Local Registry

This guide covers how to configure KIND with a local container image registry.

In the future this will be replaced by a built-in feature, and this guide will cover usage instead.

Create A Cluster And Registry 🔗︎

The following shell script will create a local docker registry and a kind cluster with it enabled.

set -o errexit

# 1. Create registry container unless it already exists
if [ "$(docker inspect -f '{{.State.Running}}' "${reg_name}" 2>/dev/null || true)" != 'true' ]; then
  docker run \
    -d --restart=always -p "${reg_port}:5000" --network bridge --name "${reg_name}" \

# 2. Create kind cluster with containerd registry config dir enabled
# TODO: kind will eventually enable this by default and this patch will
# be unnecessary.
# See:
# https://github.com/kubernetes-sigs/kind/issues/2875
# https://github.com/containerd/containerd/blob/main/docs/cri/config.md#registry-configuration
# See: https://github.com/containerd/containerd/blob/main/docs/hosts.md
cat <<EOF | kind create cluster --config=-
kind: Cluster
apiVersion: kind.x-k8s.io/v1alpha4
- |-
    config_path = "/etc/containerd/certs.d"

# 3. Add the registry config to the nodes
# This is necessary because localhost resolves to loopback addresses that are
# network-namespace local.
# In other words: localhost in the container is not localhost on the host.
# We want a consistent name that works from both ends, so we tell containerd to
# alias localhost:${reg_port} to the registry container when pulling images
for node in $(kind get nodes); do
  docker exec "${node}" mkdir -p "${REGISTRY_DIR}"
  cat <<EOF | docker exec -i "${node}" cp /dev/stdin "${REGISTRY_DIR}/hosts.toml"

# 4. Connect the registry to the cluster network if not already connected
# This allows kind to bootstrap the network but ensures they're on the same network
if [ "$(docker inspect -f='{{json .NetworkSettings.Networks.kind}}' "${reg_name}")" = 'null' ]; then
  docker network connect "kind" "${reg_name}"

# 5. Document the local registry
# https://github.com/kubernetes/enhancements/tree/master/keps/sig-cluster-lifecycle/generic/1755-communicating-a-local-registry
cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: local-registry-hosting
  namespace: kube-public
  localRegistryHosting.v1: |
    host: "localhost:${reg_port}"
    help: "https://kind.sigs.k8s.io/docs/user/local-registry/"

Using The Registry 🔗︎

The registry can be used like this.

  1. First we’ll pull an image docker pull gcr.io/google-samples/hello-app:1.0
  2. Then we’ll tag the image to use the local registry docker tag gcr.io/google-samples/hello-app:1.0 localhost:5001/hello-app:1.0
  3. Then we’ll push it to the registry docker push localhost:5001/hello-app:1.0
  4. And now we can use the image kubectl create deployment hello-server --image=localhost:5001/hello-app:1.0

If you build your own image and tag it like localhost:5001/image:foo and then use it in kubernetes as localhost:5001/image:foo. And use it from inside of your cluster application as kind-registry:5000.