Pull image from private registry


Create a Secret based on existing Docker credentials

A Kubernetes cluster uses the Secret of docker-registry type to authenticate with a container registry to pull a private image.

If you already ran docker login, you can copy that credential into Kubernetes:

kubectl create secret generic regcred \
    --from-file=.dockerconfigjson=<path/to/.docker/config.json> \

If you need more control (for example, to set a namespace or a label on the new secret) then you can customise the Secret before storing it. Be sure to:

  • set the name of the data item to .dockerconfigjson
  • base64 encode the docker file and paste that string, unbroken as the value for field data[".dockerconfigjson"]
  • set type to kubernetes.io/dockerconfigjson


apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: myregistrykey
  namespace: awesomeapps
  .dockerconfigjson: UmVhbGx5IHJlYWxseSByZWVlZWVlZWVlZWFhYWFhYWFhYWFhYWFhYWFhYWFhYWFhYWFhYWxsbGxsbGxsbGxsbGxsbGxsbGxsbGxsbGxsbGxsbGx5eXl5eXl5eXl5eXl5eXl5eXl5eSBsbGxsbGxsbGxsbGxsbG9vb29vb29vb29vb29vb29vb29vb29vb29vb25ubm5ubm5ubm5ubm5ubm5ubm5ubm5ubmdnZ2dnZ2dnZ2dnZ2dnZ2dnZ2cgYXV0aCBrZXlzCg==
type: kubernetes.io/dockerconfigjson

If you get the error message error: no objects passed to create, it may mean the base64 encoded string is invalid. If you get an error message like Secret "myregistrykey" is invalid: data[.dockerconfigjson]: invalid value ..., it means the base64 encoded string in the data was successfully decoded, but could not be parsed as a .docker/config.json file.

Inspecting the Secret regcred

To understand the contents of the regcred Secret you just created, start by viewing the Secret in YAML format:

kubectl get secret regcred --output=yaml

The output is similar to this:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: regcred
  .dockerconfigjson: eyJodHRwczovL2luZGV4L ... J0QUl6RTIifX0=
type: kubernetes.io/dockerconfigjson

The value of the .dockerconfigjson field is a base64 representation of your Docker credentials.

To understand what is in the .dockerconfigjson field, convert the secret data to a readable format:

kubectl get secret regcred --output="jsonpath={.data.\.dockerconfigjson}" | base64 --decode

The output is similar to this:


To understand what is in the auth field, convert the base64-encoded data to a readable format:

echo "c3R...zE2" | base64 --decode

The output, username and password concatenated with a :, is similar to this:


Notice that the Secret data contains the authorization token similar to your local ~/.docker/config.json file.

You have successfully set your Docker credentials as a Secret called regcred in the cluster.

Create a Pod that uses your Secret

Here is a configuration file for a Pod that needs access to your Docker credentials in regcred:


apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: private-reg
  - name: private-reg-container
    image: <your-private-image>
  - name: regcred

Download the above file:

wget -O my-private-reg-pod.yaml https://k8s.io/examples/pods/private-reg-pod.yaml

In file my-private-reg-pod.yaml, replace <your-private-image> with the path to an image in a private registry such as:


To pull the image from the private registry, Kubernetes needs credentials. The imagePullSecrets field in the configuration file specifies that Kubernetes should get the credentials from a Secret named regcred.

Create a Pod that uses your Secret, and verify that the Pod is running:

kubectl apply -f my-private-reg-pod.yaml
kubectl get pod private-reg