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RBAC and Namespace Support

RoleBindings and ClusterRoleBindings are Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) concepts that allow granular control over cluster-wide resources. Palette provides you the ability to specify bindings to configure granular RBAC rules.

You can configure namespaces and RBAC from within a cluster or from a Palette Workspace that contains a collection of like clusters that need to be managed as a group. If a host cluster is part of a Palette workspace, then all roleBindings must occur at the namespace level.

As you review RBAC support, use the following definitions:

  • Role An entity that is assigned a set of access permissions within a namespace. Roles require the assignment of a Kubernetes namespace.

    kind: Role
    namespace: default
    name: pod-reader
    - apiGroups: [""]
    resources: ["pods"]
    verbs: ["get", "watch", "list"]
  • Cluster Role An entity that is assigned a set of access permissions scoped to the cluster and all of its Kubernetes namespaces. ClusterRoles do not have a namespace assigned.

    kind: ClusterRole
    name: secret-reader
    - apiGroups: [""]
    resources: ["secrets"]
    verbs: ["get", "watch", "list"]
  • RoleBinding associates a subject with a role. A subject can be a user, a group, or a ServiceAccount. Role binding is used to grant permissions to a subject. Role and RoleBinding are used to scope a subject to a specific Kubernetes namespace.

    kind: RoleBinding
    name: read-pods
    namespace: default
    - kind: User
    name: jane
    kind: Role
    name: pod-reader
  • ClusterRoleBinding associates a subject with a ClusterRole. A subject can be a user, a group, or a ServiceAccount. A ClusterRoleBinding is used to grant permissions to a subject. ClusterRole and ClusterRoleBinding are used to scope a subject's access to the cluster which includes all the Kubernetes namespaces inside the cluster.

There are many reasons why you may want to create roles and assign permissions to different users or groups. Below are a few common scenarios.

  • Use Role and a RoleBinding to scope security to a single Kubernetes namespace.
  • Use Role and a RoleBinding to scope security to several Kubernetes namespaces.
  • Use ClusterRole and ClusterRoleBinding to scope security to all namespaces.


Palette does not provide a way for roles to be configured natively through its platform. You can create roles by using a manifest layer in the cluster profile. RBAC management only allows you to specify role bindings.

Use the steps below to create a RoleBinding or ClusterRoleBinding for your host clusters.

Palette Roles and Kubernetes Roles

Palette offers a set of default roles you can assign to your users. The Palette roles are only in scope at the platform level. This means you can manage the permissions for users' actions in Palette, such as creating or deleting clusters, creating projects, creating users, and more.

The Kubernetes roles are used to control the actions users are allowed to do inside the cluster. For example, a user in Palette could have the Cluster Profile Viewer role, which grants them the ability to view cluster profiles for a specific project. In all the clusters in this project, the user could be assigned a role binding to a custom role that grants them administrative access in all the clusters.

In summary, using Palette roles allows you to control what actions users can do in Palette. Use Kubernetes roles to control users' actions inside a host cluster.


Palette roles do not automatically map to a Kubernetes role. You must create a role binding for a specific user or group of users.

Create Role Bindings


To create a role binding the role must exist inside the host cluster. You can use any of the default cluster roles provided by Kubernetes. The alternative to default cluster roles is to create a role by using a manifest in the cluster profile.

If you have OpenID Connect (OIDC) configured at the Kubernetes layer of your cluster profile, you can create a role binding that maps individual users or groups assigned within the OIDC provider's configuration to a role. To learn more, review Use RBAC with OIDC.


You can create role bindings during the cluster creation process or after the host cluster is deployed.

For a new cluster, you can modify the cluster settings at the end of the cluster creation process. RBAC is one of the cluster settings you can modify. Select RBAC from the left Settings Menu.

A view of the cluster settings page when creating a cluster

To create or modify a role binding for an active cluster. Navigate to the cluster details page and click on Settings. Select RBAC from the left Settings Menu.

A view of the cluster settings page for an active cluster

The RBAC settings view contains two tabs:

  • Cluster: Use this tab to create a ClusterRoleBinding.
  • Namespaces: Use this tab to create a RoleBinding within Kubernetes namespaces.

Select the tab for your specific role scope to learn how to create the appropriate role binding.

  1. From the cluster settings view, select the RBAC tab.

  2. Click on Add New Binding.

  3. Fill out the following details:

  • Role Name: Define a custom role name to identify the cluster role.
  • Subjects: Subjects are a group of users, services, or teams using the Kubernetes API. If you are using Palette as your IDP, you can use the Palette user's registration email address to identify the user.
  • Subject Name: Custom name to identify a subject.

In Kubernetes, a role binding connects a user or group with a set of permissions called a Role. The Role can be in the same namespace as the RoleBinding. If you want to give a role access to all the namespaces in your cluster, use a ClusterRoleBinding.

  1. Click on Confirm to save your changes.

A ClusterRoleBinding will be created in your host cluster. Keep in mind that you can assign multiple subjects to a ClusterRoleBinding.


  1. Log in to Palette.

  2. Navigate to the left Main Menu and select Clusters.

  3. Select the cluster you created the role binding in to view its details page.

  4. Download the kubeconfig file for the cluster or use the web shell to access the host cluster.

  5. Use the following commands to review details about the role and to ensure the role binding was successful.

Cluster Role:

kubectl get clusterrole <yourRoleNameHere> --output yaml


kubectl get role <yourRoleNameHere> --namespace <namespace> --show-kind --export