Deploying a registry serverEstimated reading time: 7 minutes
You need to install Docker version 1.6.0 or newer.
Running on localhost
Start your registry:
docker run -d -p 5000:5000 --restart=always --name registry registry:2
You can now use it with docker.
Get any image from the hub and tag it to point to your registry:
docker pull ubuntu && docker tag ubuntu localhost:5000/ubuntu
… then push it to your registry:
docker push localhost:5000/ubuntu
… then pull it back from your registry:
docker pull localhost:5000/ubuntu
To stop your registry, you would:
docker stop registry && docker rm -v registry
By default, your registry data is persisted as a docker volume on the host filesystem. Properly understanding volumes is essential if you want to stick with a local filesystem storage.
Specifically, you might want to point your volume location to a specific place in order to more easily access your registry data. To do so you can:
docker run -d -p 5000:5000 --restart=always --name registry \ -v `pwd`/data:/var/lib/registry \ registry:2
Using one of these will allow you to more easily scale your registry, and leverage your storage redundancy and availability features.
Running a domain registry
While running on
localhost has its uses, most people want their registry to be more widely available. To do so, the Docker engine requires you to secure it using TLS, which is conceptually very similar to configuring your web server with SSL.
Get a certificate
Assuming that you own the domain
myregistrydomain.com, and that its DNS record points to the host where you are running your registry, you first need to get a certificate from a CA.
mkdir -p certs
Then move and/or rename your crt file to:
certs/domain.crt, and your key file to:
Make sure you stopped your registry from the previous steps, then start your registry again with TLS enabled:
docker run -d -p 5000:5000 --restart=always --name registry \ -v `pwd`/certs:/certs \ -e REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_CERTIFICATE=/certs/domain.crt \ -e REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_KEY=/certs/domain.key \ registry:2
You should now be able to access your registry from another docker host:
docker pull ubuntu docker tag ubuntu myregistrydomain.com:5000/ubuntu docker push myregistrydomain.com:5000/ubuntu docker pull myregistrydomain.com:5000/ubuntu
A certificate issuer may supply you with an intermediate certificate. In this case, you must combine your certificate with the intermediate’s to form a certificate bundle. You can do this using the
cat domain.crt intermediate-certificates.pem > certs/domain.crt
The registry supports using Let’s Encrypt to automatically obtain a browser-trusted certificate. For more information on Let’s Encrypt, see https://letsencrypt.org/how-it-works/ and the relevant section of the registry configuration.
While rarely advisable, you may want to use self-signed certificates instead, or use your registry in an insecure fashion. You will find instructions here.
Load Balancing Considerations
One may want to use a load balancer to distribute load, terminate TLS or provide high availability. While a full load balancing setup is outside the scope of this document, there are a few considerations that can make the process smoother.
The most important aspect is that a load balanced cluster of registries must share the same resources. For the current version of the registry, this means the following must be the same:
- Storage Driver
- HTTP Secret
- Redis Cache (if configured)
If any of these are different, the registry will have trouble serving requests. As an example, if you’re using the filesystem driver, all registry instances must have access to the same filesystem root, which means they should be in the same machine. For other drivers, such as s3 or azure, they should be accessing the same resource, and will likely share an identical configuration. The HTTP Secret coordinates uploads, so also must be the same across instances. Configuring different redis instances will work (at the time of writing), but will not be optimal if the instances are not shared, causing more requests to be directed to the backend.
Getting the headers correct is very important. For all responses to any
request under the “/v2/” url space, the
header should be set to the value “registry/2.0”, even for a 4xx response.
This header allows the docker engine to quickly resolve authentication realms
and fallback to version 1 registries, if necessary. Confirming this is setup
correctly can help avoid problems with fallback.
In the same train of thought, you must make sure you are properly sending the
Host headers to their “client-side”
values. Failure to do so usually makes the registry issue redirects to internal
hostnames or downgrading from https to http.
A properly secured registry should return 401 when the “/v2/” endpoint is hit
without credentials. The response should include a
challenge, providing guidance on how to authenticate, such as with basic auth
or a token service. If the load balancer has health checks, it is recommended
to configure it to consider a 401 response as healthy and any other as down.
This will secure your registry by ensuring that configuration problems with
authentication don’t accidentally expose an unprotected registry. If you’re
using a less sophisticated load balancer, such as Amazon’s Elastic Load
Balancer, that doesn’t allow one to change the healthy response code, health
checks can be directed at “/”, which will always return a
200 OK response.
Except for registries running on secure local networks, registries should always implement access restrictions.
Native basic auth
The simplest way to achieve access restriction is through basic authentication (this is very similar to other web servers’ basic authentication mechanism).
Warning: You cannot use authentication with an insecure registry. You have to configure TLS first for this to work.
First create a password file with one entry for the user “testuser”, with password “testpassword”:
mkdir auth docker run --entrypoint htpasswd registry:2 -Bbn testuser testpassword > auth/htpasswd
Make sure you stopped your registry from the previous step, then start it again:
docker run -d -p 5000:5000 --restart=always --name registry \ -v `pwd`/auth:/auth \ -e "REGISTRY_AUTH=htpasswd" \ -e "REGISTRY_AUTH_HTPASSWD_REALM=Registry Realm" \ -e REGISTRY_AUTH_HTPASSWD_PATH=/auth/htpasswd \ -v `pwd`/certs:/certs \ -e REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_CERTIFICATE=/certs/domain.crt \ -e REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_KEY=/certs/domain.key \ registry:2
You should now be able to:
docker login myregistrydomain.com:5000
And then push and pull images as an authenticated user.
Seeing X509 errors is usually a sign you are trying to use self-signed certificates, and failed to configure your docker daemon properly.
You may want to leverage more advanced basic auth implementations through a proxy design, in front of the registry. You will find examples of such patterns in the recipes list.
Alternatively, the Registry also supports delegated authentication, redirecting users to a specific, trusted token server. That approach requires significantly more investment, and only makes sense if you want to fully configure ACLs and more control over the Registry integration into your global authorization and authentication systems.
Beware that you will have to implement your own authentication service for this to work, or leverage a third-party implementation.
Managing with Compose
As your registry configuration grows more complex, dealing with it can quickly become tedious.
It’s highly recommended to use Docker Compose to facilitate operating your registry.
Here is a simple
docker-compose.yml example that condenses everything explained so far:
registry: restart: always image: registry:2 ports: - 5000:5000 environment: REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_CERTIFICATE: /certs/domain.crt REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_KEY: /certs/domain.key REGISTRY_AUTH: htpasswd REGISTRY_AUTH_HTPASSWD_PATH: /auth/htpasswd REGISTRY_AUTH_HTPASSWD_REALM: Registry Realm volumes: - /path/data:/var/lib/registry - /path/certs:/certs - /path/auth:/auth
/pathby whatever directory that holds your
authfolder from above.
You can then start your registry with a simple
docker-compose up -d
You will find more specific and advanced information in the following sections:
- Configuration reference
- Working with notifications
- Advanced “recipes”
- Registry API
- Storage driver model
- Token authentication