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Chapter 31. Securing Builds by Strategy

31.1. Overview

Builds in OpenShift Container Platform are run in privileged containers that have access to the Docker daemon socket. As a security measure, it is recommended to limit who can run builds and the strategy that is used for those builds. Custom builds are inherently less safe than Source builds, given that they can execute any code in the build with potentially full access to the node’s Docker socket, and as such are disabled by default. Docker build permission should also be granted with caution as a vulnerability in the Docker build logic could result in a privileges being granted on the host node.


During Docker and custom builds, actions performed by the Docker daemon are privileged and occur in the host network namespace. Such actions bypass configured networking rules including those defined by EgressNetworkPolicy objects and static egress IP addresses.

By default, all users that can create builds are granted permission to use the Docker and Source-to-Image build strategies. Users with cluster-admin privileges can enable the Custom build strategy, as referenced in the Restricting Build Strategies to a User Globally section of this page.

You can control who can build with what build strategy using an authorization policy. Each build strategy has a corresponding build subresource. A user must have permission to create a build and permission to create on the build strategy subresource in order to create builds using that strategy. Default roles are provided which grant the create permission on the build strategy subresource.

Table 31.1. Build Strategy Subresources and Roles














31.2. Disabling a Build Strategy Globally

To prevent access to a particular build strategy globally, log in as a user with cluster-admin privileges, remove the corresponding role from the system:authenticated group, and apply the annotation "true" to protect them from changes between the API restarts. The following example shows disabling the docker build strategy.

  1. Apply the annotation

    $ oc edit clusterrolebinding system:build-strategy-docker-binding
    apiVersion: v1
    - system:authenticated
    kind: ClusterRoleBinding
      annotations: "true" 1
      creationTimestamp: 2018-08-10T01:24:14Z
      name: system:build-strategy-docker-binding
      resourceVersion: "225"
      selfLink: /oapi/v1/clusterrolebindings/system%3Abuild-strategy-docker-binding
      uid: 17b1f3d4-9c3c-11e8-be62-0800277d20bf
      name: system:build-strategy-docker
    - kind: SystemGroup
      name: system:authenticated
    - system:serviceaccount:management-infra:management-admin
    Change the annotation’s value to "true". By default, it is set to "false".
  2. Remove the role:

    $ oc adm policy remove-cluster-role-from-group system:build-strategy-docker system:authenticated

In versions prior to 3.2, the build strategy subresources were included in the admin and edit roles.

Ensure the build strategy subresources are also removed from these roles:

$ oc edit clusterrole admin
$ oc edit clusterrole edit

For each role, remove the line that corresponds to the resource of the strategy to disable.

Disable the Docker Build Strategy for admin

kind: ClusterRole
  name: admin
- resources:
  - builds/custom
  - builds/docker 1
  - builds/source

Delete this line to disable Docker builds globally for users with the admin role.

31.3. Restricting Build Strategies to a User Globally

To allow only a set of specific users to create builds with a particular strategy:

  1. Disable global access to the build strategy.
  2. Assign the role corresponding to the build strategy to a specific user. For example, to add the system:build-strategy-docker cluster role to the user devuser:

    $ oc adm policy add-cluster-role-to-user system:build-strategy-docker devuser

Granting a user access at the cluster level to the builds/docker subresource means that the user will be able to create builds with the Docker strategy in any project in which they can create builds.

31.4. Restricting Build Strategies to a User Within a Project

Similar to granting the build strategy role to a user globally, to allow only a set of specific users within a project to create builds with a particular strategy:

  1. Disable global access to the build strategy.
  2. Assign the role corresponding to the build strategy to a specific user within a project. For example, to add the system:build-strategy-docker role within the project devproject to the user devuser:

    $ oc adm policy add-role-to-user system:build-strategy-docker devuser -n devproject