Image And Container Label Specification


We in the IT team need to know quickly when we have a container in front of us and want to answer the following questions:

  • Who can I contact if I have problems with the container or the container is no longer running?
  • Until when is the container still needed or can I switch it off and remove it in an emergency?
  • How was the container created if it needs to be updated and the contact person cannot be reached?

Hence, this topic summarizes our current best practices regarding labelling container images and instances. It is based on the opencontainers image specification pre defined annotation keys.


Key Schema Example Description
org.opencontainers.image.created RFC 3339 string
  • 2020-12-03T09:15:13+00:00
  • 2020-12-03T09:15:13Z
date and time on which the image was built (string, date-time as defined by RFC 3339) - via build ARG - see example for more details
org.opencontainers.image.authors free form string J. Doe <>, Q. Public <> Contact details of the people or organization responsible for the image (freeform string)
org.opencontainers.image.url URL URL to find more information on the image, e.g. link to git repo with Dockerfile.
org.opencontainers.image.version semver string v5.2.42 Version of the packaged software.
org.opencontainers.image.revision string
  • r2530
  • bd4f8fcb
Source control revision identifier for the packaged software via build ARG.
org.opencontainers.image.vendor string 52°North GmbH Name of the distributing entity, organization or individual.
org.opencontainers.image.licenses SPDX license expression
  • GPL-2.0-only
  • GPL-2.0-or-later
  • GPL-3.0-only
  • GPL-3.0-or-later
  • Apache-2.0
License(s) under which contained software is distributed as an SPDX License Expression., e.g., grammar 52north/sos-5.2.42 Name of the reference for a target.
org.opencontainers.image.title string 52°North Sensor Observation Service Human-readable title of the image.
org.opencontainers.image.description string TODO ALERT!Really required and usefullquestion
Container E-Mail e-mail from the person responsible for this service instance. Use mail tagging for better mail processing.
org.52north.context string wacodis-2020 project abbreviation and year.
org.52north.end-of-life RFC 3339 string
  • 2020-12-03T09:15:13+00:00
  • 2020-12-03T09:15:13Z
date and time as defined by RFC 3339. After this point in time, the container including the associated resources can be deleted automatically or manually at any time.
org.52north.backup boolean string, true or false or empty which equals false true optional: If set to true, the volume is backed up daily.

Example Git Repository
Topic revision: r4 - 24 Aug 2022, EikeJuerrens
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