How Docker Rate Limits Could Affect Your Builds

As you might be aware, Docker recently announced that they will be actively limiting rates for free and anonymous users in an effort to make Docker, as an organisation, as sustainable as possible. This means that free Docker users requiring an increase to rate limits will need to upgrade their account to a Docker Pro or Team subscription.

As you can probably guess, this could have a direct effect for Travis CI users that are integrating Docker into their builds you are using Docker with a free account. To make sure that these changes do not affect your builds, we recommend reviewing your current Docker account and ensure your rate limits will allow your Travis CI builds to function without interruption.

Authenticating with Docker Hub

In order to use Docker Hub with your Travis CI builds, first create a Docker Hub token:

  • Log in to
  • Click your username in the top right and click Account Settings
  • Select Security -> New Access Token
  • Add a description for your token to identify it
  • Copy the token
  • Create Environment Variables in settings tab
  • before docker pull, login with the docker login command

Here’s an example:

echo "$DOCKER_PASSWORD" | docker login -u "$DOCKER_USERNAME" --password-stdin

Travis CI has a built in registry cache for Docker builds - you can find out more about how to include Docker in your builds in the Travis CI docs.

What action should I take?

Depending on what Docker Hub account subscription you have and your current Travis CI configuration, you may not need to make any changes at all.

If you’re finding that your builds being affected, the first step is to ensure you are using an authenticated Docker Hub account, and to check that your subscription has a high enough rate limit to accommodate your build needs.

Need any help?

As always, our support team are on hand to help out - contact them at