Using Pipelines

The following section demonstrates how to trigger and run pipelines as well as to check on the application status.

Deploying an application to OpenShift


  • You have installed OpenShift Pipelines using the OpenShift Pipeline Operator listed in the OpenShift OperatorHub. Once installed, it is applicable to the entire cluster.

  • You have installed the Tekton CLI


  1. Create a project for the sample application:

    $ oc new-project pipelines-tutorial
  2. Building container images using build tools such as S2I, Buildah, or Kaniko, require privileged containers to access the cluster. The default security settings in OpenShift do not allow privileged containers. Create a service account for running Pipeline s and enable it to run privileged pods for building container images:

    $ oc create serviceaccount pipeline
    $ oc adm policy add-scc-to-user privileged -z pipeline
    $ oc adm policy add-role-to-user edit -z pipeline
  3. Create the Kubernetes objects for deploying the PetClinic application on OpenShift:

    $ oc create -f
  4. Navigate to HomeProjectsStatus in the OpenShift Web Console to verify the deployment. The deployment at this stage is not complete. The Pipeline you create in the next steps builds the container images for the PetClinic application and completes the deployment.

    Initiate deployment

Defining and creating pipeline tasks

Tasks are the building blocks of a Pipeline and consist of sequentially executed steps. steps are a series of commands that achieve a specific goal, for instance, build an image.

Every Task runs as a pod and each step runs in its own container within the same pod. Since they run within the same pod they have access to the same volumes to cache files, configmaps, and secrets. They use inputs parameters, for example, a git , and outputs parameters, for example, an image in a registry, to interact with other tasks.

Tasks are reusable and can be used in multiple Pipeline s. For this tutorial, you create a Maven Task with a single step to build a Maven based application, and then add two reusable Tasks from the catalog repository.


  1. To create the Maven Task:

    1. Copy the contents of the following sample Task YAML file and save it:

      kind: Task
        name: maven-build
          - name: workspace-git
            targetPath: /
            type: git
        - name: build
          image: maven:3.6.0-jdk-8-slim
          - /usr/bin/mvn
          - install

      This Task starts a pod and runs a container inside that pod using the maven:3.6.0-jdk-8-slim image to run the specified commands. It receives an input directory called workspace-git which contains the source code of the application.

      Only the requirement for a git repository is declared on the Task and not a specific git repository to be used. This allows Tasks to be reusable for multiple Pipeline s and purposes.

    2. Create the Task within your project:

      oc create -f maven-build-task.yaml
  2. Install the s2i-java and openshift-client reusable Tasks from the catalog repository, which contains a list of reusable Tasks for Pipeline s:

    $ oc create -f
    $ oc create -f
  3. Verify the Tasks added to the Pipeline as follows:

    $ tkn task ls
    NAME              AGE
    maven-build       23 secs ago
    openshift-client  10 secs ago
    s2i-java          11 secs ago

Additional resources

Defining and creating pipeline resources

PipelineResources are artifacts that are used as inputs to a Task and can be output by a Task.


After you create Task s, create PipelineResources that contain the specifics of the Git repository and the image registry to be used in the Pipeline during execution as follows:

  1. Create a PipelineResource YAML file with a PipelineResource that defines the Git repository and reference for the PetClinic application as follows:

    kind: PipelineResource
      name: petclinic-git
      type: git
      - name: url
  2. To the above PipelineResource YAML file, add another PipelineResource that defines the OpenShift internal registry to which you want to push the PetClinic image, as shown below, and save it.

    kind: PipelineResource
      name: petclinic-image
      type: image
      - name: url
        value: image-registry.openshift-image-registry.svc:5000/pipelines-tutorial/spring-petclinic
  3. Create the above pipeline resources as follows:

    $ oc create -f
  4. Verify the resources created as follows:

    $ tkn resource ls
    NAME              TYPE    DETAILS
    petclinic-git     git     url:
    petclinic-image   image   url: image-registry.openshift-image-registry.svc:5000/pipelines-tutorial/spring-petclinic

Assembling a pipeline

A Pipeline represents a CI/CD flow and is defined by the Tasks to be executed. It specifies how the Tasks interact with each other and their order of execution using the inputs , outputs, and the run-After parameters. It is designed to be generic and reusable in multiple applications and environments.

