Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Docker cheat sheet

If you're using Docker, here's a nice Docker cheat sheet. I've collected a few choice bits of Docker magic here.

Docker comes with a point-n-click way to start a shell with docker hooks attached. Here's an easier way:

eval "$(docker-machine env default)"


Docker terminology has spawned some confusion. For instance: images vs. containers and registry vs. repository. Luckily, there's help, for example this stack-overflow post by a brilliant, but under-appreciated, hacker on the difference between images and containers.

  • Registry - a service that stores image repositories
  • Repository - a set of Docker images, usually versions of the same application
  • Image - an immutable snapshot of a running container. An image consists of layers of file system changes stacked up on top of a base image.
  • Container - a runtime instance of an image

Working with Docker

We don't need to ssh into the container. Maybe you could call this "shelling" into a container?

docker run --rm -it ubuntu:latest bash

... more here later. In the meantime, see wsargent's cheat sheet ...

The Dockerfile is a version-controllable artifact that automates the creation of a customized image from a base image. There's plenty of good advice in the guide to Best practices for writing Dockerfiles.

docker build -t myimagename .


You should almost always run with the --rm flag to avoid leaving shrapnel around. But, that's easy to forget. If there are lots of old containers hanging around, this bit of magic will help:

docker ps -a | grep 'weeks ago' | awk '{print $1}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty docker rm

Images can pile up, too. In What are Docker : images?, Shishir Mahajan show how to clean up dangling images:

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