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containers-registries.d(5) Page containers-registries.d(5)
Miloslav Trmač August 2016


containers-registries.d - Directory for various registries configurations


The registries configuration directory contains configuration for various registries (servers storing remote container images), and for content stored in them, so that the configuration does not have to be provided in command-line options over and over for every command, and so that it can be shared by all users of containers/image.

By default, the registries configuration directory is $HOME/.config/containers/registries.d if it exists, otherwise /etc/containers/registries.d (unless overridden at compile-time); applications may allow using a different directory instead.

Directory Structure

The directory may contain any number of files with the extension .yaml, each using the YAML format. Other than the mandatory extension, names of the files don’t matter.

The contents of these files are merged together; to have a well-defined and easy to understand behavior, there can be only one configuration section describing a single namespace within a registry (in particular there can be at most one one default-docker section across all files, and there can be at most one instance of any key under the docker section; these sections are documented later).

Thus, it is forbidden to have two conflicting configurations for a single registry or scope, and it is also forbidden to split a configuration for a single registry or scope across more than one file (even if they are not semantically in conflict).

Registries, Scopes and Search Order

Each YAML file must contain a “YAML mapping” (key-value pairs). Two top-level keys are defined:

default-docker is the configuration section (as documented below) for registries implementing "Docker Registry HTTP API V2".

This key is optional.

docker is a mapping, using individual registries implementing "Docker Registry HTTP API V2", or namespaces and individual images within these registries, as keys; the value assigned to any such key is a configuration section.

This key is optional.

Scopes matching individual images are named Docker references in the fully expanded form, either
using a tag or digest. For example, (not busybox:latest).

More general scopes are prefixes of individual-image scopes, and specify a repository (by omitting the tag or digest),
a repository namespace, or a registry host (and a port if it differs from the default).

Note that if a registry is accessed using a hostname+port configuration, the port-less hostname
is not used as parent scope.

When searching for a configuration to apply for an individual container image, only the configuration for the most-precisely matching scope is used; configuration using more general scopes is ignored. For example, if any configuration exists for, the configuration for is ignored (even if some element of the configuration is defined for and not for

Built-in Defaults

If no docker section can be found for the container image, and no default-docker section is configured:

  • The default directory, /var/lib/containers/sigstore for root and $HOME/.local/share/containers/sigstore for unprivileged user, will be used for reading and writing signatures.
  • Sigstore attachments will not be read/written.

Individual Configuration Sections

A single configuration section is selected for a container image using the process described above. The configuration section is a YAML mapping, with the following keys:

lookaside-staging defines an URL of of the signature storage, used for editing it (adding or deleting signatures).

This key is optional; if it is missing, lookaside below is used.

lookaside defines an URL of the signature storage. This URL is used for reading existing signatures, and if lookaside-staging does not exist, also for adding or removing them.

This key is optional; if it is missing, no signature storage is defined (no signatures
are download along with images, adding new signatures is possible only if lookaside-staging is defined).

use-sigstore-attachments specifies whether sigstore image attachments (signatures, attestations and the like) are going to be read/written along with the image. If disabled, the images are treated as if no attachments exist; attempts to write attachments fail.


Using Containers from Various Origins

The following demonstrates how to to consume and run images from various registries and namespaces:


Developing and Signing Containers, Staging Signatures

For developers in

  • Consume most container images using the public servers also used by clients.
  • Use a separate signature storage for an container images in a namespace corresponding to the developers' department, with a staging storage used before publishing signatures.
  • Craft an individual exception for a single branch a specific developer is working on locally.

lookaside-staging: file:///mnt/mydepartment/lookaside-staging
lookaside: http://localhost:4242/lookaside
lookaside-staging: file:///home/useraccount/webroot/lookaside

A Global Default

If a company publishes its products using a different domain, and different registry hostname for each of them, it is still possible to use a single signature storage server without listing each domain individually. This is expected to rarely happen, usually only for staging new signatures.


lookaside-staging: file:///mnt/company/common-lookaside-staging


Miloslav Trmač ⟨⟩

Registries.d Man