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#279 in Database implementations

Used in 2 crates


664 lines


Palletizer is a fully open-source (BSD-2-clause) self-hosted private Cargo registry. The main target audience is small-scale organizations.

It favors simplicity over scalability: you can host your entire registry by running a single server application. That said, it should run pretty smooth with a low memory footprint for most organizations, and performance problems will be taken seriously.

Current features:

  • Host your crate data and index repository from the same server.
  • Publish and yank crates using the Cargo web API.
  • Search for crates using cargo search --registry ....
  • Multiple listening sockets for the web server, each with independent (optional) TLS configuration.
  • Manually add/delete/yank/unyank crates from the command line.

Setting up a new registry

The process of creating a new registry is fairy simple. You can create an empty registry using the palletizer command from the palletizer-tools crate. Then you can run the palletizer-server command from the palletizer-server crate to put the registry online.

Initializing a new registry

Simply run palletizer init --url "https://example.com". This will create a palletizer.toml file, an index git repository and a crates directory. The registry index must eventually be hosted at $URL/index, and the crates at $URL/crates. See the next section for instructions on setting up the server.

You can use additional command line options to customize the registry further. You can change the path of the index repository and the crates directory with the --index-dir and --crates-dir options.

By default, the new registry is configured to accept crates with dependencies from crates.io. You can disable this by adding the --no-crates-io flag, and you can allow additional registries with the --allowed-registry option. You should pass the full URL of the index for an allowed registry.

Setting up the server

To run the server, you need to create a server configuration file first.

A minimum configuration file could be server.toml in the same directory as the palletizer.toml created by palletizer init:

bind = "[::1]:8080"

The server can then be started by running palletizer-server server.toml. This will listen for connections on the loopback adapter on port 8080.

You can configure any amount of listeners simply by adding more [[listener]] sections. Each listener can optionally be configured for HTTPS:

bind = ""
tls = {
   private_key = "/etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem",
   certificate_chain = "/etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem",

It is also possible to have the server configuration file separate from the registry itself. In that case, you need to configure the path to the registry in the server configuration file:

registry = "/srv/my-little-registry"

bind = "[::1]:8080"

Note that all relative paths in the configuration file will be interpreted relative to the folder of the configuration file itself, not with respect to the working directory of the server.


At the moment, Palletizer does not implement authentication. The API server does not check for login tokens, even though Cargo still wants to you specify one. You can use any random gibberish as token, the server doesn't even look at it.

The intention is certainly to implement secure authentication so that you can expose your registry to the Internet safely, but the main obstacle at the moment is Cargo. At the time of writing, it can not perform authenticated index or crate downloads. The login token is only used to access the web API, but that is not good enough for a private registry that hosts potentially sensitive code.

Until authentication is available for crate downloads, Palletizer will not support authentication. This should avoid giving the false impression that your code is safe if you simply configure authentication. See RFC #2719 for more information.

Ok, but I really do want authentication

Fair enough, that makes sense for your private registry full of private code. For now, you can put a proxy (for example: nginx) in front of the web server to perform authentication. However, you need to carefully choose your authentication mechanism if you want it to work with vanilla Cargo. One thing that could work is to use IP based authentication to allow access from certain networks.

You can also bind the Palletizer server to a private VPN address directly and avoid the need for a separate proxy server. If you're looking for a good and simple VPN, you could take a look at WireGuard.

Project structure

The project consists of a library, a command line tool and a server application. The library could be used to implement different front-ends for Palletizer registries. It is also used by the command line tool and the server application to implement the actual registry management.

The command line tool does not communicate with a running server. It can be used to add, remove, yank and unyank crates from a registry manually. You do need direct access to the registry in order to use it.

The server application hosts the index repository, the crate data and the Cargo web API. You could also decide to use a dedicated server for the crate data and the index repository, and only expose the API of the Palletizer server to the Internet (or your VPN).


Contributions are always welcome. Feel free to open an issue or pull request on GitHub.


~444K SLoC