Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file
Signed-off-by: Florian Woerner <>
6 contributors

Users who have contributed to this file

@vbatts @stevvooe @AkihiroSuda @wking @erikh @woernfl
67 lines (57 sloc) 4.47 KB


Several components of the specification, like Image Manifests and Descriptors, feature an optional annotations property, whose format is common and defined in this section.

This property contains arbitrary metadata.


  • Annotations MUST be a key-value map where both the key and value MUST be strings.
  • While the value MUST be present, it MAY be an empty string.
  • Keys MUST be unique within this map, and best practice is to namespace the keys.
  • Keys SHOULD be named using a reverse domain notation - e.g. com.example.myKey.
  • The prefix org.opencontainers is reserved for keys defined in Open Container Initiative (OCI) specifications and MUST NOT be used by other specifications and extensions.
  • Keys using the org.opencontainers.image namespace are reserved for use in the OCI Image Specification and MUST NOT be used by other specifications and extensions, including other OCI specifications.
  • If there are no annotations then this property MUST either be absent or be an empty map.
  • Consumers MUST NOT generate an error if they encounter an unknown annotation key.

Pre-Defined Annotation Keys

This specification defines the following annotation keys, intended for but not limited to image index and image manifest authors:

  • org.opencontainers.image.created date and time on which the image was built (string, date-time as defined by RFC 3339).
  • org.opencontainers.image.authors contact details of the people or organization responsible for the image (freeform string)
  • org.opencontainers.image.url URL to find more information on the image (string)
  • org.opencontainers.image.documentation URL to get documentation on the image (string)
  • org.opencontainers.image.source URL to get source code for building the image (string)
  • org.opencontainers.image.version version of the packaged software
  • org.opencontainers.image.revision Source control revision identifier for the packaged software.
  • org.opencontainers.image.vendor Name of the distributing entity, organization or individual.
  • org.opencontainers.image.licenses License(s) under which contained software is distributed as an SPDX License Expression.
  • Name of the reference for a target (string).
    • SHOULD only be considered valid when on descriptors on index.json within image layout.
    • Character set of the value SHOULD conform to alphanum of A-Za-z0-9 and separator set of -._:@/+
    • The reference must match the following grammar:
      ref       ::= component ("/" component)*
      component ::= alphanum (separator alphanum)*
      alphanum  ::= [A-Za-z0-9]+
      separator ::= [-._:@+] | "--"
  • org.opencontainers.image.title Human-readable title of the image (string)
  • org.opencontainers.image.description Human-readable description of the software packaged in the image (string)

Back-compatibility with Label Schema

Label Schema defined a number of conventional labels for container images, and these are now superceded by annotations with keys starting org.opencontainers.image.

While users are encouraged to use the org.opencontainers.image keys, tools MAY choose to support compatible annotations using the org.label-schema prefix as follows.

org.opencontainers.image prefix org.label-schema prefix Compatibility notes
created build-date Compatible
url url Compatible
source vcs-url Compatible
version version Compatible
revision vcs-ref Compatible
vendor vendor Compatible
title name Compatible
description description Compatible
documentation usage Value is compatible if the documentation is located by a URL
authors No equivalent in Label Schema
licenses No equivalent in Label Schema No equivalent in Label Schema
schema-version No equivalent in the OCI Image Spec
docker.*, rkt.* No equivalent in the OCI Image Spec