Docker Commands Cheat Sheet

Docker is an amazing tool that simplifies the deployment process of software applications in containers. Containers allow a developer to package up an application with all the parts it needs, including libraries and other dependencies, and ship it all out as one package.

This article provides a comprehensive cheat sheet to Docker commands, explaining what each does. It’s intended to be beginner-friendly, offering newcomers a guide to help them get started.

To learn more about Docker, please check Docker Tutorials page.

Install Docker on EC2 Linux Instance

To install Docker on EC2 Linux machine run these commands one by one.

sudo yum install docker 
sudo service docker start
sudo usermod -a -G docker ec2-user

Note: After running the sudo usermod -a -G docker ec2-user you can re-login to EC2 instance and it will no longer require you to use sudo when running Docker command. 

Start Docker as Service

sudo service docker start

Make Docker Not Require sudo Anymore

sudo usermod -a -G docker ec2-user

Note: After running the above command, you need to re-login to EC2 instance and it will no longer require you to use sudo when running Docker command. 

List Currently Running Docker Containers

docker ps –all

Start Docker Container

docker start <CONTAINER ID HERE>

Stop Running Docker Container

docker stop <CONTAINER ID HERE>

Delete Docker Container


Note: To delete a running Docker container, you will need to first stop it. Execute the docker stop <CONTAINER ID> command to first stop running docker container.

List Docker Images on Computer

docker images -a

Remove Docker Image

docker rmi <IMAGE ID HERE>


docker rmi -f <IMAGE ID HERE>

Remove All Docker Images on Computer

docker rmi $(docker images -f dangling=true)

Build Docker Image

docker build --tag=<IMAGE TAG NAME> --force-rm=true .

For example:

docker build --tag=albums-microservice --force-rm=true .

Run Docker Image in Docker Container

docker run -d <IMAGE NAME>

Where -d is used to detach the process so you can continue working with a terminal window and execute other commands.

Check Docker Container Logs

docker logs <CONTAINER ID HERE>

For example:

docker logs ceaf9e1ebef5

Inspect Docker Container

docker inspect <CONTAINER ID HERE>

Execute Commands in Docker Container


For example:

docker exec -it 67e36143717b ls
docker exec -it 67e36143717b bash

Pass Environment Variables


For example:

docker run ceaf9e1ebef5 -e "SPRING_PROFILES_ACTIVE=dev" -e "server.port=8080"

List Docker Networks on Computer

docker network ls

Create Custom Docker Bridge Network

docker network create --driver bridge <NEW NETWORK NAME>

then you can run Docker container in a newly created custom bridge network

docker run <CONTAINER ID > --network <NAME OF CREATED NETWORK>

Publish Docker Image to Docker Hub

To publish an existing Docker image to a Docker Hub Repository, follow these steps:

  1. Open Browser window and login to docker hub,
  2. Create a new Repository in your Docker Hub account,
  3. Open a Terminal window on your computer and Login to Docker Hub account:
    docker login --username=<DOCKER HUB USER NAME>
  4. List existing Docker images on your computer and look up Docker image ID of the Image you want to publish on Docker Hub.
    docker images ls
  5. Tag Docker image on your computer with a Docker Hub repository name the following way:

    For example:

    docker tag ceaf9e1ebef5 kargopolov/albums-microservice
  1. Push Docker image on your computer to a Docker Hub Repository name:
    docker push <Docker Hub User name>/<Repository name>

    For example:

    docker push kargopolov/albums-microservice

Bind a Directory in Docker Container to a Directory on Host Machine

docker run -d -v esdata1:/usr/share/elasticsearch/data --name elasticsearch --network host


-v <directory on HOST machine>:<directory in Docker container>

Make Docker Container use Host Network and Avoid Port Binding

docker run <IMAGE ID> --network host

To learn more about Docker, check the below list of online video courses that teach Docker.

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