Pull Image from DockerHub Private Registry using Helm in Kubernetes

In this article we are going to cover Pull Image from DockerHub Private Registry using Helm in Kubernetes.

Containerization has become a cornerstone in modern application development and deployment. Docker containers, for instance, encapsulate an application and its dependencies, ensuring consistency across various environments. To manage these containers efficiently, many organizations use container orchestration tools like Kubernetes, and to simplify deployment, Helm charts provide a powerful abstraction.

In this article, we’ll explore how to pull images from a private registry using YAML and Helm. Private registries are essential for secure and controlled access to container images, and configuring Helm charts to fetch images from these private repositories is a common requirement.


  • AWS Account with Ubuntu 22.04 LTS EC2 Instance
  • A private container registry in DockerHub
  • Minikube and kubectl, Helm Installed

Install Minikube and kubectl by following the official documentation for your operating system:

Minikube Installation Guide

Install Minikube on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

  • Helm Installed:

Install Helm by following the official documentation:

Helm Installation Guide

Push an Image in private registry

First create an image then push it in private Docker hub registry.

Here are some basic components to build a Docker image.

  • Dockerfile
  • Application Code
  • Dependencies and Configuration Files

Step #1:Dockerizing a Node.js web app

First create a folder named express_app and move inside the folder using the following commands.

mkdir express_app
cd express_app

Step #2:Create the Node.js app

Then create a file named package.json which consist all files and dependencies required to describe the app.

nano package.json

add the following content into it.

  "name": "docker-example",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "app.js",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "nodemon app.js",
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC",
  "dependencies": {
    "express": "^4.17.1",
    "nodemon": "^2.0.12"

save the modification using ctrl+x, shift+y and Enter.

install npm (Node Package Manager)

sudo apt install npm

Now, initialize the node project using the following command

npm init



The package.json file will be added. It holds information about our projects like scripts, files, dependencies, and versions. It will ask for name, version and many other things you can just set it to default by pressing Enter.

Then install the Express library and add it to the package.json file

npm install --save express



Now install a tool called nodemon. It will automatically restarts the node application when it detects any changes.

npm install --save nodemon

Step #3:Create app.js file for Nodejs app

Then, create a app.js file named app.js that defines a web app using the Express.js framework.

nano app.js

add the following content into it.

// import and create an express app
const express = require('express');
const app = express()

// message as response
msg = "Hello world! this is nodejs in a docker container.."
// create an end point of the api
app.get('/', (req, res) => res.send(msg));

// now run the application and start listening
// on port 3000
app.listen(3000, () => {
    console.log("app running on port 3000...");

save the modification using ctrl+x, shift+y and Enter.

After this we can run the application on our local system.

npm run start

Step #4:Create a Dockerfile For Nodejs app

Now to Dockerize the application we will create an image and for that we will create a Dockerfile which holds the information about image that will run the application.

nano Dockerfile
FROM node:latest
COPY package.json /app
RUN npm install
COPY . /app
CMD ["npm", "start"]

save the modification using ctrl+x, shift+y and Enter.

Step #5:Building an Image for Nodejs app

Now with the help of Dockerfile build an image using following command.

docker build -t nodeapp .

confirm the image is created by running following command.

docker images

Now run the image as a container using following command

docker run -p 3000:3000 nodeapp

Step #6:Push the image in private registry

Login to the docker

docker login



it will ask for username and password

then tag the image using following command.

docker tag nodeapp:latest prasadhole/nodeapp:latest

then push the image to your private registry using following command

docker push prasadhole/nodeapp:latest
15 private registry 1

now image is pushed to the private registry named nodeapp.

