Useful docker commands

practical docker

Posted by Ray on May 8, 2020

Some most used docker commands. On ubuntu, if docker install with snap, add /snap/bin/ to PATH

Most docker command should have two levels. But for comparability reason commands can be both top level command and command with sub commands.


docker pull nginx should be docker image pull nginx in latest docker versions. I will use docker [image] pull to indicate the command can either be docker image pull or docker pull

Docker image vs container

From article How to Automate Docker Deployments An image is an inert, immutable, file that’s essentially a snapshot of a container. Images are created with the build command, and they’ll produce a container when started with run.

Useful commands

Command Command description Command example
docker [COMMAND] --help man page for docker  
docker version version number  
docker info docker info (build, file system etc)  
docker inspect NAME|ID low-level information on Docker objects  
docker search Search a image by name search nginx image docker search nginx
docker [image] pull Pull a image by name pull nginx image docker image pull nginx or to specific a version docker image pull nginx:stable-alpine or docker image pull nginx:1.16.1-alpine
docker [image] ls list downloaded images  
docker [image] rmi image-id remove docker images  
docker [image] rm container-id remove docker images  
docker [container] ls equal to docker ps COMMAND field indicate the current running process in the container -a display stopped container
docker network ls list available networks by default started container will be added to bridge(NAT) network
docker run IMAGE run a docker image <ul><li> IMAGE image name, e.g nginx, nginx:nginx:alpin if not available in local, will download</li><li> –name [imagename]</li> <li>–rm [remove after stop]</li><li>-it run in interactive mode and allocate a TTY</li><li>-d detach mode, for demons</li></ul>
docker stop/start stop/start a docker container start can only used to start a stopped container -ai interactive
docker kill send kill -9 to container(image name)and force it stop. container will be in exited status docker stop will send 15
docker [container] rm delete a container container status need to be exited
docker exec Run a command in a running container  

Play around

docker run --name kvstore -d redis:6-alpine

docker ps
docker pause kvstore
docker unpause kvstore
docker container logs kvstore  #get logs

633a89c3f23e redis:6-alpine “docker-entrypoint.s…” 5 seconds ago Up 44 econds 6379/tcp kvstore

login into the docker and run bin/sh

docker exec -it kvstore  /bin/sh
/data #

Docker cheat sheet

A good summary Docker Cheet Sheet

Base command

from latest cmd line reference Docker(base command)

Docker container life cycle Docker Events Explained

And this one: Docker Events Explained