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AWS Container Repositories

To push your container image to AWS ECR from GitHub, you'll need to follow this guide. We'll start by creating a new repository, then go through creating a CI IAM User with access to your repo.

Creating an AWS Container Repository

export AWS_REPO_NAME=my-org/my-repo
export AWS_CI_USERNAME=my-ci-user
export AWS_REGION=us-west-2

aws ecr create-repository --repository-name ${AWS_REPO_NAME} --region ${AWS_REGION} --query 'repository.repositoryArn' --output=text

REPOSITORY_ARN=$(aws ecr describe-repositories --region us-west-2 --repository-names foobar --query 'repositories[0].repositoryArn' --output text)

You'll need ARN to create an IAM Policy.

Creating the IAM User and Policy

Next we will create an IAM user and access key and assign it permissions to access our repo.


Below is a permissive policy, feel free to fine tune ecr:* actions.

aws iam create-user --user-name ${AWS_CI_USERNAME}
aws iam put-user-policy --user-name ${AWS_CI_USERNAME} --policy-name ${AWS_CI_USERNAME}-ecr --policy-document "$(cat <<EOF
"Resource": [
"Action": [

Configuring GitHub Action to Push to ECR

Once the CI user and container repo have been created, you can add a GitHub action to push your docker image after building.

First create an access key for your CI user:

aws iam create-access-key --user-name ${AWS_CI_USERNAME}
# Note the AccessKeyId and SecretAccessKey these will be used by GitHub Actions.

You'll need to set two GitHub action secrets. You can do this per organization or GitHub repository based on your company's security posture.

  • AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID - AccessKeyId from previous command
  • AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY - SecretAccessKey from previous command

Add the following action to .github/workflows/docker.yaml and replace YOUR_REPO_NAME_HERE with the value in ${AWS_REPO_NAME} from the first set of commands.

This will push docker images with latest and the git SHA as the tags.

name: Push Docker Image To ECR

- main

name: Build and push
runs-on: ubuntu-latest
- name: Checkout
uses: actions/checkout@v2

- name: Configure AWS credentials
uses: aws-actions/configure-aws-credentials@v1
aws-access-key-id: ${{ secrets.AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID }}
aws-secret-access-key: ${{ secrets.AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY }}
aws-region: us-west-2 # Set the applicable region here

- name: Login to Amazon ECR
id: login-ecr
uses: aws-actions/amazon-ecr-login@v1

- name: Build, tag, and push image to Amazon ECR
ECR_REGISTRY: ${{ steps.login-ecr.outputs.registry }}
ECR_REPOSITORY: YOUR_REPO_NAME_HERE # Put your repo name here
IMAGE_TAG: ${{ github.sha }}
run: |
docker image push --all-tags $ECR_REGISTRY/$ECR_REPOSITORY