Clone this repo:
  1. e952424 Merge pull request #29 from dekkagaijin/master by Jake Sanders · 9 hours ago master
  2. c983e1a Update build rules for tests. by Jake Sanders · 9 hours ago
  3. 1538ab4 Improve test coverage (#28) by Jake Sanders · 28 hours ago
  4. a22800e Check in mocks, don't re-generate them for each test. (#27) by Jake Sanders · 6 days ago
  5. b191933 Note the metadata is blocked in GKE by Jake Sanders · 6 days ago

docker-credential-gcr Build Status Go Report Card


docker-credential-gcr is Google Container Registry‘s Docker credential helper. It allows for Docker clients v1.11+ to easily make authenticated requests to GCR’s repositories (,, etc.).

The helper implements the Docker Credential Store API, but enables more advanced authentication schemes for GCR's users. In particular, it respects Application Default Credentials and is capable of generating credentials automatically (without an explicit login operation) when running in App Engine or Compute Engine.

GCR Credentials

By default, the helper searches for GCR credentials in the following order:

  1. In a JSON file whose path is specified by the GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS environment variable.
  2. In a JSON file in a location known to the helper. On Windows, this is %APPDATA%/gcloud/application_default_credentials.json. On other systems, $HOME/.config/gcloud/application_default_credentials.json.
  3. On Google App Engine it uses the appengine.AccessToken function.
  4. On Google Compute Engine and Google App Engine Managed VMs, it fetches credentials from the metadata server.
    • Note: Google Kubernetes Engine blocks access to the GCE metadata server. Manual login via docker-credential-gcr gcr-login will be necessary for workloads running on GKE.
  5. From the gcloud SDK (i.e. the one printed via gcloud config config-helper --force-auth-refresh --format='value(credential.access_token)').
  6. In the helper's private credential store (i.e. those stored via docker-credential-gcr gcr-login)

However, the user may limit or re-order how the helper searches for GCR credentials using docker-credential-gcr config --token-source. Numbers 1-4 above are designated by the “env” source, 5 by “gcloud” and 6 by “store”. Multiple sources are separated by commas, and the default is “env, gcloud, store”.


To configure the credential helper to use only the gcloud SDK's access token:

docker-credential-gcr config --token-source="gcloud"

To try the private store, followed by the environment:

docker-credential-gcr config --token-source="store, env"

To verify that credentials are being returned for a given registry, e.g. for

echo "" | docker-credential-gcr get

Other Credentials

The helper implements the Docker Credential Store API and can be used to store credentials for other repositories. WARNING: Credentials are stored in plain text in a file under the user's home directory (e.g. $HOME/.config/gcloud/docker_credentials.json on non-windows systems).

Building from Source

The program in this repository is written with the Go programming language and built with make. These instructions assume that Go 1.7+ and make are installed on a *nix system.

  1. Download the source and put it in your $GOPATH with go get.

    go get
  2. Use make to build the program. The executable will be output to the bin directory inside the repository.

    cd $GOPATH/src/
  3. Put that binary in your $PATH. e.g. if /usr/bin is present on your path:

    sudo mv ./bin/docker-credential-gcr /usr/bin/docker-credential-gcr

Installation and Usage

  • Configure the Docker CLI to use docker-credential-gcr as its credential store

    docker-credential-gcr configure-docker
    • Alternatively, use the instructions below to configure your version of the Docker client.
  • Log in to GCR (or don't! gcloud auth login is sufficient, too)

    docker-credential-gcr gcr-login
  • Use Docker!

    docker pull
  • Log out from GCR

    docker-credential-gcr gcr-logout

Docker Clients v1.13(.0-rc4)+ Manual Installation

Add a credHelpers entry in the Docker config file (usually ~/.docker/config.json) for each GCR registry that you care about. The key should be the domain of the registry (without the “https://”) and the key should be the suffix of the credential helper binary (everything after “docker-credential-”).

e.g. for `docker-credential-gcr`:

Docker Clients v1.11 - v1.12 Manual Installation

Set the credsStore and auths fields in your Docker config file (usually ~/.docker/config.json). credsStore should be the suffix of the compiled binary (everything after “docker-credential-”) and auths should have an empty entry for each GCR endpoint that you care about (with the “https://”).

e.g. for `docker-credential-gcr`:


Apache 2.0. See LICENSE for more information.