OpenShift - Determine if a User or Group has permission using oc adm policy who-can

If you are not familiar with the oc command, refer to OpenShift - Getting Started with the oc command.

Here is a basic illustration of how a user, group or service account get mapped to permissions.


Role Bindings and Security Context Constraint are similar in that they both are access control mechanisms.

  • Role Bindings are used to control what an OpenShift Users are allowed to do
  • Security Context Constraints are used to control what pods are allowed to do

The oc adm policy who-can command can be used to determine if a user or group has permission to perform an action on a resource, such as creating, updating, or deleting a config map, deployment, pod, project, secret, et cetera.

~]$ oc adm policy who-can create secret --namespace openshift-config

Namespace: openshift-config
Verb:      create
Resource:  secrets

Users:  system:admin
Groups: my-group


Role Bindings, or Role Based Access Control (RBAC), contain the mapping of user, group, or service account to a role.

  • Cluster Role Bindings gives a user, group or service account a certain role for every project/namespace
  • Role Bindings gives a user, group or service account a certain role for a specific project/namespace

The following roles can be used.

  • admin - Allowed to view and edit/modify all resources except for quota
  • basic-user - no access to projects or resources (i'm not sure why you would ever want to apply this role to a user)
  • cluster-admin - full control
  • cluster-status - view basic cluster status information
  • cluster-reader - allowed to view, but cannot edit or modify
  • edit - allowed to view and edit certain resources such as deployments/pods/services/routes but not allowed to view or edit resources such as role bindings
  • self-provisioner - user can create their own projects
  • view - allowed to view resources, but cannot edit or modify resources

You may want to Add or Remove a Role Binding from a User Group or Service Account.

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