For this tutorial, we create a Pipeline that takes the source code of the Spring PetClinic application from GitHub, builds the application, and deploys it on OpenShift as outlined below:



  1. Copy the contents of the following sample Pipeline YAML file and save it:

    kind: Pipeline
      name: petclinic-deploy-pipeline
      - name: app-git
        type: git
      - name: app-image
        type: image
      - name: build
          name: s2i-java-8
          - name: TLSVERIFY
            value: "false"
          - name: source
            resource: app-git
          - name: image
            resource: app-image
      - name: deploy
          name: openshift-client
          - build
        - name: ARGS
          value: "rollout latest spring-petclinic"

    This Pipeline performs the following tasks:

    • Clones the source code of the application from a Git repository (app-git resource).

    • Builds the container image using the S2I task which generates a Dockerfile for the application and uses Buildah to build an image.

    • The application image is then pushed to an image registry (app-image resource).

    • The new application image is deployed on OpenShift using the OpenShift-CLI.

      Note that, the Pipeline YAML file contains no references to the PetClinic Git repository and its image in the registry. These are defined in the PipelineResources.

      Pipeline s in Tekton are designed to be generic and re-usable across environments and stages through the applications lifecycle. They abstract away the specifics of the Git source repository and image registries to be used during Pipeline execution.

      The execution order of the tasks is determined by the dependencies defined between the tasks using the inputs and outputs parameters, and the explicit orders that are defined using runAfter.

  2. Create the Pipeline:

    $ oc create -f
  3. Verify that the Pipeline has been added to the application as follows:

    $ tkn pipeline ls
    NAME             AGE             LAST RUN   STARTED   DURATION   STATUS
    deploy-pipeline   8 seconds ago   ---        ---       ---        ---

Triggering and running a pipeline

A PipelineRun starts a Pipeline and ties it to the Git and image resources that should be used for the specific invocation.


  1. Start the Pipeline as follows:

    $ tkn pipeline start petclinic-deploy-pipeline \
            -r app-git=petclinic-git \
            -r app-image=petclinic-image \
            -s pipeline
    Pipelinerun started: petclinic-deploy-pipeline-run-q62p8
    • The -r flag specifies the PipelineResource s that should be provided to the pipeline

    • The -s flag specifies the service account to be used for running the pipeline

      Starting a pipeline instantiates the PipelineRun and creates a number of pods to execute the tasks that are defined in the pipeline. The PipelineRun automatically creates and triggers the TaskRuns for each Task in the pipeline.

  2. After a few minutes, verify that the Pipeline ran successfully by listing all the PipelineRuns as follows:

    $ tkn pipeline list
    NAME                        AGE             LAST RUN                              STARTED         DURATION    STATUS
    petclinic-deploy-pipeline   7 minutes ago   petclinic-deploy-pipeline-run-tsv92   5 minutes ago   4 minutes   Succeeded

Checking pipeline and application status

You can examine the logs for PipelineRuns to verify its status.


  1. Check the PipelineRun logs as it runs using the tkn pipeline logs command, which interactively allows you to chose the required pipelinerun and inspect the logs:

    $ tkn pipeline logs -f
    ? Select pipeline : petclinic-deploy-pipeline
    ? Select pipelinerun : petclinic-deploy-pipeline-run-tsv92 started 39 seconds ago
    [build : nop] Build successful
    [deploy : build-step-oc] rolled out
    [deploy : nop] Build successful
  2. Check the Project Status in the OpenShift Web Console to verify that the PetClinic image is successfully built and deployed.

    Application deployed on OpenShift
  3. To rerun the last pipelinerun, using the same pipeline resources and service account used in the previous pipeline, use:

    tkn pipeline start petclinic-deploy-pipeline --last