Security scanning

One of the perks of working at SUSE are hackweeks. A hackweek is a period of 5 days in which every employee is free to work on whatever they want. Portus was born this way, as Flavio explained in his blog post, and we are happy to say that the feature announced today was also started this way.

Adding security features into Portus

We value security at SUSE, and particularly in our team, we think that security in Docker images and containers is really important. Luckily for us, we are not alone, and we have witnessed lots of interesting projects springing up from the community. In this regard, we have contributed to the community with zypper-docker, a tool that allows you to patch and monitor Docker images.

Moreover, as other projects like Docker hub and Quay have proven, it’s pretty useful that the same web application that allows you to manage your Docker images, also fetches security information about them. Because of all this, we thought that it would be a good idea to create a new layer in Portus, in which we could integrate security tools, and finally report back about the security status of the images on your on-premise Docker registry. After toying with the idea, Vítor Avelino and I worked on this and we have just recently merged it all into master.

How to use it

First of all, this feature is disabled by default, and the configuration part for it looks like this (inside of the config/config.yml file, see the documentation on how to configure Portus):

    server: ""
    server: ""
    server: ""

This feature is enabled through backends. That is, you can enable multiple backends and Portus will aggregate all the information for each image and tag. To enable a backend, you have to provide the server URL for the security scanner. We are currently supporting three backends (even though we only recommend one of them for now):

  • CoreOS Clair: Clair is an open source project for the static analysis of vulnerabilities in application containers (currently including appc and Docker).
  • zypper-docker: zypper-docker is a command line tool that provides a quick way to patch and update Docker Images based on either SUSE Linux Enterprise or openSUSE. In a hackweek we started to work on a serve command, so it can be used as a server (see this branch). However, we never managed to fully stabilize this branch, so support for this is considered experimental.
  • The dummy backend: this backend is only meant to be used for development purposes. That is, it allows developers to have some fixtures that they can use.

If you have enabled this feature, you should be able to see something like this in a repository:

Repository page with vulnerabilities highlighted

Clicking these links will take you to the tag’s page. For example:

Tag page with Clair vulnerabilities


This feature will be available as of Portus 2.3, but you can already try it out on the master branch. You can read more about this feature in the documentation.