Passed EX280 OpenShift Administration

Kick-starting the new year with OpenShift.

EX280 Exam Experience

I took an individual exam that was based on OpenShift 3.9.

It was, hands down, the Red Hat exam I enjoyed the most. The container technology provided by Docker is fascinating, with OpenShift you can go from git push to a running application in a few minutes.

While Ansible-based OpenShift 3 installation is not part of the exam objectives, if you are familiar with Ansible, it will help you during the exam. At least I feel like EX407 experience came in handy.

EX280 is a 3-hour exam, if it was up to me, I’d probably make it a bit longer, simply because there is a lot of documentation available for OpenShift. There are things that I have to look up no matter how often I use them (e.g. limit range object definition), and it takes time.

The exam score 300/300.

Exam Preparation

I took my time with this one and spent several months using Minishift, configuring storage servers and deploying internal registries, building Docker images, testing S2I using simple code and various examples available on GitHub. I also used Kubernetes on AWS.

I’ve done 40+ lab hours on RHLS including the DO180 course.

116 thoughts on “Passed EX280 OpenShift Administration

  1. wow.. 300 … Congrats…!
    Ansible sample exam you posted really helped a lot.
    Can you also post a sample exam for openshift. :)

  2. Hey Tomas

    Big fan of yours here :)
    this is great news, congratulations!!!

    Do you have any special advice for this one, or just practise, practise, practise?
    I also enrolled for EX280 but then I got scared so did not pick a date yet. Instead I scheduled EX342 and hoping for the best..

    Do you have any other exam on your list?
    I’ve been following this website for a while and have to say you did a fantastic job passing all those exams.

    All the best!

    • Thanks very much Karol. You can deploy Minishift locally with some shared storage and Docker registry, then use it as a playground. That’s what I did basically, and I learnt a lot. Don’t try to memorise things, but rather know how to export existing OpenShift resources. You can then use them as a template.

      I do have one other Red Hat exam on my list, however, I’ve not booked it yet.

    • Thank you Tomas.
      Would you say it is possible to pass this exam without access to RHLS lab?

      Or even better, which exam do you find the easiest to pass without access to RHLS labs?
      Thanks in advance for your opinion.

    • You can definitelly pass EX280 without access to RHLS. In fact, you can probably pass any Red Hat exam if you have relevant experience (or if you practise in your homelab a lot).

      I’d say that the easiest exam to pass was EX200, I didn’t use RHLS for that.

    • I don’t plan on taking the exam because I don’t use OpenStack, however, I did some studying using RHLS to get familiar with the technology.

  3. Hi, new to your wonderful blog. Wondering if you can help me decide – if I plan to do both the Openshift and Ansible exams, which would you do first? I’m asking based on difficulty (which is easier) and also what makes sense, in logical sequential order (if one will help with the other). I saw that your wrote that your Ansible experience helped with the Openshift exam; not sure if it’s essential though.
    I also asked about the difficulty because my RHCE will expire by September so really need to take at least 1 of them and pass, if I’m pressed for time. Maybe 1 of the exams would fit both criteria. :) I do think both exams are interesting and seem rewarding. I’m just not very fast with studying for exams. I don’t know if I can finish 1 exam per month. I am leaning towards Openshift but I’m not a developer, though I did just complete the CKAD but not the CKA exam yet. I’m definitely not ready for the CKA.
    Your advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Albert, thanks for your message. If I were to do the exams again, I would do Ansible first, because it’s less challenging compared to OpenShift. I took the OpenShift v3.x exam, but I don’t think that you need Ansible for OpenShift v4.x (the deployment process has changed).

      If you don’t use OpenShift or Kubernetes on a daily basis, the exam might be a bit difficult to prepare for in one month. There are several bits and pieces that can catch you off guard. And let’s face it – OpenShift is big, it has a lot of moving parts. Having said that, learning Ansible and setting up a homelab for it would be much easier in my opinion. Let me know what you decide!

  4. Congratz again, Lisenet!
    Your ex407 sample exam helped me to take the ex407. So, thank you, man.
    Now I’ve been looking for the ex280 a while. Let me ask some questions, please.
    On the redhat labs we have two options to work with OpenShift, CLI and Dashboard. Is it the same on the exam?
    Also, I’d like to know what did you mean that knowing about YAML structure helped you on the exam. So, will it be necessary for us to write applications, or did you mean that because it will facilitate possible troubleshooting on the exam?
    For the last, did you use also the officials do280 redhat training?

    Kindly regards,


    • Thanks Rafael. I can’t tell you what’s available on the exam, but you get to work with OpenShift.

      It’s not necessary to know YAML, no. I just felt that it helped me a lot with config and templates.

      With regards to the last question, I had access to RHLS. I used DO180 and DO280 training courses.

