Methods to deploy a self-hosted Docker registry with self-signed certificates

Illustration: Lisa Hornung/TechRepublic

If you want a Docker registry hosted in your LAN and also you don’t need to undergo the difficulty of buying certificates from a Certificates Authority, what do you do? You deploy a registry utilizing self-signed certificates.

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Though that course of is a little more difficult, it’s not so difficult that any IT admin can’t pull it off.

And I’m going to indicate you simply the right way to do it.

What you’ll want

To make this work, you’ll want a minimum of two machines, each of which have Docker put in. I’m going to reveal on Ubuntu Server 20.04 and Pop!_OS desktop. If you happen to’re utilizing a distinct working system, you’ll want to change the method accordingly.

Methods to create your directories

The very first thing we’re going to do is create some directories to deal with the repository and the required certificates. I’m going to reveal this on my customers’ dwelling listing, however you possibly can place them in any listing to which your consumer has entry.

Create the bottom listing with:

mkdir ~/registry

Create the 2 subdirectories with:

mkdir ~/registry/certs

mkdir ~/registry/auth

Change within the certs listing with:

cd ~/registry/certs

Generate a non-public key with:

openssl genrsa 1024 > area.key

Change the permissions for the brand new key with:

chmod 400 area.key

Subsequent, we have to generate our certificates. Nonetheless, due to the best way the authorization course of now works, we should first create a san.cnf file with:

nano san.cnf

In that file, paste the next contents (ensuring to edit accordingly):


default_bits  = 2048

distinguished_name = req_distinguished_name

req_extensions = req_ext

x509_extensions = v3_req

immediate = no


countryName = XX

stateOrProvinceName = N/A

localityName = N/A

organizationName = Self-signed certificates

commonName = Self-signed certificates


subjectAltName = @alt_names


subjectAltName = @alt_names


IP.1 =

Be certain that to alter (a minimum of) IP.1 = to match the IP deal with of your internet hosting server.

Save and shut the file.

Generate the important thing with:

openssl req -new -x509 -nodes -sha1 -days 365 -key area.key -out area.crt -config san.cnf

Turn into the auth listing with:

cd ../auth

We now should pull down the registry container and have it generate an htpasswd file. That is performed with the command:

docker run --rm --entrypoint htpasswd registry:2.7.0 -Bbn USERNAME PASSWORD > htpasswd

The place USERNAME is a novel username and PASSWORD is a novel/robust password.

Methods to deploy the registry server

It’s now time to deploy the registry server. Change again to the bottom registry listing with:

cd ~/registry

Deploy the registry container with the command:

docker run -d

--restart=all the time

--name registry

-v `pwd`/auth:/auth

-v `pwd`/certs:/certs

-v `pwd`/certs:/certs

-e REGISTRY_AUTH=htpasswd





-e REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_KEY=/certs/area.key

-p 443:443


Your registry ought to now be operating and accessible from the native machine. If, nevertheless, you need to entry it from a distant system, we have to add a ca.crt file. It’s good to copy the contents of the ~/registry/certs/area.crt file.

Log into your second machine and create a brand new listing with:

sudo mkdir -p /and many others/docker/certs.d/SERVER:443

The place SERVER is the IP deal with of the machine internet hosting the registry.

Create the brand new file with:

sudo nano /and many others/docker/certs.d/SERVER:443/ca.crt

The place SERVER is the IP deal with of the machine internet hosting the registry.

Paste the contents from the area.crt file (from the internet hosting server) into this new file. Save and shut the file.

Methods to login to the brand new registry

From the second machine, open a terminal window and log into your new Docker registry with the command:

docker login -u USER -p https://SERVER:443

The place USER is the consumer you added if you generated the htpasswd file above and SERVER is the IP deal with of the machine internet hosting the registry.

You have to be prompted for a password. Upon profitable authentication, you’ll see Login Succeeded.

Congratulations, you’re now in a position to make use of that self-hosted Docker registry to your container photographs.

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