Installing on OpenShift

cert-manager supports running on OpenShift in a similar manner to Running on Kubernetes. It runs within your OpenShift cluster as a series of deployment resources. It utilises CustomResourceDefinitions to configure Certificate Authorities and request certificates.

It is deployed using regular YAML manifests, like any other application on OpenShift.

Once cert-manager has been deployed, you must configure Issuer or ClusterIssuer resources which represent certificate authorities. More information on configuring different Issuer types can be found in the respective setup guides.

Login to your OpenShift cluster

Before you can install cert-manager, you must first ensure your local machine is configured to talk to your OpenShift cluster using the oc tool.

# Login to the OpenShift cluster as the system:admin user
oc login -u system:admin

Installing with regular manifests

In order to install cert-manager, we must first create a namespace to run it within. This guide will install cert-manager into the cert-manager namespace. It is possible to run cert-manager in a different namespace, although you will need to make modifications to the deployment manifests.

# Create a namespace to run cert-manager in
oc create namespace cert-manager

As part of the installation, cert-manager also deploys a ValidatingWebhookConfiguration resource in order to validate that the Issuer, ClusterIssuer and Certificate resources we will create after installation are valid.

In order to deploy the ValidatingWebhookConfiguration, cert-manager creates a number of ‘internal’ Issuer and Certificate resources in its own namespace.

This creates a chicken-and-egg problem, where cert-manager requires the webhook in order to create the resources, and the webhook requires cert-manager in order to run.

We avoid this problem by disabling resource validation on the namespace that cert-manager runs in:

# Disable resource validation on the cert-manager namespace
oc label namespace cert-manager

You can read more about the webhook on the webhook document.

We can now go ahead and install cert-manager. All resources (the CustomResourceDefinitions, cert-manager, and the webhook component) are included in a single YAML manifest file:

# Install the CustomResourceDefinitions and cert-manager itself
oc apply --validate=false -f


The --validate=false flag is added to the oc apply command above else you will receive a validation error relating to the caBundle field of the ValidatingWebhookConfiguration resource.

Configuring your first Issuer

Before you can begin issuing certificates, you must configure at least one Issuer or ClusterIssuer resource in your cluster.

You should read the Setting up Issuers guide to learn how to configure cert-manager to issue certificates from one of the supported backends.

Debugging installation issues

If you have any issues with your installation, please refer to the troubleshooting guide.