  5. I hope it’s never too late to congratulate on the success with a RH exam, so big congrats to you for succeeding in these difficult and scary times. And thank you for sharing your knowledge on your blog.
    You said you used Minishift, among other resources, for prep. I wonder then what’s your hardware setup looking like to have enough h/w resources to run Minishift. Not exactly make and model, just numbers on RAM, processor and storage…

    • Thank you very much.

      I did use Minishift, yes. I have it set up on my laptop running inside VirtualBox. The Minishift VM has 4GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores. Installation process is very simple in case you’re interested:

      I also have OKD 3.11 installed (single master) on a separate workstation that has 8 CPU cores and 32GB of RAM, however, I only need half of that memory to run it (for my homelab needs).

  6. Hi Tomas,

    Congratulations on passing EX280. I have been following your blogs and practiced your EX294/EX407 sample exam a lot. I have passed EX294 exam last week. Thanks a lot for your sample exam that really helped me a lot to pass my exam. Would you please do a sample exam for EX280 as well?

    • Thanks Rajesh. Unfortunately, I won’t be creating a sample exam for OpenShift because I have already taken the EX280 exam. My knowledge of the exam material would in one way or another shape the content of the sample exam.

  7. Congrats , so documentation will be available during exam ?how ? Will setup have internet access or have locally available docs ?

  8. Hello Tomas,

    While Ansible-based OpenShift 3 installation is not part of the exam objectives, if you are familiar with Ansible, it will help you during the exam” —- Please help understand how Ansible helps in this exam ? Are we expected to write any yamls?

    • Hi Mayur, OpenShift configuration is based on YAML templates. Ansible playbooks are also written in YAML. If you are familiar with Ansible and YAML, it will definitelly help you while working with OpenShift.

  9. Hi Tomas,

    You mention product documentation will provided. May I know which are site we can access during exam?

  10. Thanks Tomas. Can you tell me where I can get product documents so that I can use them during my lab practice.

  11. Hi Tomas,

    Thank you for this amazing blog.
    I am preparing for Ex280 exam, I am following the Linux academy course.
    I want to ask is it good to use CodeReady Container or we should use minishift?
    Does it matter?

    • Hi Ahsen, no worries, thanks. If you are planning on taking the v3.9 exam then use Minishift, if you are studying for v4.x then use CodeReady Containers. CodeReady Containers is designed for local testing on an OpenShift 4 cluster.

    • Hi, I took the OpenShift 3.9 exam. The link that you sent is for OpenShift 4.2, therefore they are not the same, however, I do believe that the format of documentation should be similar.

  12. Hello,

    for the question that has taint setup on worker node,
    I untented that and pod showing up and then
    Oc get route /* showing route and can see it’s producing
    Some output */
    But in exam it’s asked application should be access by some

    I deleted current route and exposed again as
    Oc expose service – – name fighter – – service dc/fighter \
    – – hostname

    Above command giving error, what I am missing

  13. Hi Tomas,

    When admin import a template into openshift project. It does not become available for developer to use through web-console even waiting long time, only way we can make sure it becomes available is to restart the entire cluster. Are there anyway to speed up the process? Particularly don’t want to restart the entire cluster.

    Thank you for your help !


  14. Hi Tomas,

    Just noticed, if I ran the lab review-deploy setup, then admin loaded template immediately becomes available for developer to use without restarting entire cluster. Without running the lab review-deploy setup, the template in openshift project loaded by admin just not available for anyone to use through web-console. It must be some setting, do you aware of this while using the RHLS lab?



    • Hi, which version of OpenShift do you lab on? I used 3.9 and don’t remember having this problem. Perhaps it’s something that affect 4.x?

      Can you check the lab scripts to see what they do? That might shed some light on the process.

  15. Hi Thomas,

    Today I wait long time, it does eventually become available on web-console. The template belongs to catalog, as an admin after loading the template into openshift, we should have a way to make it available immediately, Look at the lab setup script, nothing seems be obvious in terms of setting. Will report back if I find any setting.

    Thank you for your quick reply !


  16. Congrats Bro, can i ask you if you had issues in the Exam ! as i saw lot of peaple reporting that they had netwrking issues on the Exam and they were not able to connect (ssh) into the machines ! anyone had that scenario before !

    • Thanks bro for your quick answer, i’ve a question if its possible ,as i want to know if they will ask to deploy an app into the cluster ,should they provide Creds to access an internal registry (as there is no internet access ) ! or its pre-configured and you can pull whatever you want .i had this question in mind as its a tricky part , thanks at advance .

    • im asking this question just to ensure how we can find the right app that we need to deploy 9 from the private registry ), as for example if we asked to deploy app named “APPX” as an exmaple , how we can find the right path of this app on the registry !

    • Without going too much into details, all information required to deploy applications will be provided. I’m not allowed to discuss exam content I’m afraid, sorry!

