Configuring Docker for use with GitHub Packages

You can configure the Docker client to use GitHub Packages to publish and retrieve docker images.

GitHub Packages is available with GitHub Free, GitHub Pro, GitHub Team, and GitHub Enterprise Cloud. GitHub Packages is unavailable for per-repository plans, which are legacy billing plans. For more information, see "GitHub's products."

In this article

Authenticating to GitHub Packages

You need an access token to publish, install, and delete packages in GitHub Packages. You can use a personal access token to authenticate with your username directly to GitHub Packages or the GitHub API. You can use a GITHUB_TOKEN to authenticate using a GitHub Actions workflow.

Authenticating with a personal access token

You must use a personal access token with the appropriate scopes to publish and install packages in GitHub Packages. For more information, see "About GitHub Packages."

You can authenticate to GitHub Packages with Docker using the docker command. Replace USERNAME with the name of your user account on GitHub and TOKEN with your personal access token.

$ docker login docker.pkg.github.com -u USERNAME -p TOKEN

Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN

If you are using a GitHub Actions workflow, you can use a GITHUB_TOKEN to publish and consume packages in GitHub Packages without needing to store and manage a personal access token. For more information, see "Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN."

Publishing a package

GitHub Packages supports multiple top-level Docker images per repository. A repository can have any number of image tags. You may experience degraded service publishing or installing Docker images larger than 10GB. For more information, see "Docker tag" in the Docker documentation.

Because upper case letters aren't supported, you must use lowercase letters for the repository owner even if the GitHub user or organization name contains uppercase letters.

After you publish a package, you can view the package on GitHub. For more information, see "Viewing packages."

  1. Determine the image name and ID for your docker image using docker images.

    $ docker images
    > < >
    > REPOSITORY        TAG        IMAGE ID       CREATED      SIZE
    > IMAGE_NAME        VERSION    IMAGE_ID       4 weeks ago  1.11MB
  2. Using the Docker image ID, tag the docker image, replacing OWNER with the name of the user or organization account that owns the repository, REPOSITORY with the name of the repository containing your project, IMAGE_NAME with name of the package or image, and VERSION with package version at build time.

    $ docker tag IMAGE_ID docker.pkg.github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY/IMAGE_NAME:VERSION
  3. If you haven't already built a docker image for the package, build the image, replacing OWNER with the name of the user or organization account that owns the repository, REPOSITORY with the name of the repository containing your project, IMAGE_NAME with name of the package or image, VERSION with package version at build time, and PATH to the image if it isn't in the current working directory.

    $ docker build -t docker.pkg.github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY/IMAGE_NAME:VERSION PATH
  4. Publish the image to GitHub Packages.

    $ docker push docker.pkg.github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY/IMAGE_NAME:VERSION

    Note: You must push your image using IMAGE_NAME:VERSION and not using IMAGE_NAME:SHA.

Example publishing a Docker image

You can publish version 1.0 of the monalisa image to the octocat/octo-app repository using an image ID.

$ docker images

> REPOSITORY           TAG      IMAGE ID      CREATED      SIZE
> monalisa             1.0      c75bebcdd211  4 weeks ago  1.11MB

# Tag the image with OWNER/REPO/IMAGE_NAME
$ docker tag c75bebcdd211 docker.pkg.github.com/octocat/octo-app/monalisa:1.0

# Push the image to GitHub Packages
$ docker push docker.pkg.github.com/octocat/octo-app/monalisa:1.0

You can publish a new Docker image for the first time and name it monalisa.

# Build the image with docker.pkg.github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY/IMAGE_NAME:VERSION
# Assumes Dockerfile resides in the current working directory (.)
$ docker build -t docker.pkg.github.com/octocat/octo-app/monalisa:1.0 .

# Push the image to GitHub Packages
$ docker push docker.pkg.github.com/octocat/octo-app/monalisa:1.0

Installing a package

You can use the docker pull command to install a docker image from GitHub Packages, replacing OWNER with the name of the user or organization account that owns the repository, REPOSITORY with the name of the repository containing your project, IMAGE_NAME with name of the package or image, TAG_NAME with tag for the image you want to install. Because upper case letters aren't supported, you must use lowercase letters for the repository owner even if the GitHub user or organization name contains uppercase letters.

$ docker pull docker.pkg.github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY/IMAGE_NAME:TAG_NAME

Note: You must pull the image using IMAGE_NAME:VERSION and not using IMAGE_NAME:SHA.

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