Tagging Docker images

How to set registry, repository and tag names on your images

Configuring registries

A docker_image target takes an optional registries field, whose value is a list of registry endpoints:

docker_image(
    name="demo",
    registries=[
        "reg.company.internal",
    ]
)

Images built from this target will be published to these registries.

If you push many images to the same registries, and you don't want to repeat the endpoint information, you can name the registries in your pants.toml config file, and then refer to them by name in the target, using a @ prefix.

You can also designate one or more registries as the default for your repo, and images with no explicit registries field will use those default registries.

[docker.registries.company-registry1]
address = "reg1.company.internal"
default = true

[docker.registries.company-registry2]
address = "reg2.company.internal"
docker_image(name="demo")

# This is equivalent to the previous target, 
# since company-registry1 is the default registry:
docker_image(
    name="demo",
    registries=["@company-registry1"],
)

# You can mix named and direct registry references.
docker_image(
    name="demo2",
    registries=[
        "@company-registry2",
        "ext-registry.company-b.net:8443",
    ]
)

Setting a repository name

In Docker parlance, an image is identified by a repository and one or more tags within that repository.

You set a repository name using the repository field on docker_image:

docker_image(
    name="demo",
    repository="example/demo",
)
$ ./pants package src/example:demo
# Will build the image: myimages.example.demo:latest

You can also specify a default repository name in config, and this name can contain placeholders in curly braces that will be interpolated for each docker_image:

[docker]
default_repository = "{directory}/{name}"
docker_image(
    name="demo",
)

The supported placeholders are:

  • {directory}: The directory the docker_image's BUILD file is in.
  • {parent_directory}: The parent directory of {directory}.
  • {name}: The name of the docker_image target.

Since repository names often conform to patterns like these, this can save you on some boilerplate by allowing you to omit the repository field on each docker_image. But you can always override this field on specific docker_image targets, of course. In fact, you can use these placeholders in the repository field as well, if you find that helpful.

Tagging images

When Docker builds images, it can tag them with a set of tags. Pants will apply the tags listed in the image_tags field of docker_image.

(Note that the field is named image_tags and not just tags, because Pants has its own tags concept, which is unrelated.)

docker_image(
    name="demo",
    repository="example/demo",
    image_tags=["1.2", "example"]
)

When pants builds the src/example:demo target, a single image will be built, with two tags applied:

  • example/demo:1.2
  • example/demo:example

It's often useful to keep versions of derived images and their base images in sync. Pants helps you out with this by interpolating tags referenced in FROM commands in your Dockerfile into the image_tags in the corresponding docker_image:

# These three are equivalent
docker_image(name="demo1", image_tags=["{upstream.tag}"])
docker_image(name="demo1", image_tags=["{stage0.tag}"])
# The first FROM may also be referred to as "baseimage"
docker_image(name="demo1", image_tags=["{baseimage.tag}"])

# Any stage my be used, and being a format string, you may add extra text as well.
docker_image(name="demo1", image_tags=["{stage1.tag}-custom-suffix"])
FROM upstream:1.2 as upstream
# ...
FROM scratch
# ...

This way you can specify a version just once, on the base image, and the derived images will automatically acquire the same version.

📘

Dynamically generated tags

Generating custom tags at runtime based on Git state or image inputs currently requires you to write some custom plugin code. Don't hesitate to reach out for help with this.

We are looking into adding this functionality into the core Docker plugin in the future.

All together: Registries, Repositories and Tags

To illustrate how all the above work together, this target:

docker_image(
    name="demo",
    repository="example/demo",
    registries=["reg1", "reg2"],
    image_tags=["1.0", "latest"]
)

Will create a single image with these full names:

reg1/example/demo:1.0
reg1/example/demo:latest
reg2/example/demo:1.0
reg2/example/demo:latest

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