2. Set up the container registry

BinderHub will build Docker images out of Git repositories, and then push them to a Docker registry so that JupyterHub can launch user servers based on these images. You can use any registry that you like, though this guide covers how to properly configure several popular registries. The next step, Set up BinderHub, explains how you can properly configure BinderHub to use one of these registries.

2.1. Set up Google Container Registry

To use Google Container Registry (gcr.io), you’ll need to provide BinderHub with proper credentials so it can push images. You can do so by creating a service account that has authorization to push to Google Container Registry:

  1. Go to console.cloud.google.com

  2. Make sure your project is selected

  3. Click <top-left menu w/ three horizontal bars> -> IAM & Admin -> Service Accounts menu option

  4. Click Create service account

  5. Give your account a descriptive name such as “binderhub-builder”

  6. Click Role -> Storage -> Storage Admin menu option

  7. Click Create Key

  8. Leave key type as default of JSON

  9. Click Create

These steps will download a JSON file to your computer. The JSON file contains the password that can be used to push Docker images to the gcr.io registry.


Don’t share the contents of this JSON file with anyone. It can be used to gain access to your google cloud account!


Make sure to store this JSON file as you cannot generate a second one without re-doing the steps above.

2.2. Set up Docker Hub registry

To use Docker Hub (hub.docker.com) as a registry first you have to create a Docker ID account in Docker Hub. Your Docker ID (username) and password are used to push Docker images to the registry.

If you want to store Docker images under an organization, you can create an organization. This is useful if different Binder instances want to use same registry to store images.

2.3. Set up Azure Container Registry

To use Azure Container Registry (ACR), you’ll need to provide BinderHub with proper credentials so it can push images. You can do so by creating a Service Principal that has the AcrPush role.

This section uses the Azure command line. Installation instructions can be found in the Microsoft docs.

  1. Login to your Azure account:

    az login
  2. Select your chosen subscription:

    az account set -s <SUBSCRIPTION>


You can see which subscriptions you have available by running:

az account list --refresh --output table
  1. If you do not have a Resource Group, then create one:

    az group create --name <RESOURCE_GROUP_NAME> --location <RESOURCE_GROUP_LOCATION> --output table

where <RESOURCE_GROUP_LOCATION> refers to a data centre region. See a list of regions here.

If you already have a Resource Group you’d like to use, then you can skip this step.

  1. Create the ACR:

    az acr create --name <ACR_NAME> --resource-group <RESOURCE_GROUP_NAME> --sku Basic --output table


  • <ACR_NAME> must be between 5-50 alphanumeric characters and is unique to Azure. If you’re not sure your chosen name is available, you can run az acr check-name --name <ACR_NAME> --output table.

  • --sku is the pricing and capacity tier for the registry. See this page for more details.

  1. Login in the ACR:

    az acr login --name <ACR_NAME>
  2. Note down the AppID of the ACR:

    az acr show --name <ACR_NAME> --query "id" -o tsv

We need this in order to assign the AcrPush role which will allow BinderHub to push images to the registry. You can save this to a bash variable like so:

ACR_ID=$(az acr show --name <ACR_NAME> --query "id" -o tsv)
  1. Create a Service Principal with the AcrPush role assignment:

    az ad sp create-for-rbac --name <SP_NAME> --role AcrPush --scope <ACR_ID>


  • <SP_NAME> is a recognisable name for your Service Principal, for example binderhub-sp,

  • <ACR_ID> is the AppID we retrieved in step 6 above. You can replace this with ${ACR_ID} if you saved it to a bash variable.


Note down the AppID and password that are output by this step. These are the login credentials BinderHub will use to access the registry.

The password will not be recoverable after this step, so make sure you keep it safe!

If you’d like to save this info to bash variables, you can replace step 8 with the following commands:

SERVICE_PRINCIPAL_PASSWORD=$(az ad sp create-for-rbac --name <SP_NAME> --role AcrPush --scopes <ACR_ID> --query password --output tsv)
SERVICE_PRINCIPAL_ID=$(az ad sp show --id http://<SP_NAME> --query appId --output tsv)

2.4. Next step

Now that our cloud resources are set up, it’s time to Set up BinderHub.