How can I configure kubernetes so that it can pull images from the private registry which needs basic authentication?

Solution Unverified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host 7.1
  • Private docker registry that needs authentication before images can be pulled
  • Kubernetes 0.9.0-0.3.git96af0c3.el7 (shipped with Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host 7.1)


  • How to configure kubernetes so that it can pull images from private registry which needs basic authentication ?
  • docker is not recognizing /root/.dockercfg file while launching pods
  • kubectl create -f pod.yaml fails. Following message is seen in the minion

    Jan XX XXXXX rhel-minion docker: Authentication is required. Jan XX XXXXX rhel-minion kubelet: E0120 18:37:21.383811 1544 kubelet.go:761] Failed to pull image Authentication is required.; skipping pod xxx.default.etcd container xxx.
  • Kubelet fails to pull the image from private registry that needs authentication


Creating .dockercfg file

1. Get the auth string using the username and password.

echo "USERNAME:PASSWORD" | base64

2. Create .dockercfg file and follow the below syntax [Replace docker-registry-url, auth and email appropriately]

     "docker-registry-url": {
             "auth": "use the string output from step 1 ",
             "email": ""

With Kubernetes-0.9.0-0.3.git96af0c3.el7

Create the .dockercfg under /var/lib/kubelet/ directory. No other changes required. Restart kubelet service using the command

systemctl restart kubelet

Root Cause

With the previous versions of Kubernetes < 0.9.0-0.3.git96af0c3.el7, kubernetes required the .dockercfg file to be created under / root. / is read only in Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host. With Kubernetes-0.9.0-0.3.git96af0c3.el7 .dockercfg file should be created under /var/lib/kubelet/ directory and no other changes are required. WorkingDirectory directive was changed or hardcoded as /var/lib/kubelet/ in the kubelet.service file

Diagnostic Steps

  1. After launching the pod, review the logs using journalctl

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