How to (properly) name your Docker images?


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Docker images are the foundation of container technology, enabling developers to create, distribute and run applications in a consistent, isolated way. However, a crucial question arises when managing Docker images: how do you correctly manage their names, and why is it essential to indicate the registry from which they are to be retrieved?

An essential benchmark: the Docker registry

Before going into detail, it’s crucial to understand what a Docker registry is. A registry is a centralized location where Docker images are stored and can be retrieved. The most commonly used registry is Docker Hub. Correctly specifying the registry is essential to ensure that the right Docker images are retrieved.

Managing Docker image names

When it comes to managing Docker image names, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Meaningful naming and convention: Giving Docker images meaningful names that clearly describe their content and use makes them easier to identify and understand, both for developers and for other team members. Establishing a naming convention for Docker images ensures consistency and common understanding, making images easier to find and manage.
  • Versioning : Versioning Docker images allows you to track changes and updates. This also guarantees the reproducibility of the development environment and facilitates the deployment of applications in different environments.

Importance of indicating registry

Why is it so important to specify the registry where the Docker image is to be retrieved?

  • Efficient distribution: When you share your code with other developers, specifying the registry ensures that everyone has access to the same reliable source. This facilitates collaboration and ensures efficient distribution of Docker images.
  • Security and integrity: Docker registries offer security features such as authentication and image verification. By explicitly indicating the registry, you ensure that the images come from reliable sources and have not been altered.

Registry with Docker Compose

When using Docker Compose to orchestrate Docker applications, it’s common to specify an image name for each service in your YAML configuration file. Although Docker Compose can use the registry by default, we recommend that you explicitly specify the registry to avoid any ambiguity. This is particularly important when using registries other than Docker Hub, such as private registries or registries specific to a cloud provider.

When using Docker from the command line to retrieve an image, you can specify the registry using the following command:
docker pull registry-url/nom-de-l-image

In Docker Compose, you can specify the registry for a service using the following syntax in your YAML configuration file:
image: registry-url/nom-de-l-image

It is essential to specify the registry when managing Docker images. This ensures efficient distribution, smooth collaboration and integrity of the development environment. Keep this in mind when working on Docker projects, for smooth, transparent image management.

CMO & Co-fondateur @ Log'in Line

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