Transition from Container Registry

Effective May 15, 2023, Container Registry is deprecated. If you currently use Container Registry, you can transition to Artifact Registry.

Artifact Registry is the recommended service for container image storage and management on Google Cloud. Artifact Registry provides the same container management features as Container Registry and includes additional features and benefits. As a fully-managed service with support for both container images and non-container artifacts, Artifact Registry extends the capabilities of Container Registry.

Summary of new features

Artifact Registry extends the capabilities of Container Registry with the following features:

See the feature comparison for more details about these features.

Backwards compatibility and co-existence

You can use both Artifact Registry and Container Registry in the same project. When you view a list of repositories with gcloud or Google Cloud console, Artifact Registry also lists Container Registry repositories in the same project.

Cached Docker Hub images on mirror.gcr.io

Artifact Registry caches frequently-accessed public Docker Hub images on mirror.gcr.io. For more information on using mirror.gcr.io, see Pull cached Docker Hub images.

Choose a transition option

There are two types of repositories you can use to transition to Artifact Registry:

Repositories with gcr.io domain support

Special repositories that are mapped to Container Registry gcr.io hostnames. Artifact Registry can redirect gcr.io requests for your Container Registry hosts to corresponding Artifact Registry repositories in the same Google Cloud project.

Use this option if:

  • You want to minimize the amount of setup and configuration required to transition your existing images and automation to Artifact Registry.
  • You do not need to set up Artifact Registry repositories in a different Google Cloud project or region.
Standard repositories

Regular Artifact Registry repositories that support all features and are fully independent of any existing Container Registry hosts.

Use standard repositories instead if:

  • You have compliance requirements to store data in a specific region. repositories with gcr.io domain support are only available in the same multi-regions as Container Registry hosts: asia, eu, and us.
  • You want to set up your Artifact Registry repositories in a project that is different from the project where you are using Container Registry.
  • You want to redesign how and where you store images. For example:

    • Create repositories in the same regions as your other Google Cloud regional resources, including runtimes such as Cloud Run and Google Kubernetes Engine.
    • Set up repositories in regions that are closer to your teams. For example, you can create repositories in Australian regions instead of the asia multi-region, or in South American regions instead of the us multi-region.
    • Create multiple Docker repositories in the same project and location with different Identity and Access Management policies. For example, you can set up a development repository and production repository in the us-east1 region with different levels of access for developers.
  • Create virtual repositories that act as a single endpoint for downloads from multiple upstream standard repositories.

Both types of repositories can co-exist. For example, you can create gcr.io repositories in Artifact Registry to transition your existing Container Registry setup and create standard repositories for new work.

Feature comparison

The following table summarizes differences between Container Registry and Artifact Registry.

Feature Container Registry Artifact Registry
Supported formats Container images only Multiple artifact formats, including container images, language packages, and OS packages.
Domain name gcr.io pkg.dev

Artifact Registry can also store images for the gcr.io domain if you set up gcr.io domain support.

Repository modes Not applicable
  • Standard: Stores your artifacts.
  • Remote: Caches artifacts requested from an upstream source such as Docker Hub.
  • Virtual: Single endpoint multiple upstream repositories.
Registry creation You create a registry host by pushing the first image to it.

Container Registry stores images in Cloud Storage buckets in your Google Cloud project and actions such as granting registry-specific permissions must be applied directly to a bucket.

Creating a repository is a separate operation from pushing and pulling to clearly separate repository administration from repository usage.
  • For backwards compatibility, you can set up gcr.io domain support. The initial setup includes automatic creation of Artifact Registry repositories for each Container Registry host in your project and redirection of gcr.io to the corresponding Artifact Registry repositories.
  • For all push and pull requests to the pkg.dev domain, the repository must already exist.

In Artifact Registry, there are no Cloud Storage buckets to manage in your Google Cloud projects. You perform image management actions directly on a repository.

