The Scarf Gateway

Now available at no cost to project maintainers.


Take control of your software distribution.

The Scarf Gateway is an open-source service that provides a central access point to your containers and packages, no matter where you host them. It sits in front of your current registry and seamlessly redirects your download traffic to it, empowering you with valuable usage data that your registry is not sharing. The Gateway delivers better observability into how your software is used, putting your project’s distribution and data back in your control.

Gain insight and freedom of choice.

Better usage analytics and user insights for your software
Track installs by company, location, platform, versions, cloud providers, container runtimes, and more
Custom domain support for container hosting prevents vendor lock-in
A static URL frees you to manage your own distribution strategy
Switch registries seamlessly with no impact to end users.
Initial support for Docker/OCI Containers, other package types coming soon

How it works

The Scarf Gateway sits in front of your container registry and provides a stable download URL that redirects to your hosting registry. You can connect your own custom URL to the Scarf Gateway, and you’re never locked into a particular registry, or even to Scarf itself, ever again. You gain access to valuable data insights provided by Scarf, and your users gain a more reliable dependency that is never impacted by registry migrations.

What users are saying

The Scarf Gateway is the missing admin dashboard for our container hosting, making it easy to understand how quickly new versions of Linkerd are being adopted and which components are being deployed—data that the container registries have and don't share with us otherwise. It's awesome that Scarf can get this information into the hands of project maintainers without compromising the privacy of our users.

-Oliver Gould, Co-Founder & CTO Buoyant

“Vectorized has been using Scarf to understand how Redpanda is being adopted, and most importantly, how to prioritize engineering efforts for the product. Turns out the world loves Redpanda + Kubernetes more than we thought!”

-Alexander Gallego CEO, Founder, Vectorized


How do I get started using the Gateway?

First, create an account on Scarf, if you haven’t already done so. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be prompted to create a new package. If you’re already using Scarf, you’ll be able to click “New Package” in the navigation bar.

Select “Docker” for your package type and enter in the requested details about your container.The Scarf Gateway currently supports Docker containers. Support for more package and artifact types are on the way. Stay tuned.

If I use a custom domain to host my container through Scarf, what happens to my existing users? Do they all have to update?

Hosting containers on your custom domain via Scarf has no impact on your existing users; your domain adds a new path for users to download your package. You can encourage end-users to switch their pull commands over to your new domain, but they can continue pulling directly from your registry provider with no negative impact. 

Should you decide to switch registries later on, current users will have to update their pull commands to either your custom domain or to the new registry URL. If they go straight to the registry, they would need to update every time you decide to switch registries. If they use your custom domain, they will never need to update it again.

Are you actually hosting my packages?

No. Your container continues to be hosted on your current registry. The Gateway is simply a thin layer on top. Since the gateway acts as a static entry point to your containers, you will always have the freedom to host your container on any registry you choose.

How are you managing the usage data you get about my project? Are you storing my users’ data?

No. The Scarf Gateway does not store any personally identifiable information.

Scarf looks up IP address metadata, but the raw IP addresses are discarded and never exposed. IP metadata may contain:
• Coarse-grained location
• Company information, cloud providers, etc.

Additionally, Scarf sees metadata about the client and containers being downloaded such as:
• Tags/versions
• Client container runtime information
• Basic device/OS information

What package types are you planning to support next?

We’d love your input to help us prioritize support for additional package types. Java, Python, and others are planned. The Gateway will ultimately be generalized to support arbitrary artifact types.

How much does it cost to use the Scarf Gateway?

The Scarf Gateway’s current feature set is free and will remain free. We will be adding new functionality, features, service level agreements, and more, additions which we plan to charge for.

Is the Scarf Gateway self-hosted or managed by Scarf?

The Scarf Gateway is managed by the Scarf team. We plan an open-source release of the Gateway for self-hosting when it's out of beta and into general availability.

What’s the business model for Scarf? How will you make money on the Gateway?

Everything Scarf Gateway offers today is free and will continue to be free, but other paid features on the way: Powerful integrations with external data analysis platforms, automatic registry failover, cross-registry access controls, and much more. This also supports Scarf’s broader model of helping open-source creators connect with their commercial users for everything from support to licensing and beyond.

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Real news and infrequent announcements about what we’re up to at Scarf: product releases, tool updates, open betas, job opportunities, and more.

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