Add image annotations with GitHub Actions

Annotations let you specify arbitrary metadata for OCI image components, such as manifests, indexes, and descriptors.

To add annotations when building images with GitHub Actions, use the metadata-action to automatically create OCI-compliant annotations. The metadata action creates an annotations output that you can reference, both with build-push-action and bake-action.


name: ci

on:
  push:

env:
  IMAGE_NAME: user/app

jobs:
  docker:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - name: Set up Docker Buildx
        uses: docker/setup-buildx-action@v3

      - name: Login to Docker Hub
        uses: docker/login-action@v3
        with:
          username: ${{ vars.DOCKERHUB_USERNAME }}
          password: ${{ secrets.DOCKERHUB_TOKEN }}

      - name: Extract metadata
        id: meta
        uses: docker/metadata-action@v5
        with:
          images: ${{ env.IMAGE_NAME }}

      - name: Build and push
        uses: docker/build-push-action@v6
        with:
          tags: ${{ steps.meta.outputs.tags }}
          annotations: ${{ steps.meta.outputs.annotations }}
          push: true
name: ci

on:
  push:

env:
  IMAGE_NAME: user/app

jobs:
  docker:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - name: Checkout
        uses: actions/checkout@v4

      - name: Set up Docker Buildx
        uses: docker/setup-buildx-action@v3

      - name: Login to Docker Hub
        uses: docker/login-action@v3
        with:
          username: ${{ vars.DOCKERHUB_USERNAME }}
          password: ${{ secrets.DOCKERHUB_TOKEN }}

      - name: Extract metadata
        id: meta
        uses: docker/metadata-action@v5
        with:
          images: ${{ env.IMAGE_NAME }}

      - name: Build
        uses: docker/bake-action@v5
        with:
          files: |
            ./docker-bake.hcl
            ${{ steps.meta.outputs.bake-file-tags }}
            ${{ steps.meta.outputs.bake-file-annotations }}            
          push: true

Configure annotation level

By default, annotations are placed on image manifests. To configure the annotation level, set the DOCKER_METADATA_ANNOTATIONS_LEVELS environment variable on the metadata-action step to a comma-separated list of all the levels that you want to annotate. For example, setting DOCKER_METADATA_ANNOTATIONS_LEVELS to index results in annotations on the image index instead of the manifests.

The following example creates annotations on both the image index and manifests.

name: ci

on:
  push:

env:
  IMAGE_NAME: user/app

jobs:
  docker:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - name: Set up Docker Buildx
        uses: docker/setup-buildx-action@v3

      - name: Login to Docker Hub
        uses: docker/login-action@v3
        with:
          username: ${{ vars.DOCKERHUB_USERNAME }}
          password: ${{ secrets.DOCKERHUB_TOKEN }}

      - name: Extract metadata
        id: meta
        uses: docker/metadata-action@v5
        with:
          images: ${{ env.IMAGE_NAME }}
        env:
          DOCKER_METADATA_ANNOTATIONS_LEVELS: manifest,index

      - name: Build and push
        uses: docker/build-push-action@v6
        with:
          tags: ${{ steps.meta.outputs.tags }}
          annotations: ${{ steps.meta.outputs.annotations }}
          push: true