Clean up docker registry

Clean up docker registry

After docker containers are backed up daily to docker registry, clean up process is required.

Note: If the image without tag, and if it can be found client locately, then can run command docker inspect to find out. Otherwise, can check "Run command from server" section find out.

List _catalog (repositries)

Following curl command can be used to display all _catalog (repositries).


List images (tags) for each repositry

Following curl command can be used to display tags for specific repo


Get Digest

Using pull request

Use pull image command to get digest as below.

docker pull${repo}:20210624
20210624: Pulling from user/host/dnsmasq
22b5d63ad977: Already exists
8e2e66517d7e: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:7535af1f65524f9200b901fc31b9c779819e45c0502ef99605666842a319908f

Get digest when deleting local image

Using delete local image action also can get digest as well

docker rmi${repo}:20210619
# Untagged:
# Untagged:
# Deleted: sha256:35baba3d5948b5844b67adcd6a236905039e929f8647d4e4afc9e64e9460d557
# Deleted: sha256:bd681f3956f55dc028bae7ca4c2657457824a0e356c59705302fb084660a669b

The Digest is the second tag.

Note: The first deleted sha256 allowed to be deleted too, but not the second deleted. Don't understand why

Run command from client

Run following command to get Digest

curl -v --silent -H "Accept: application/vnd.docker.distribution.manifest.v2+json" -X GET${repo}/manifests/20210624 2>&1 | grep Docker-Content-Digest | awk '{print ($3)}'

Run command from server

This is usefull if there is no image at client and no tag for specfic image.

docker exec privateregistry_registry_1 bin/registry garbage-collect --dry-run /etc/docker/registry/config.yml | grep '${repo}: marking manifest' | awk '{print $4}'

Check manifests exists or not


Delete tag

curl -X DELETE${repo}/manifests/sha256:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Delete _catalog

The v2 registry doesn't allow deleting only certain tags from an image, and deletion of tags is in an open PR for a future version of the Registry (

rm -rf docker/registry/v2/repositories/${repo}/

*Note: After delete, garbage-collect, restart, the repo is still reporting out as empty _catalog.

Run garbage-collect

Login to registry server and run following command

docker exec registry bin/registry garbage-collect --delete-untagged /etc/docker/registry/config.yml

If the repo is still listed in the output, need to delete them too.

Restart registry if necessary

docker restart registry


Docker Private Registry - Deleted all images, but still showing in catalog
Clean Up Your Docker Registry
Delete repository from v2 private registry
Pull Request - New Tags API #2169
Docker Registry HTTP API V2

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