Registry location Only four multi-regional registry hosts are available in a Google Cloud project. Create multiple, separately-controlled repositories in region or multi-region.
Access control
  • Grant access using Cloud Storage roles.
  • You can restrict access to all images stored in a multi-region, but not individual repositories. For example, you can restrict access to us.gcr.io in the project my-project, but you cannot grant specific permissions for images under us.gcr.io/my-project/team1 and us.gcr.io/my-project/team2
  • Grant access using Artifact Registry roles.
  • You can restrict access to individual repositories. For example, you can separately control access to images in us-docker.pkg.dev/my-project/team1 and us-docker.pkg.dev/my-project/team2
  • Grant conditional access with IAM and repository tags
Authentication Provides several authentication methods for pushing and pulling images with a third-party client. Artifact Registry supports the same authentication methods as Container Registry. See Setting up authentication for Docker for details.
Customer-managed encryption keys (CMEK) Use CMEK to encrypt the storage buckets that contain your images. Use CMEK to encrypt individual repositories.
Using Google Cloud console View and manage Container Registry images from the Container Registry section of Google Cloud console. View a list of your Artifact Registry and Container Registry repositories in the Artifact Registry section of Google Cloud console. Manage your Artifact Registry repositories and images from this page.

If you click a Container Registry repository, you are directed to the list of images in the Container Registry section of the Google Cloud console.

Using gcloud and API commands Uses gcloud container images commands. Commands support shortened digests. If you don't specify the full digest string, Container Registry attempts to locate the correct image based on the partial string.

There is no REST or RPC API for Container Registry.

Uses gcloud artifacts docker commands. Commands don't support shortened digests.

For a comparison of Container Registry and Artifact Registry gcloud commands, see the gcloud command comparison.

Artifact Registry provides a REST and RPC API for managing repositories and artifacts.

Pub/Sub notifications Publishes changes to the gcr topic. Publishes changes to the gcr topic. If you create repositories in the same project as your existing Container Registry service, your existing Pub/Sub configuration works automatically.

To learn more, see Configuring Pub/Sub notifications.

Audit logging Container Registry does not provide audit logs for registry activity. Use Cloud Logging to track changes to your repositories.
Cached Docker Hub images mirror.gcr.io is a pull-through cache that stores the most frequently requested Docker Hub images across all users. mirror.gcr.io is in now hosted on Artifact Registry. mirror.gcr.io is in now hosted on Artifact Registry. No action is required unless you are using mirror.gcr.io in a VPC Service Controls perimeter. For more information on using mirror.gcr.io in a VPC Service Controls perimeter, see Use Artifact Registry with VPC Service Controls.
VPC Service Controls You can add Container Registry to a service perimeter. You can add Artifact Registry to a service perimeter.
Metadata storage and analysis with Artifact Analysis Scans for OS and language package vulnerabiities with on-demand scanning in images with a supported OS. Automatic scanning only returns OS vulnerability information. Learn more about types of scanning.
On-demand scanning
Automatic scanning
Scans for OS and lanaguage package vulnerabiities with both on-demand and automatic scanning. Learn more about types of scanning.
On-demand scanning
Automatic scanning
  • The Google Cloud CLI command gcloud artifacts docker images includes flags for viewing scan results, including vulnerabilities and other metadata.
  • Scans return OS vulnerability information for images in Artifact Registry with supported operating systems and language package vulnerability information for both supported and unsupported operating systems.
Image streaming Unavailable Stream images in Artifact Registry to GKE or Dataproc Serverless for faster autoscaling, faster pod startup, and reduced latency when pulling large images.
Cloud Run source deployment Unavailable Source deployment lets you use a single gcloud CLI command to build a container image from your source code, store the image in Artifact Registry, and deploy it to Cloud Run.
Pricing Container Registry pricing is based on Cloud Storage usage, including storage and network data transfer. Since registry hosts are only available in multi-regions, data transfer costs include deploying images to Google Cloud Artifact Registry has its own pricing, based on storage and network data transfer.
Quota Container Registry has fixed request limits. Cloud Storage quotas also apply. For details, see the quota and limits documentation. Artifact Registry has per-project and per-user quotas. Per-user quota is unlimited by default, but you can configure a per-user cap so that a single user does not consume too much of the project-level quota.

gcloud command comparison

The following table summarizes Container Registry commands and the equivalent Artifact Registry commands in the gcloud CLI. Click a link in the table to view reference page for the command.

The table does not include all available Artifact Registry commands that have no equivalent in Container Registry. See the gcloud artifacts documentation for the full Artifact Registry command reference.

Operation Container Registry Artifact Registry
Create a repository Not applicable. gcloud artifacts repositories create
Delete a repository Not applicable. gcloud artifacts repositories delete
List images gcloud container images list gcloud artifacts docker images list
List tags gcloud container images list-tags gcloud artifacts docker tags list
Add a tag gcloud container images add-tag gcloud artifacts docker tags add
Delete a tag gcloud container images untag gcloud artifacts docker tags delete
Describe images gcloud container images describe gcloud artifacts docker images list --include-tags