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Configure Pull-Through Caching


This feature is provided as a tech preview and could change in backwards incompatible ways in the future.

The Pull-Through Caching feature offers an alternative way to host content by leveraging a remote registry as the source of truth. This eliminates the need for in-advance repository synchronization because Pulp acts as a caching proxy and stores images, after they have been pulled by an end client, in a local repository.

Configuring the caching:

# initialize a pull-through remote (the concept of upstream-name is not applicable here)
REMOTE_HREF=$(http ${BASE_ADDR}/pulp/api/v3/remotes/container/pull-through/ name=docker-cache url= | jq -r ".pulp_href")

# create a pull-through distribution linked to the initialized remote
http ${BASE_ADDR}/pulp/api/v3/distributions/container/pull-through/ remote=${REMOTE_HREF} name=docker-cache base_path=docker-cache

Pulling content:

podman pull localhost:24817/docker-cache/library/busybox

In the example above, the image "busybox" is pulled from DockerHub through the "docker-cache" distribution, acting as a transparent caching layer.

By incorporating the Pull-Through Caching feature into standard workflows, users do not need to pre-configure a new repository and sync it to facilitate the retrieval of the actual content. This speeds up the whole process of shipping containers from its early management stages to distribution. Similarly to on-demand syncing, the feature also reduces external network dependencies, and ensures a more reliable container deployment system in production environments.


During the pull-through operation, Pulp creates a local repository that maintains a single version for pulled images. For instance, when pulling an image like "debian:10," a local repository named "debian" with the tag "10" is created. Subsequent pulls, such as "debian:11," generate a new repository version that incorporates both the "10" and "11" tags, automatically removing the previous version. Repositories and their content remain manageable through standard Pulp API endpoints. The repositories are read-only and public by default.