OCI artifacts on Docker Hub

You can use Docker Hub to store any kind of software artifact, not just container images. Docker Hub supports OCI artifacts by leveraging the config property on the image manifest.

What are OCI artifacts?

OCI artifacts are any arbitrary files related to a software application. Some examples include:

  • Helm charts
  • Software Bill of Materials (SBOM)
  • Digital signatures
  • Provenance data
  • Attestations
  • Vulnerability reports

Docker Hub supporting OCI artifacts means you can use one repository for storing and distributing container images as well as other assets.

A common use case for OCI artifacts is Helm chartsopen_in_new. Helm charts is a packaging format that defines a Kubernetes deployment for an application. Since Kubernetes is a popular runtime for containers, it makes sense to host application images and deployment templates all in one place.

Using OCI artifacts with Docker Hub

You manage OCI artifacts on Docker Hub in a similar way you would container images.

Pushing and pulling OCI artifacts to and from a registry is done using a registry client. ORAS CLIopen_in_new is a command-line tool that provides the capability of managing OCI artifacts in a registry. If you use Helm charts, the Helm CLIopen_in_new provides built-in functionality for pushing and pulling charts to and from a registry.

Registry clients invoke HTTP requests to the Docker Hub registry API. The registry API conforms to a standard protocol defined in the OCI distribution specificationopen_in_new.

Examples

This section shows some examples on using OCI artifacts with Docker Hub.

Push a Helm chart

The following procedure shows how to push a Helm chart as an OCI artifact to Docker Hub.

Prerequisites:

  • Helm version 3.0.0 or later

Steps:

  1. Create a new Helm chart

    $ helm create demo
    

    This command generates a boilerplate template chart.

  2. Package the Helm chart into a tarball.

    $ helm package demo
    Successfully packaged chart and saved it to: /Users/hubuser/demo-0.1.0.tgz
    
  3. Sign in to Docker Hub with Helm, using your Docker ID credentials.

    $ helm registry login registry-1.docker.io -u hubuser
    
  4. Push the chart to a Docker Hub repository.

    $ helm push demo-0.1.0.tgz oci://registry-1.docker.io/docker
    

    This uploads the Helm chart tarball to a demo repository in the docker namespace.

  5. Go to the repository page on Docker Hub. The Tags section of the page shows the Helm chart tag.

    List of repository tags
  6. Select the tag name to go to the page for that tag.

    The page lists a few useful commands for working with Helm charts.

    Tag page of a Helm chart artifact

Push a volume

The following procedure shows how to push container volume as an OCI artifact to Docker Hub.

Prerequisites:

  • ORAS CLI version 0.15 or later

Steps:

  1. Create a dummy file to use as volume content.

    $ touch myvolume.txt
    
  2. Sign in to Docker Hub using the ORAS CLI.

    $ oras login -u hubuser registry-1.docker.io
    
  3. Push the file to Docker Hub.

    $ oras push registry-1.docker.io/docker/demo:0.0.1 \
      --artifact-type=application/vnd.docker.volume.v1+tar.gz \
      myvolume.txt:text/plain
    

    This uploads the volume to a demo repository in the docker namespace. The --artifact-type flag specifies a special media type that makes Docker Hub recognize the artifact as a container volume.

  4. Go to the repository page on Docker Hub. The Tags section on that page shows the volume tag.

    Repository page showing a volume in the tag list

Push a generic artifact file

The following procedure shows how to push a generic OCI artifact to Docker Hub.

Prerequisites:

  • ORAS CLI version 0.15 or later

Steps:

  1. Create your artifact file.

    $ touch myartifact.txt
    
  2. Sign in to Docker Hub using the ORAS CLI.

    $ oras login -u hubuser registry-1.docker.io
    
  3. Push the file to Docker Hub.

    $ oras push registry-1.docker.io/docker/demo:0.0.1 myartifact.txt:text/plain
    
  4. Go to the repository page on Docker Hub. The Tags section on that page shows the artifact tag.

    Repository page showing an artifact in the tag list