Six billion docker pulls

We provide an official curl container.

Why would you use curl in a container? We actually don’t ask, we just provide the image, but I can think of a few reasons…

  • it is an easy way to use a modern curl version in a system that otherwise ships an ancient version. So many people are stuck on legacy distros with ancient curl versions.
  • it is an easy way to make use of a consistent fixed version from many places independently of what particular curl versions those systems otherwise can offer
  • CI jobs
  • other elaborate explanations

Six billion as of now

The official curl docker repository now (as of 06:43 UTC April 24, 2024) reports that the curl container has been pulled more than six billion times. Currently, people seem to be pulling the curl image from at a rate of 2-3 million pulls per day (about 25 per second).

It shall be noted that a pull does not necessary imply a download. The pull is a a check and the client may already have the latest version downloaded. It is therefore not equal to six billion downloads.

We started offering docker images to the world with curl 7.65.3, July 19 2019. Six billion pulls in 1832 days makes an average of 38 pulls/second through all this time. Less than five years.

How do I know the pull counter reached six billion? I asked their API:

curl -s | jq .results[0].pull_count

Sponsored OSS

We do not pay Docker anything for this service of theirs. They also do not pay anything to us for our service. The Docker Sponsored OSS program lists conditions that might make us disqualified for being part of it, but as long as you don’t tell them I won’t. And hey, at least the first six billion pulls have been served.

Other repositories

You can also opt to pull the container from other repositories like quay and GitHub. I have not included their pull counters in this.