This is the multi-page printable view of this section. Click here to print.

Return to the regular view of this page.



Anchore uses a go binary called anchore-ecs-inventory that leverages the AWS Go SDK to gather an inventory of containers and their images running on ECS and report back to Anchore.


Via Helm Chart

You can install the chart via:

helm repo add anchore
helm install <release-name> -f <values.yaml> anchore/ecs-inventory

A basic values file can always be found here. The key configurations are in the ecsInventory section.

Anchore ECS Inventory creates it’s own secret based on your values.yaml file for the following keys that are required for successfully deploying and connecting the ecs-inventory service to the Anchore Platform and AWS ECS Service:

  • ecsInventory.awsAccessKeyId
  • ecsInventory.awsSecretAccessKey

Using your own secrets

The (ecsInventory.useExistingSecret and ecsInventory.existingSecretName) or ecsInventory.injectSecretsViaEnv keys allows you to create your own secret and provide it in the values file or place the required secret into the pod via different means such as injecting the secrets into the pod using hashicorp vault.

For example:

  • Create a secret in kubernetes:

    apiVersion: v1
    kind: Secret
      name: ecs-inventory-secrets
    type: Opaque
      AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID: someKeyId
      AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY: someSecretAccessKey
  • Provide it to the helm chart via the values file:

        useExistingSecret: true
        existingSecretName: "ecs-inventory-secrets"

The Anchore API Password and required AWS secret values can also be injected into the environment of the ecs-inventory container. For injecting the environment variable

# set

See the ecs-inventory repo for more information about the ECS Inventory specific configuration


It is also possible to deploy the ecs-inventory container on ECS. Here is an sample task definition that could be used to deploy ecs-inventory with a default configuration:

    "family": "anchore-ecs-inventory-example-task-definition",
    "containerDefinitions": [
            "name": "ecs-inventory",
            "image": "",
            "cpu": 0,
            "essential": true,
            "environment": [
                    "name": "ANCHORE_ECS_INVENTORY_ANCHORE_URL",
                    "value": "https://anchore.url"
                    "name": "ANCHORE_ECS_INVENTORY_ANCHORE_USER",
                    "value": "admin"
                    "name": "ANCHORE_ECS_INVENTORY_ANCHORE_ACCOUNT",
                    "value": "admin"
                    "name": "ANCHORE_ECS_INVENTORY_REGION",
                    "value": "us-east-2"
            "secrets": [
                    "name": "ANCHORE_ECS_INVENTORY_ANCHORE_PASSWORD",
                    "valueFrom": "arn:aws:ssm:${region}:${aws_account_id}:parameter/ANCHORE_ADMIN_PASS"
                    "name": "AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID",
                    "valueFrom": "arn:aws:ssm:${region}:${aws_account_id}:parameter/ECS_INVENTORY_AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID"
                    "name": "AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY",
                    "valueFrom": "arn:aws:ssm:${region}:${aws_account_id}:parameter/ECS_INVENTORY_AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY"
            "logConfiguration": {
                "logDriver": "awslogs",
                "options": {
                    "awslogs-create-group": "true",
                    "awslogs-group": "/anchore/ecs-inventory",
                    "awslogs-region": "us-east-2",
                    "awslogs-stream-prefix": "ecs"
    "executionRoleArn": "arn:aws:iam::${aws_account_id}:role/ecsTaskExecutionRole",
    "networkMode": "awsvpc",
    "requiresCompatibilities": [
    "cpu": "512",
    "memory": "1024",
    "runtimePlatform": {
        "cpuArchitecture": "X86_64",
        "operatingSystemFamily": "LINUX"


To verify that you are tracking ECS Inventory you can access inventory results with the command anchorectl inventory list and look for results where the TYPE is ecs.

Watching ECS Inventory to auto analyze

It is possible to create a subscription to watch for new ECS Inventory that is reported to Anchore and automatically schedule those images for analysis.

1. Create the subscription

A subscription can be created by sending a POST to /v1/subscriptions with the following payload:

  "subscription_key": "<SUBSCRIPTION_KEY>",
  "subscription_type": "runtime_inventory"

Curl example:

curl -X POST -u USERNAME:PASSWORD --url ANCHORE_URL/v1/subscriptions --header 'Content-Type: application/json' --data '{
  "subscription_key": "arn:aws:ecs:eu-west-2:123456789012:cluster/myclustername",
  "subscription_type": "runtime_inventory"

The subscription_key can be set to any part of an ECS ClusterARN. For example setting the subscription_key to the:

  • full ClusterARN arn:aws:ecs:us-east-1:012345678910:cluster/telemetry will create a subscription that only watches this cluster
  • partial ClusterARN arn:aws:ecs:eu-west-2:988505687240 will result in a subscription that watches every cluster within the account 988505687240

2. Activate the subscription

After a subscription has been created it needs to be activated. This can be achieved with anchorectl.

anchorectl subscription activate <SUBSCRIPTION_KEY> runtime_inventory

General Runtime Management

See Data Management