Registry Support

Cosign uses go-containerregistry for registry interactions, which has generally excellent compatibility, but some registries may have quirks.

Today, Cosign has been tested and works against the following registries:

  • AWS Elastic Container Registry
  • GCP’s Artifact Registry and Container Registry
  • Docker Hub
  • Azure Container Registry
  • JFrog Artifactory Container Registry
  • The CNCF distribution/distribution Registry
  • GitLab Container Registry
  • GitHub Container Registry
  • The CNCF Harbor Registry
  • Digital Ocean Container Registry
  • Sonatype Nexus Container Registry
  • Alibaba Cloud Container Registry

We aim for wide registry support. To sign images in registries which do not yet fully support OCI media types, one may need to use COSIGN_DOCKER_MEDIA_TYPES to fall back to legacy equivalents. For example:

COSIGN_DOCKER_MEDIA_TYPES=1 cosign sign --key cosign.key

Please help test and file bugs if you see issues! Instructions can be found in the tracking issue.

Rekor support

Note: this is an experimental feature

To publish signed artifacts to a Rekor transparency log and verify their existence in the log set the COSIGN_EXPERIMENTAL=1 environment variable.

COSIGN_EXPERIMENTAL=1 cosign sign --key cosign.key user/demo
COSIGN_EXPERIMENTAL=1 cosign verify --key user/demo

Cosign defaults to using the public instance of rekor at To configure the rekor server, use the -rekor-url flag

Registry details

Cosign signatures are stored as separate objects in the OCI registry, with only a weak reference back to the object they “sign”. This means this relationship is opaque to the registry, and signatures will not be deleted or garbage-collected when the image is deleted. Similarly, they can easily be copied from one environment to another, but this is not automatic.

Multiple signatures are stored in a list which is unfortunately “racy” today. To add a signature, clients orchestrate a “read-append-write” operation, so the last write will win in the case of contention.

Specifying registry

Cosign will default to storing signatures in the same repo as the image it is signing. To specify a different repo for signatures, you can set the COSIGN_REPOSITORY environment variable.

This will replace the repo in the provided image:

export ->

So the signature for will be stored in