Build Harbor from Source Code

This guide provides instructions for developers to build and run Harbor from source code.

Step 1: Prepare for a build environment for Harbor

Harbor is deployed as several Docker containers and most of the code is written in Go language. The build environment requires Docker, Docker Compose and golang development environment. Please install the below prerequisites:

Software Required Version
docker 17.05 +
docker-compose 1.18.0 +
python 2.7 +
git 1.9.1 +
make 3.81 +
golang* 1.15.6 +

*optional, required if you use your own Golang environment.

Step 2: Getting the source code

git clone

Step 3: Building and installing Harbor


Copy the file make/harbor.yml.tmp to make/harbor.yml, and make necessary configuration changes such as hostname, admin password and mail server. Refer to Harbor Installation and Configuration for more info.

cd harbor
vi make/harbor.yml

Compiling and Running

You can compile the code by one of the two approaches:

I. Build with official Golang image

  • Build, install and bring up Harbor without Notary:

    make install COMPILETAG=compile_golangimage
  • Build, install and bring up Harbor with Notary:

    make install COMPILETAG=compile_golangimage NOTARYFLAG=true

II. Compile code with your own Golang environment, then build Harbor

  • Move source code to $GOPATH

    mkdir $GOPATH/src/
    cd ..
    mv harbor $GOPATH/src/
  • Build, install and run Harbor without Notary:

    cd $GOPATH/src/
    $ make install
  • Build, install and run Harbor with Notary:

    cd $GOPATH/src/
    make install -e NOTARYFLAG=true

Verify your installation

If everything works properly, you will see this message:

Start complete. You can visit harbor now.

Refer to Reconfigure Harbor and Manage the Harbor Lifecycle for more information about managing your Harbor instance.


  • Using the Makefile

The Makefile contains these configurable parameters:

Variable Description
BASEIMAGE Container base image, default: photon
DEVFLAG Build model flag, default: dev
COMPILETAG Compile model flag, default: compile_normal (local golang build)
NOTARYFLAG Notary mode flag, default: false
TRIVYFLAG Trivy mode flag, default: false
HTTPPROXY NPM http proxy for Clarity UI builder
REGISTRYSERVER Remote registry server IP address
REGISTRYUSER Remote registry server user name
REGISTRYPASSWORD Remote registry server user password
REGISTRYPROJECTNAME Project name on remote registry server
VERSIONTAG Harbor images tag, default: dev
PKGVERSIONTAG Harbor online and offline version tag, default:dev
  • Predefined targets:
Target Description
all prepare env, compile binaries, build images and install images
prepare prepare env
compile compile ui and jobservice code
compile_portal compile portal code
compile_ui compile ui binary
compile_jobservice compile jobservice binary
build build Harbor docker images (default: using build_photon)
build_photon build Harbor docker images from Photon OS base image
install compile binaries, build images, prepare specific version of compose file and startup Harbor instance
start startup Harbor instance (set NOTARYFLAG=true when with Notary)
down shutdown Harbor instance (set NOTARYFLAG=true when with Notary)
package_online prepare online install package
package_offline prepare offline install package
pushimage push Harbor images to specific registry server
cleanall remove binary, Harbor images, specific version docker-compose file, specific version tag and online/offline install package
cleanbinary remove ui and jobservice binary
cleanimage remove Harbor images
cleandockercomposefile remove specific version docker-compose
cleanversiontag remove specific version tag
cleanpackage remove online/offline install package


Push Harbor images to specific registry server


Note: need to add “/” at the end of REGISTRYSERVER. If REGISTRYSERVER is not set, images will be pushed directly to Docker Hub.


Clean up binaries and images of a specific version

make clean -e VERSIONTAG=[TAG]
If new code has been added to Github, the git commit TAG will change. Better use this command to clean up images and files of the previous TAG.

By default, the make process creates a development build. To create a release build of Harbor, set the below flag to false.

make XXXX -e DEVFLAG=false