Singularity 101 Course Section #11: Signing and verifying images

Nov 7, 2023 | Singularity 101 Test

Signing and verifying images

SingularityCE’s SIF images can be signed and then verified, giving users confidence that the images they obtain are bit-for-bit reproductions of the original containers, as intended by the authors. The signature, which encompasses the container’s metadata and content, is generated using a private key and directly added to the SIF file. This means that a signed container carries its signature with it, eliminating the need for additional infrastructure to distribute signatures to end users.

To confirm that a container has not been modified since signing, users can employ a public key or certificate. By default, SingularityCE uses PGP keys to sign and verify containers. From version 3.11 onwards, it also supports signing and verifying containers with X.509 key materials or certificates.

Besides indicating a container has not been modified, a valid signature can signify that a container has been tested or reviewed, and is approved for execution. Multiple signatures can be added to a container to document its progress through an approval process.