    • Hi bro stev
      i also have experience with you regarding ex280 exam question. i dont know how to find the right app that need to deploy 9 from the private registry ), in the question just mention create app with name xxx and how to find the image/app in registry. are you find the solution ?

  17. Hi :)

    Congratulations on passing the exam! I would like to ask you an information: as regards the secure routes, will it be necessary to create self-signed certificates? Or will certificates be provided and just create routes from those certificates?

    • Hi, thank you! You should know how to create self-signed certificates. If you do, then it won’t matter whether they provide you with a certificate or not. I hope this helps!

  18. Hi @Lisenet,

    Is there a way to setup openshift locally on the laptop? At least to train a bit this technology. I am asking because mine RHLS shortly will expire:(.


    • Yes, there is! You can use an upstream version of OpenShift which is called OKD. I also used Minishift, which is a single-node OKD cluster inside a virtual machine.

  19. Hi Lisenet i just got the result :)
    Exam domain number: 10
    Passing score: 210
    Your score: 262
    Result: PASS
    Congratulations — you have earned the Red Hat Certified Specialist in OpenShift Administration certification.

    Thank you so much lisenet for you advices. I must say openshift exam on version 4 is the most challenging exam i experienced. Exam objectives looks easy but its doesn’t. You should have a very deep knowledge about user management, pod access and controlling, managing routes very very important and most importantly you should read the question thoroughly.

    • Hi,
      This is exam EX180 Result :)
      The results of your recent EX180 Red Hat Certified Specialist in Containers and Kubernetes Exam are reported below.

      Exam domain number: 1
      Passing score: 210
      Your score: 264
      Result: PASS
      Congratulations — you have earned the Red Hat Certified Specialist in Containers and Kubernetes certification.

      Tip and Trick: This exam relatively easy than ex280. It would suggest if any one learning ex280 exam should prepare ex180 exam before. Its 2 hours exam and you will work on podman command and some basic OpenShift cluster command. In this way you will familiar with openshift environment. Again most importantly you should read the question thoroughly even again and again.

    • Alhamdullah, Today I achieved rhca level after clearing EX480 exam. Anyone who want to pursue his/her career in kuberbernetes/Openshift, should attempt the EX480 (Multi-cluster openshift plus) exam. This exam is relatively easy than the openshift administrator ex280. In this exam you will required to managed the multiple clusters with ACM (Advanced Cluster Manager) and some security policies using ACS (Advanced Custer Security) operators.

  20. Great blog! Many thanks

    I would like to know if the exam Ex280 contains any multiple choice questions, I am preparing for v4.6 exam and worried that theoretical questions might be part of it.

    Thanks 😊

    • Hi, there are no multiple choice questions on Red Hat exams as far as I am aware, it’s all hands-on problem solving.

    • Hello,

      Thanks for the reply, unfortunately I did not get notified when you replied

      My exam was scheduled last week, but they asked me to reschedule just before starting the exam, I am going to do it today. fingers crossed.


  21. 1) Do you get access to the web console of the openshift during the exam
    2) where can i get openshift to practice installation or do we use minishift in the exam?

    • Yes, you do get access to the web console of the OpenShift. For practice, you can use OKD which is an upstream version of OpenShift.

  22. Hi, I performed the ex280 exam and unfortunately I could not pass it 188 points. but I don’t understand why in the user management area I got 0%. i’m sure i have configured htpasswd and user creation well because i ran a login test. I am sure I have done the tasks of the groups and the role well. the last task was to delete the secret for kubeadmin. I really don’t understand how I could have taken 0%. I’m curious you have your thoughts. Thank you

    • Hi Giacomo, it’s hard to tell honestly. My only guess is that the grading script did not find something that it was looking for.

    • Hi, I would suggest you to practice with user’s role management. You must have dept knowledge about the process when user created and what roles are assigned by default. Hope this will resolve your problem

  23. Nice blog post. I was wondering if you have Kubernetes experience and whether that helped or factored into your preparation?


    • Hi Peter, thanks! I had no Kubernetes experience at the time, only Docker. I think I did it the other way around, I started with OpenShift/Minishift at work and then gradually moved towards Kubernetes (not that OpenShift is not based on Kubernetes).

  24. Thanks for the reply, Tomas!
    I am interested in pursuing the EX280 for personal growth, and also on a budget as the official Red Hat course is a bit pricey. Based on cursory research it seems like Sander Van Vugt course is popular, and with some lab time that would be a decent approach for preparing the exam? I also have a background in Linux, containers, kubernetes, and PCF so I’m thinking Openshift would be a nice skill to add and a chance to see how it differs from k8s.

    • Hi Peter, absolutely, OpenShift is a nice skill to have. Kubernetes has become ubiquitous in the deployment of microservices, therefore you are on the right track. Good luck with your exam preparation!