Pull the image from private registry using helm file

Step #1:Create a secret for docker-registry

Create a secret Docker registry

kubectl create secret docker-registry nodeapp \
    --docker-server=https://index.docker.io/v1/ \
    --docker-username=prasadhole \

Step #2:Create a helm chart for Nodejs app

Create a helm chart

helm create nodejs

If your Docker image is hosted on Docker Hub and your Docker Hub credentials are needed to pull the image during deployments in Kubernetes, you can create a secret with your Docker Hub credentials using the following kubectl create secret docker-registry command.

now open the directory

cd nodejs

then open the values.yaml file and modify it as shown below

nano values.yaml 
# Default values for nodejs.
# This is a YAML-formatted file.
# Declare variables to be passed into your templates.

replicaCount: 1

  repository: prasadhole/nodeapp
  pullPolicy: IfNotPresent
  # Overrides the image tag whose default is the chart appVersion.
  tag: "latest"

  - name: nodeapp
nameOverride: ""
fullnameOverride: ""

  # Specifies whether a service account should be created
  create: true
  # Automatically mount a ServiceAccount's API credentials?
  automount: true
  # Annotations to add to the service account
  annotations: {}
  # The name of the service account to use.
  # If not set and create is true, a name is generated using the fullname template
  name: ""

podAnnotations: {}
podLabels: {}

podSecurityContext: {}
  # fsGroup: 2000

securityContext: {}
  # capabilities:
  #   drop:
  #   - ALL
  # readOnlyRootFilesystem: true
  # runAsNonRoot: true
  # runAsUser: 1000

  type: NodePort
  port: 3000

  enabled: false
  className: ""
  annotations: {}
    # kubernetes.io/ingress.class: nginx
    # kubernetes.io/tls-acme: "true"
    - host: chart-example.local
        - path: /
          pathType: ImplementationSpecific
  tls: []
  #  - secretName: chart-example-tls
  #    hosts:
  #      - chart-example.local

resources: {}
  # We usually recommend not to specify default resources and to leave this as a conscious
  # choice for the user. This also increases chances charts run on environments with little
  # resources, such as Minikube. If you do want to specify resources, uncomment the following
  # lines, adjust them as necessary, and remove the curly braces after 'resources:'.
  # limits:
  #   cpu: 100m
  #   memory: 128Mi
  # requests:
  #   cpu: 100m
  #   memory: 128Mi

  enabled: false
  minReplicas: 1
  maxReplicas: 100
  targetCPUUtilizationPercentage: 80
  # targetMemoryUtilizationPercentage: 80

# Additional volumes on the output Deployment definition.
volumes: []
# - name: foo
#   secret:
#     secretName: mysecret
#     optional: false

# Additional volumeMounts on the output Deployment definition.
volumeMounts: []
# - name: foo
#   mountPath: "/etc/foo"
#   readOnly: true

nodeSelector: {}

tolerations: []

affinity: {}

save the modification using ctrl+x, shift+y and Enter.

exit the directory


Step #3:Install the chart to Pull the image

now install the chart

helm install mynodeapp nodejs

run the kubectl command check the pod is running or not

kubectl get pods

run the following command to check if image is pulled or not.

kubectl pod describe mynodeapp-nodejs-b74b7db44-c6rsr
image 5

Step #4:Run the Nodejs app on browser

For checking services, run following command

kubectl get svc

For accessing the Nodejs application on browser use following command.

kubectl port-forward --address svc/mynodeapp-nodejs 3000:3000

This command is used to forward traffic from port 3000 on your local machine to port 3000 on the specified service mynodeapp-nodejs. This can be useful for accessing a service running in your Kubernetes cluster from your local machine.

To access the application on Browser write the ip address:port number in url.

ip address is the public ip address of your Minikube EC2 instance created on AWS and port number which is 3000 which we have used in forwarding nodejs pod.

Hello world! this is nodejs in a docker container.. ” message will be displayed as follows.



Pulling images from a private registry using YAML and Helm involves creating a Kubernetes Secret for authentication and updating Helm chart values. This ensures that your Kubernetes deployments can securely access container images from private repositories, providing a robust and scalable solution for containerized applications.

Related Articles:

How to Use Environment Variables in Helm Chart

About Prasad Hole

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