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Overwriting Image Registries

Introduction

A newer version of this guide based on the ContainerRegistry API is available here.

This guide describes how to overwrite image registries for images deployed by KubeOne (Kubernetes core components, CNI plugins…). This is useful if don’t have access to the original registries (e.g. you’re having an offline setup) or if you want to workaround Docker Hub pull limits. To accomplish this, this guide uses the RegistryConfiguration API.

The RegistryConfiguration API can currently only override all image registries, including non-Docker registries such as k8s.gcr.io and quay.io. We’re planning to extend the functionality in KubeOne 1.4 to allow overriding only docker.io registry.

Prerequisites

This guide assumes that:

  • you have an image registry up and running
  • all your nodes in the cluster can access the image registry
  • the image registry allows unauthenticated access (support for providing image registry credentials is planned for KubeOne 1.4)
  • if you’re using containerd for your cluster, the image registry must support TLS

If you don’t have an image registry, you can check out the Docker Registry as a possible solution.

Preloading Images

Another prerequisites for this guide to work is that your image registry has all images needed for your cluster to work preloaded.

To make this task easier, we provide the image loader script that:

  • pulls all images used by components deployed by KubeOne (CNI, metrics-server…) and Kubeadm (Kubernetes core components and CoreDNS)
  • re-tag those images so the image registry (e.g. docker.io) is replaced with the image registry provided by the user
  • push re-tagged images to your (mirror) image registry

The image loader script (image-loader.sh) comes in the KubeOne release archive, under the hack directory. It can also be found on GitHub in the hack directory. If you’re downloading the script from GitHub, it’s recommended to switch to the appropriate tag depending on which KubeOne version you’re using.

Once you have downloaded the script, you can run it in the following way. Make sure to replace KUBERNETES_VERSION with the Kubernetes version you plan to use (without the v prefix), as well as, replace the TARGET_REGISTRY with the address to your image registry.

KUBERNETES_VERSION=1.22.5 TARGET_REGISTRY=127.0.0.1:5000 ./image-loader.sh

The preloading process can take a several minutes, depending on your connection speed.

Overriding Image Registries

You can override the image registries by adding the registryConfiguration stanza to your KubeOne configuration file, such as:

apiVersion: kubeone.k8c.io/v1beta2
kind: KubeOneCluster
versions:
  kubernetes: 1.22.5
cloudProvider:
  aws: {}
registryConfiguration:
  overwriteRegistry: '127.0.0.1:5000'
  insecureRegistry: false

Make sure to replace the overwriteRegistry value with the URL of your image registry. If your image registry doesn’t support TLS access, make sure to set insecureRegistry to true.

As stated in the prerequisites, if you’re using containerd, insecureRegistry option is not supported, i.e. your image registry must support the TLS access.

With this done, you can reconcile your cluster by running kubeone apply.

Known Issues

Kubeadm uses different semantics for overriding the CoreDNS image registry. The image that will be used for CoreDNS depends on the Kubernetes version:

  • for 1.21 => <your-registry>/coredns/coredns:<tag> will be used as the CoreDNS image
  • for all other release (including 1.22+) => <your-registry>/coredns:<tag> will be used as the CoreDNS image

The image loader script that comes with KubeOne 1.3.3 or newer has been fixed to specially address this case. If you’re using a custom solution for preloading images, please make sure to handle this case as appropriate.

Alternatives

We heavily advise using the approach described above. This section shows possible alternatives that should be used ONLY in the case when you are NOT able to use the approach described above.

We plan on introducing a new registry mirrors functionality in KubeOne 1.4 as an alternative to the overwrite registry functionality. The new functionality will be able to override only specific registries such as docker.io.

The alternative to the RegistryConfiguration API if you don’t want to override image registry for all images is to change the YAML manifests used by KubeOne to deploy the desired component. This can be done by overriding the appropriate embedded addon which deploys the desired component, as described in the Addons document.

If you’re overriding addons, you MUST manually update the desired addons when updating KubeOne, or otherwise, you might end up with a non-working cluster.