiredUpdate.version

  2. Compile the cluster catalog

  3. Enjoy the show

    Let the OpenShift operators do their job.

    kubectl --as cluster-admin get clusterversion version --watch
  4. Check the final state via the oc commmand:

$ oc adm upgrade --as cluster-admin
Cluster version is 4.5.24

No updates available.
You may force an upgrade to a specific release image, but doing so may not be supported and result in downtime or data loss.

So far, that process just worked. In consequence we do lack the experience on how to observe and debug. Instruction will be added here, as soon as we gained that knowledge. As a starting point on the process, checkout Updating a cluster between minor versions of the OpenShift 4 documentation.

Also have a look at the blog post The Ultimate Guide to OpenShift Release and Upgrade Process for Cluster Administrators which is an excellent source to understand the process.


Get some more detailed information about the current state of the upgrade:

kubectl --as cluster-admin get version -o jsonpath={.status.conditions}  | jq .

In general: In the case of an error or warning, try to get more detailed information from the log from the specific operator or controller. Be patient as some warnings are just temporary and the operators might be able to relieve themselves from a degraded state!

Follow the log of an operator or controller:

kubectl --as cluster-admin -n openshift-machine-config-operator logs deployment/machine-config-operator -f
kubectl --as cluster-admin -n openshift-machine-config-operator logs deployment/machine-config-controller -f