Docker CLI

Let's take a look at some more cool features of the Docker CLI.

pull / push

pull allows you to pre-fetch container to run. P

docker pull jturpin/hollywood
docker run -it jturpin/hollywood hollywood # notice it's already loaded and cached here; it doesn't redownload it

That will pull the hollywood container from the user jturpin's user account. The second line will execute this fun container which is just meant to look a hacker's screen in a movie (it doesn't really do anything than look cool.)

push allows you to push containers to whatever registry you're connected to (probably normally Docker Hub or something like Azure Container Registry).


docker inspect node

This will dump out a lot of info about the container. Helpful when figuring out what's going on with a container

pause / unpause

As it looks, these pauses or unpause all the processes in a container. Feel free to try

docker run -dit jturpin/hollywood hollywood
docker ps # see container running
docker pause <ID or name>
docker ps # see container paused
docker unpause <ID or name>
docker ps # see container running again
docker kill <ID or name> # see container is gone


This allows you to execute a command against a running container. This is different from docker run because docker run will start a new container whereas docker exec runs the command in an already-running container.

docker run -dit jturpin/hollywood hollywood
docker ps # grab the name or ID
docker exec <ID or name> ps aux # see it output all the running processes of the container

If you haven't seen ps aux before, it's a really useful way to see what's running on your computer. Try running ps aux on your macOS or Linux computer to see everything running.

import / export

Allows you to dump out your container to a tar ball (which we did above.) You can also import a tar ball as well.


We'll get into layers in a bit but this allow you to see how this Docker image's layer composition has changed over time and how recently.

docker history node


Dumps a bunch of info about the host system. Useful if you're on a VM somewhere and not sure what the environment is.

docker info


Allows you to see processes running on a container (similar to what we did above)

docker run mongo
docker top <ID outputted by previous command> # you should see MongoDB running

rm / rmi

If you run docker ps --all it'll show all containers you've stopped running in addition to the runs you're running. If you want to remove something from this list, you can do docker rm <id or name>.

If you want to remove an image from your computer (to save space or whatever) you can run docker rmi mongo and it'll delete the image from your computer. This isn't a big deal since you can always reload it again


Very useful to see the output of one of your running containers.

docker run -d mongo
docker logs <id from previous command> # see all the logs


Pretty self explanatory. Will restart a running container

If you want to see if a container exists on Docker Hub (or whatever registry you're connected to), this will allow you to take a look.

docker search python # see all the various flavors of Python containers you can run
docker search node # see all the various flavors of Node.js containers you can run