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Build images with the Cloud-Native Toolkit

Building universal application images that meet all the requirements needed to run well in Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift can feel overwhelming. Using the open source Cloud-Native Toolkit makes it easier to create well-built images.

The Cloud-Native Toolkit includes a number of image-building best practices, tools, and learning materials along with a repeatable and maintainable process. You can use the toolkit throughout the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC) to develop complete applications — including the ability to build universal application images for Red Hat Container Certification. The toolkit can run in any Kubernetes or OpenShift cluster, on IBM Cloud, or elsewhere.


To complete the tutorials in this learning path, a cluster administrator needs to install the Cloud-Native Toolkit on a Red Hat OpenShift cluster. This only needs to be done once on a cluster, and then multiple projects can use it.

Steps and outcomes

1. Start with the starter kits

To get a feel for how to use the Cloud-Native Toolkit, start with the first tutorial: Use the Cloud-Native Toolkit starter kits

This tutorial will help you:

  • Learn how to use the Cloud-Native Toolkit
  • Create and run CI pipelines
  • Build a cloud-native application that’s deployed as a container

2. Use an existing application with the Cloud-Native Toolkit to build an image

If you have an existing application in a single repo that you want to containerize using the Cloud-Native Toolkit, follow the instructions in the tutorial Use Cloud-Native Toolkit on an existing application, which will guide you to:

  • Use the Cloud-Native Toolkit with an existing application
  • Learn how to prepare your GitHub repo to run in a CI pipeline
  • Learn how to modify the pipeline tasks to accommodate your application
  • Prepare the container image for OpenShift certification

3. Use an application from multiple repos

If you have a more complex application that spans multiple repos, read the advanced tutorial Build an OpenShift certifiable image from a complex application to learn how to:

  • Use the Cloud-Native Toolkit on a real-world open source application
  • Modify the pipeline tasks to work with multiple GitHub repos
  • Add and use parameters to modify pipeline actions
  • Use semantic versioning for image releases
  • Prepare the container image for OpenShift certification