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Configuring Harbor with HTTPS Access

Because Harbor does not ship with any certificates, it uses HTTP by default to serve registry requests. However, it is highly recommended that security be enabled for any production environment. Harbor has an Nginx instance as a reverse proxy for all services, you can use the prepare script to configure Nginx to enable https.

Getting a certificate

Assuming that your registry's hostname is, and that its DNS record points to the host where you are running Harbor. You first should get a certificate from a CA. The certificate usually contains a .crt file and a .key file, for example, and

In a test or development environment, you may choose to use a self-signed certificate instead of the one from a CA. The below commands generate your own certificate:

  1. Create your own CA certificate:
  openssl req \
    -newkey rsa:4096 -nodes -sha256 -keyout ca.key \
    -x509 -days 365 -out ca.crt
  1. Generate a Certificate Signing Request:

If you use FQDN like to connect your registry host, then you must use as CN (Common Name). Otherwise, if you use IP address to connect your registry host, CN can be anything like your name and so on:

  openssl req \
    -newkey rsa:4096 -nodes -sha256 -keyout \
  1. Generate the certificate of your registry host:

If you're using FQDN like to connect your registry host, then run this command to generate the certificate of your registry host:

  openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in -CA ca.crt -CAkey ca.key -CAcreateserial -out

If you're using IP, say to connect your registry host, you may instead run the command below:

  echo subjectAltName = IP: > extfile.cnf

  openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in -CA ca.crt -CAkey ca.key -CAcreateserial -extfile extfile.cnf -out

Configuration and Installation

After obtaining the and files, you can put them into directory such as /root/cert/:

  cp /root/cert/
  cp /root/cert/ 

Next, edit the file make/harbor.cfg , update the hostname and the protocol, and update the attributes ssl_cert and ssl_cert_key:

  #set hostname
  hostname =
  #set ui_url_protocol
  ui_url_protocol = https
  #The path of cert and key files for nginx, they are applied only the protocol is set to https 
  ssl_cert = /root/cert/
  ssl_cert_key = /root/cert/

Generate configuration files for Harbor:


If Harbor is already running, stop and remove the existing instance. Your image data remain in the file system

  docker-compose down  

Finally, restart Harbor:

  docker-compose up -d

After setting up HTTPS for Harbor, you can verify it by the following steps:

  1. Open a browser and enter the address: . It should display the user interface of Harbor.

  2. On a machine with Docker daemon, make sure the option "-insecure-registry" does not present, and you must copy ca.crt generated in the above step to /etc/docker/certs.d/ your registry host IP), if the directory does not exist, create it. If you mapped nginx port 443 to another port, then you should instead create the directory /etc/docker/certs.d/ your registry host IP:port). Then run any docker command to verify the setup, e.g.

  docker login

If you've mapped nginx 443 port to another, you need to add the port to login, like below:

  docker login


  1. You may get an intermediate certificate from a certificate issuer. In this case, you should merge the intermediate certificate with your own certificate to create a certificate bundle. You can achieve this by the below command:

    cat intermediate-certificate.pem >> 
  2. On some systems where docker daemon runs, you may need to trust the certificate at OS level.
    On Ubuntu, this can be done by below commands:

    cp /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/

    On Red Hat (CentOS etc), the commands are:

    cp /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/anchors/