  25. It’s very excellent information and more real facts to provided that post. Thank you for sharing this information.

  26. I’m starting to study for ex280. Since the current exam is based on OpenShift 4.6 and as I read from your git notes, it looks like you used as a base OS RHEL 7 Atomic… So now back to my question :) Did you use Atomic? It looks like the “Red Hat Developer Subscription for Individuals” does not include a subscription to access the repos for atomic-openshift-utils… Any quick ideas?

  27. Kindly tell how can I login the OpenShift cluster in ex280 exam because I don’t know how to login using ssh. I practice for the exam on single node cluster CRC.

    • Have you tried the following command? The password will be different.

      $ oc login -u admin -p redhat --insecure-skip-tls-verify=true
  28. Kindly. Thank you for the information.
    Where is “examples available on GitHub”?


  29. Hi

    Great Material. Thank you. You took the exam quite a while ago, do you think that most of your material is still valid? I would assume that user management etc would be? Also do you know of any other study guides out there that might be more recent? I have passed the CKA, CKAD, CKS but worry about this one since they only give you once shot at passing.

    Thanks again for the great material!


    • Hi Geoff, thanks. I’d say it’s still valid for the most part since OpenShift fundamentals have not changed, but I appreciate that new objectives get added all the time therefore do check the official exam requirements to be on as safe side. In terms of study guides, Sander has a video course for Red Hat OpenShift Administration EX280.

      Linux Foundations exams are easier in a way that they purposely allow you to fail in order to pass the exam by getting to know the exam questions (you get two attempts for CKA etc). As you’ve mentioned already, Red Hat don’t do this.

      Good luck with your studies!

  30. I got an example question about taint.
    When there is a question sth like that: node has taint and run pod/App.
    What is beeter approach to do that e.g. untained or add toleration to pod/deployment?
    I am not asking about how to do it only wchich approach is better?

  31. Do you get access to to cluster admin access via console?

    Lets say I get question to create a resource quota or create a new project. Would I be able to perform that via console alone?

    The reason I ask is that console seems easier.

    • I can’t remember to be honest with you, I think that you do as it’s part of OpenShift, but I used oc for pretty much everything.

    • There is info where is a password to kubeadmin and you can do everythin, you can add cluster-admin privilages to user as well. You have to read instruciotn

  32. When there is a one task with four subsection a),b),c),d) and when I resolve problem only from a) subsection, do I get points or I have to do all of them?

    • It depends on the grading script therefore you can never know for sure, but it would be reasonbale to expect partial points for subsections.

  33. I have just passed EX280 so Iam very proud of myself :) Score 87%.
    Do you know how can I download a certificate after pass exam? I mean certificate with gray background with name?
    In credly there is only small picture/icon without name. If you know give me a full path to download it :)

    • On July 17th, 2022, we will be decommissioning the badges and downloadable certificates available directly through your certification profile on We recently announced that Red Hat Certified Professionals can now share their achievements with the world using digital credentials through the leading digital credentialing platform, Credly.

      After successfully passing a Red Hat Certification exam and updating your Red Hat certification profile to authorize sending your certification information to Credly, you will receive an email notification directly from Credly with instructions on how to accept and begin sharing your Red Hat digital badge. The acceptance of a Red Hat Certification digital badge or certificate is completely optional.

      We encourage all Red Hat Certified Professionals who have used our earlier badges and certificates to update to Credly. Credly badges are supported more readily and widely on social media platforms and help us build interest in our certified community. The new certificates include a QR code that helps ensure authenticity and makes things much harder for those people who try to Photoshop someone else’s certificate!

      Follow these steps to claim your badge:

      If you haven’t already, create a account.
      If you’re a Red Hat Certified Professional, you must then associate your certification ID with your account login in order for the certification to be validated on the Red Hat Certification verification page. Here are the steps to associate a certification ID with a Red Hat account.
      Once you have your certification ID and account associated, go to Privacy Settings within your Certification Profile and check the box to confirm that you would like Red Hat to issue you a Red Hat Certification digital badge and downloadable certificate. This is required and signifies that you give Red Hat permission to share your name, email and Red Hat issued Certification ID with Credly.
      Once you’ve completed these steps, your information will then be shared with Credly and they will send you an email with instructions about how to accept and begin sharing your new Red Hat Certification digital badge.

  34. Hi , Can you help me with some sample questions which I need to practice for OpenShift certification?

    • Sure things, what kind of questions/areas are you looking for? OpenShift installation? Application deployment? Security?

    • Hi Mahdi, my advice would be to know different ways of deploying applications to OpenShift and always specify the namespace (project) you are going to deploy to.

    • thank you Lisenet,
      i have a quick one: if a user cannot perform cluster administration tasks, this means that i should remove cluster-admin role or i should give him only view role

    • If a user is not allowed to perform cluster admin tasks, then the user should not have the cluster-admin role, you are right.

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