Project Harbor Reached Milestone of 2000 Stars on Github

About a year ago, I gave the first star to an open source project we created. In less than 13 months, the project has reached an exciting milestone of 2000 stars!  This project is called Harbor, an enterprise class registry server.

People from different countries starred Project Harbor on Github

Back in early 2014, when I attended Docker meetups and container conferences, I often heard people complaining about the challenges to manage container images. They usually created all kinds of hacks or workarounds to solve their own problems. When I saw pain points like these, my gut feeling told me that it must be a great opportunity to do something to it.

We then started to work on a side project to help people manage image effectively. This project became the prototype of Harbor. It was used by a few project teams and turned out to be quite helpful. In March 2016, we decided to open source it on Github for larger adoption. Since then, Project Harbor has taken off and been gaining more and more traction. We listened to feedback from the community and kept improving it. Community developers were enthusiastic and they contributed code, tools, documentation and even translation to multiple languages to the project. Two third of the contributors was actually from outside of VMware.

Gradually, Harbor becomes one of the most popular open source registries and has been widely used by people in the container space. VMware has also integrated Harbor into two products: vSphere Integrated Containers and Photon Platform. Many users run Harbor in their production, such as one of the largest internet companies, in China. Other companies also forked Harbor and used in their own products. Below are some statistics of Project Harbor.

Project Harbor Statistics

The current version of Harbor provides some important features to enterprise users, such as RBAC (Role Based Access Control), LDAP/AD authentication, image remote replication, management portal. In the coming new release, Harbor will be adding new features like Notary and a new admin UI.

One of my favorite features of Harbor: Remote replication (synchronization) of images

While we are celebrating the milestone of Harbor, it certainly serves as a new starting point to us. Thanks everyone who contributed to Harbor’s success. Your continuous support definitely motivates us to make Harbor the best home for your container images!

Survey based on user community, 53 responses

Related Topics:

Architecture of Harbor: An Open Source Enterprise-class Registry Server
Private Docker Registry Harbor Achieves HA based on Virtual SAN
Working with Harbor Registry REST API via Swagger

Working with Harbor Registry REST API via Swagger

Swagger is the most popular RESTful API tool, it contains an entire set of codes, editors, code generators etc, and can be used in API descriptions, definitions, generation and visualization etc. For details about Swagger, see, where you can download its source code and integrate it with the project.

Harbor is an enterprise-class private registry server initiated by VMware( Harbor also offers RESTful API which provides easy integration with other container management platforms. This article describes how to use Swagger tools embedded in Harbor to test RESTful APIs.

First, let’s take a look at how Swagger creates descriptions and definitions for RESTful API. Swagger provides an online WYSIWYG editor at, users can enter Swagger-compatible YAML or JSON input on the left pane of the editor, and the result of the input will be shown on the right pane. If there are any input errors, there are alerts with amendment recommendations for the user, it’s very convenient! Refer to for instructions on writing definition files that are compatible with Swagger. This editor also supports the download of completed YAML to the local system, or conversion to JSON format. It can even help us auto-generate a Mockup Server or client.

Swagger Embedded in Harbor

Core functions of Harbor are implemented through RESTful API. A set of API rules that can be visualized was documented in Swagger during the development process and is provided for users as part of the project.

The Harbor Project utilizes two methods to let users present or control RESTFul API with Swagger.

The first is the “static” method, which only uses Swagger as the tool for presentations and reviews. Users only have to locate the swagger.yaml file from the directory docs/ of Project Harbor , and through the editor, open, select all, copy, and paste into the code pane on the left of Swagger online editor. The right pane will display a visualization of the Harbor RESTful API document page for review and reference.
article3_image1The second method is the “dynamic” method, which involves deploying Swagger UI and Harbor REST services in the same Server. Users can use Swagger to control and test Harbor RESTful APIs. This method may change data in the database, so it is not suggested to be used in production systems. Deployment procedures are illustrated in the figure below:article3_image2Under the directory docs/ of Harbor Project source codes, there is a script file named, which can help users carry out “dynamic” deployment. The following provides instructions on related steps. For detailed information, please refer to the file docs/

(1) Change the SERVER_IP value in the script file, set it to the IP address of the host system of currently deployed Harbor system, save changes and execute the script. The script will download the Swagger software package accordingly and decompress it to the directory of static resources of Harbor Project vendors; copy the swagger.yaml files under docs/ to the Harbor Project static resource directory resources/yaml; change/replace URL contents according to the SERVER_IP provided by the user.

(2) Switch to the Deploy directory, change the file named “docker-compose.yml”, mount the newly-added Swagger static resource directory onto Harbor UI Docker container through Volumes, letting SwaggerUI deploy together with Harbor UI after starting up, to provide external access.

(3) Use the docker-compose command to re-create Project Harbor, clear all content left on the server, restart the newly created Project Harbor image.

The figure below shows a screenshot of a deployed Swagger UI page.
RESTful API Authentication

When triggering Harbor RESTful API using Swagger UI, please be aware of “login status” issues, because some of API requires session information. There are two ways to configure a session.

Method 1: Open the UI with a browser (Note: Make sure that the IP address of the URL in the Harbor UI is the same as the value provided for SERVER_IP when deploying Swagger UI), complete the registration (if using for the first time) and login; then open a new (tab) in the same browser, enter the Swagger UI address below, this will ensure that HarborRESTful API is running when the user is logged in.


Method 2: Harbor RESTful API supports Basic Authentication mode. However, Swagger currently does not allow the input of usernames and passwords on its interface, so access becomes inconvenient. Those who are interested can follow this link and try to make Swagger accessible in Basic Authentication mode. Of course, the user can also use the below command to access API. In this way, the user does not have to log in to Harbor’s UI in order to test the API.

curl -u <username: password>

Related article:

Harbor Architecture Overview