Configure Traefik to Proxy Harbor Registry on DigitalOcean Kubernetes via Terraform Modules

By Colin Wilson on 06 January, 2022

Configure Traefik to Proxy Harbor Registry on DigitalOcean Kubernetes via Terraform Modules


The previous tutorial, Deploying a HA Harbor Registry on DigitalOcean Kubernetes covers the use of a Terraform module to automate the installation of a high availability (HA) Harbor Registry on a DigitalOcean Kubernetes cluster. By default the module exposes Harbor via a Cluster IP.

What this tutorial covers?

This tutorial builds on the previous one by combining the Harbor module with a simple Traefik module. The Traefik module deploys a Traefik Ingress Controller with a valid TLS certificate to proxy external requests for Harbor. Global HTTPS redirection is also configured.

Why Traefik?

There are many ingress controllers capable of proxying external traffic for Harbor. With it’s extensible nature (through middlewares) and wealth of configuration examples Traefik is one of my favourites.


For this guide you’ll need the following:

Deployment Options

Traefik can be configured to proxy requests for Harbor in a number of ways. All of which offer TLS termination with a valid certificate and HTTPS redirection. However, not all support high availability (HA).

  1. Traefik with Let’s Encrypt: Traefik offers built-in Let’s Encrypt support. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to run multiple instances of Traefik 2.0 with Let’s Encrypt enabled1. The focus of the previous tutorial was high availability. So (although functional) running Traefik as a sole instance just to accommodate Let’s Encrypt would introduce a single point of failure, thus compromising the high availability of the Harbor deployment.

  2. ✔️ Harbor Ingress configuration (with cert-manager): I chose cert-manager to generate the TLS certificate secret that Harbor’s Ingress configuration references. Although you can create and import the TLS secret manually, cert-manager supports high availability, auto-renewal and is overall a much better method of managing certificates.

  3. ✔️ Traefik IngressRoute (CRD) (with cert-manager): Traefik can be configured to ignore (not process) the default ingress (setting var.harbor_expose_type to "ingress") and instead use IngressRoute (Traefik’s Custom Resource Definitions) to route requests. Again, cert-manager carries out the role of generating a TLS certificate.

❌: No HA support, ✔️: HA support.

Create Harbor Namespace & Generate a TLS Certificate

Before deploying Harbor ensure that following preparations have been made:

Option 1 - Configure Harbor Ingress for Traefik

As previously mentioned this option combines the Harbor module with a Traefik module. Harbor’s Ingress configuration is customised to utilise the Traefik Ingress Controller.

1. Clone the Example Repository and navigate to the traefik_ingress directory.

git clone -b terraform-digitalocean-doks-harbor
|-- existing_doks_cluster/
|-- new_doks_cluster/
`-- traefik_ingress/
    |-- .gitignore
    |-- terraform.tfvars.example
    |-- traefik_ingress_values.yaml
    |-- traefik_ingressroute_values.yaml

2. Rename the terraform.tfvars.example file to terraform.tfvars and substitute the variables with values relevant to your deployment.

# terraform.tfvars
# Remove the `example` extension & Replace example values with your own

# DigitalOcean API Keys
do_token          = "5d9db880850bde7e1ced8e5..."
spaces_access_id  = "327PRAJ5V..."
spaces_secret_key = "jSbdU4W0X1seeqE4TCR..."

# Name of the DOKS cluster to install Harbor on
doks_cluster_name = "dev-cluster"

# The `harbor` namespace exists already so don't try to create it
create_namespace = false

# The domain to append to the `harbor` subdomain
harbor_ext_url                = ""

harbor_expose_type            = "traefik"

# Name of the TLS secret for '' & ''
harbor_tls_secret_name        = "harbor-yourdomain-com-live"
harbor_tls_notary_secret_name = "harbor-yourdomain-com-live"

# Name of the custom Traefik configuration file
traefik_values_file = "traefik_ingress_values.yaml"

3. Initialise the module (terraform init) and then run apply (terraform apply). Once all the resources are provisioned (it can take a while) and Harbor and Traefik have been deployed, open the DigitalOcean console and retrieve the IP address of the provisioned Cloud Load Balancer:

Load Balancer tab in the Networking section of DigitalOcean’s Cloud Console

For both your domains (harbor.[] and notary.[]), you can either set a couple of DNS records that point to the cloud load balancer’s IP or you can edit your local hosts file to do the same.

4. Now open your browser and navigate to https://harbor.[]. You should be presented with Harbor’s portal page:

Harbor Portal Login Page

If you wish to view the configured Ingress routes via Traefik’s dashboard, open a console and forward the dashboard locally using the following command:

kubectl port-forward -n traefik $(kubectl get pods -n traefik --output=name) 9000:9000

Now open a browser and navigate to http://localhost:9000/dashboard/.
Click on ‘🌐 HTTP’ in the top most menu. All routes auto-discovered by Traefik are now displayed:

Traefik Dashboard: Auto-Discovered Ingress Routes for Harbor Registry

Option 2 - Configure a Traefik IngressRoute for Harbor

Alternatively an IngressRoute can be configured to proxy Harbor requests. This can be achieved with minimal changes to the configuration outlined in Option 1.

1. After cloning the example repository (as in part 1 of Option 1), configure the terraform.tfvars file the same except for the following two variables:


harbor_expose_type            = "ingress"


# Name of the custom Traefik configuration file
traefik_values_file = "traefik_ingressroute_values.yaml"

Setting harbor_expose_type to ingress will deploy Harbor with the default ingress (not customised for Traefik). And the traefik_ingressroute_values.yaml file instructs Traefik to ignore Harbor’s default ingress via a label-selector.

2. Create an ingressRoute file (e.g. harbor_traefik_ingressroute.yaml) with the following contents, substituting the square bracketed [] values for your own:

kind: IngressRoute
  name: [harbor-yourdomain-com]
  namespace: harbor
    - websecure
  - match: Host(`harbor.[]`)
    kind: Rule
    - name: harbor-v1-8-1-portal
      port: 80
  - match: Host(`harbor.[]`) && PathPrefix(`/api/`, `/c/`, `/chartrepo/`, `/service/`, `/v2/`)
    kind: Rule
    - name: harbor-v1-8-1-core
      port: 80
  - match: Host(`notary.[]`)
    kind: Rule
    - name: harbor-v1-8-1-notary-server
      port: 4443
    secretName: [harbor-yourdomain-com-live]

Apply the IngressRoute using the following command:

kubectl apply -f harbor_traefik_ingressroute.yaml

3. You can now follow part 3 and 4 from Option 1 to finish up and access Harbor’s portal. If you again view Harbor’s routes via the Traefik dashboard you’ll see that they’re the same except Harbor’s PathPrefix paths have been consolidated under a single rule (something you may have already noticed from the ingressRoute configuration file):


You’ve now have an externally accessible Harbor Registry. Unlike the previous tutorial there’s no need to configure your Docker daemon with a CA certificate to login or push images since a valid certificate signed by a trusted authority (Let’s Encrypt) has been configured.


  1. LetsEncrypt Support with the Ingress Provider ↩︎


Copyright © Colin Wilson 2022 (1244b29)