DockerManaging images


  • docker images [OPTIONS] [REPOSITORY[:TAG]]
  • docker pull [OPTIONS] NAME[:TAG|@DIGEST]
  • docker rmi [OPTIONS] IMAGE [IMAGE...]

Fetching an image from Docker Hub

Ordinarily, images are pulled automatically from Docker Hub. Docker will attempt to pull any image from Docker Hub that doesn't already exist on the Docker host. For example, using docker run ubuntu when the ubuntu image is not already on the Docker host will cause Docker to initiate a pull of the latest ubuntu image. It is possible to pull an image separately by using docker pull to manually fetch or update an image from Docker Hub.

docker pull ubuntu
docker pull ubuntu:14.04

Additional options for pulling from a different image registry or pulling a specific version of an image exist. Indicating an alternate registry is done using the full image name and optional version. For example, the following command will attempt to pull the ubuntu:14.04 image from the registry:

docker pull

Listing locally downloaded images

$ docker images
REPOSITORY          TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
hello-world         latest              693bce725149        6 days ago          967 B
postgres            9.5                 0f3af79d8673        10 weeks ago        265.7 MB
postgres            latest              0f3af79d8673        10 weeks ago        265.7 MB

Referencing images

Docker commands which take the name of an image accept four different forms:

Short ID693bce725149
Namehello-world (defaults to :latest tag)
Digest[email protected]:e52be8ffeeb1f374f440893189cd32f44cb166650e7ab185fa7735b7dc48d619

Note: You can only refer to an image by its digest if that image was originally pulled using that digest. To see the digest for an image (if one is available) run docker images --digests.

Removing Images

The docker rmi command is used to remove images:

docker rmi <image name>

The full image name must be used to remove an image. Unless the image has been tagged to remove the registry name, it needs to be specified. For example:

docker rmi

It is also possible to remove images by their ID instead:

docker rmi 693bce725149

As a convenience, it is possible to remove images by their image ID by specifying only the first few characters of the image ID, as long as the substring specified is unambiguous:

docker rmi 693

Note: Images can be removed even if there are existing containers that use that image; docker rmi simply "untags" the image.

If no containers are using an image it is garbage-collected. If a container uses an image, the image will be garbage-collected once all the containers using it are removed. For example:

$ docker ps -a
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND             CREATED                  STATUS                     PORTS               NAMES
5483657ee07b        hello-world         "/hello"            Less than a second ago   Exited (0) 2 seconds ago                       small_elion

$ docker rmi hello-world
Untagged: hello-world:latest

$ docker ps -a
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND             CREATED                  STATUS                      PORTS               NAMES
5483657ee07b        693bce725149        "/hello"            Less than a second ago   Exited (0) 12 seconds ago                       small_elion

Remove All Images With No Started Containers

To remove all local images that have no started containers, you can provide a listing of the images as a parameter:

docker rmi $(docker images -qa)

Remove All Images

If you want to remove images regardless of whether or not they have a started container use the force flag (-f):

docker rmi -f $(docker images -qa)

Remove Dangling Images

If an image is not tagged and not being used by any container, it is 'dangling' and may be removed like this:

docker images -q --no-trunc -f dangling=true | xargs -r docker rmi

Search the Docker Hub for images

You can search Docker Hub for images by using the search command:

docker search <term>

For example:

$ docker search nginx
NAME                      DESCRIPTION                                     STARS     OFFICIAL   AUTOMATED
nginx                     Official build of Nginx.                        3565      [OK]
jwilder/nginx-proxy       Automated Nginx reverse proxy for docker c...   717                  [OK]
richarvey/nginx-php-fpm   Container running Nginx + PHP-FPM capable ...   232                  [OK]

Inspecting images

docker inspect <image>

The output is in JSON format. You can use jq command line utility to parse and print only the desired keys.

docker inspect <image> | jq -r '.[0].Author'

The above command will shows author name of the images.

Tagging images

Tagging an image is useful for keeping track of different image versions:

docker tag ubuntu:latest

Another example of tagging:

docker tag myApp:1.4.2 myApp:latest
docker tag myApp:1.4.2

Saving and loading Docker images

docker save -o ubuntu.latest.tar ubuntu:latest

This command will save the ubuntu:latest image as a tarball archive in the current directory with the name ubuntu.latest.tar. This tarball archive can then be moved to another host, for example using rsync, or archived in storage.

Once the tarball has been moved, the following command will create an image from the file:

docker load -i /tmp/ubuntu.latest.tar

Now it is possible to create containers from the ubuntu:latest image as usual.