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The cloud” is an evocative name, but to anyone used to bare metal servers or desktop workstations, it is a painful reminder of the intangibility of a strange new computing environment. The cloud isn't a singular thing you can pick up and take back to your workshop; there's no hard drive or even a real CPU, at least not in the sense that you can pry open to upgrade or troubleshoot. 

If that sounds familiar, you might want to try the oc command, which provides a simple and singular interface from your workstation to your cluster. Here are three ways the oc command helps you take control of your cloud-based computer, whether you're running Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA) or Red Hat OpenShift Local.

1. Connect with your cloud

Mouse clicks are expensive– at least, they feel that way. It takes time to take your hands off the keyboard, drag a cursor around the screen to click a button, drag it somewhere else to click another button, and so on. It adds up, and that's exactly why so many sysadmins and developers work in the terminal.

If you're used to logging into servers, then in the world of cloud computing, oc is like SSH. Using a personal token, it lets you connect to an OpenShift install and interact with it using commands instead of a mouse and a web browser.

2. oc is kubectl++

If you're used to logging into a Kubernetes control plane to interact with your cluster, then oc is like kubectl. You can use both, but you're likely to find that oc does everything you used to do with kubectl, usually with the exact same syntax. Instead of typing kubectl get svc to view your services, for example, you can just type oc get svc for the same result. The oc command interacts with Kubernetes plus OpenShift.

3. No more clicking

If you've been introduced to the workflow in the OpenShift UI, you already know half of what you need for the oc command. You can create a project:

$ oc new-project myproject

Spin up an image:

$ oc create deployment mynginx --image=nginx

In other words, you can use oc to do anything you might otherwise do on OpenShift in the web browser.

OpenShift through the terminal

OpenShift doesn't just add a graphical user interface to Kubernetes. It adds terminal orchestration to your Kubernetes orchestration. The oc command gives you all the power of kubectl plus the user-friendly power of OpenShift. And it's the same on any cloud, whether it's Red Hat OpenShift on AWS (ROSA), Red Hat OpenShift Local, or a hybrid cloud within your own organization.

Ready to try these commands yourself? Experiment in the Red Hat Developer Sandbox today.


Seth Kenlon is a Linux geek, open source enthusiast, free culture advocate, and tabletop gamer. Between gigs in the film industry and the tech industry (not necessarily exclusive of one another), he likes to design games and hack on code (also not necessarily exclusive of one another).

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