In the previous tutorial, we have learn about docker and containers and Installation of docker. now we will see how to play with container because handling containers is the sole purpose of all these infrastructure.

1. RUN command

docker run hello-world

Whats just happend?

Basically once you run above command, it’s do following things:

If you want to run container in background then you can simply pass -d flag to run command as below:

docker run -d centos "/bin/bash"

It will run container in detached mode.

Another command for interactive mode:

docker run -i -t centos "/bin/bash"

Run command has many option, you can check man docker-run for more info, some basic overview as below:

The run options control the image’s runtime behavior in a container. These settings affect:

2. Create command

Create command only create container with settings you provided, it does not start container.


To create :

docker create --name test-cn -i -t centos "/bin/bash"



The output you see, it’s a container ID, every container has uniq id, we have provided name (test-cn) to container, if you do not provided name then you can use container id, which is output of above command

To start :

docker start -a -i test-cn


docker start -a -i d63f927cf1c

3. Start, Stop and Restart command

To change the container state, you can use thise command like our init script.

When you fire stop command, docker actually sends signal -15 ( SIGTERM), to the process. The SIGTERM signal requests the process to terminate itself gracefully. once signal sends, docker will wait for some timeout… if its does not stop, then after timeout, docker will send SIGTERM signal ( -9 ) to kill the process forcefully.


docker stop | start| restart [OPTIONS] CONTAINER [CONTAINER...]

-t, --time=10      Seconds to wait for stop before killing it

Control the container either by Name or ID

4. Exec command

Now let say you have runing container, and you want to run some commands in runing container, in this case you can use exec command:

docker exec -t test-cn bash -c "cat /etc/hosts"
docker exec -it test-cn bash

This will create new bash session in the running container.

5. cp command

Copy data from/to running container


docker cp test-cn:/etc/hosts test-cn-hosts-file

This will copy hosts file from test-cn container to local path with name test-cn-hosts-file



6. attach command

This commands brings a container to the foreground. The container must be running to be attached.


docker attach [OPTIONS] CONTAINER


docker attach test-cn

Once you run exit command or after attaching container you kill process inside container, it will go to stop mode.

7. Inspect command

It will gives you all container system information like network,os,driver etc… in json format.


docker inspect test-cn

8. rm command

This command is used to delete any container either by name or ID. Put Make sure that the container is stopped before you remove it.

docker rm CONTAINER-ID

9. ps command

Shows the current running containers on the system and with -a flag list all containers that has been created

To check running containers

docker ps

for checking all containers

docker ps -a

10. Search and pull image

If you want to search any ready image let say for java then you can simply use search and pull

To search all java images:

docker search java

To pull on java image:

docker pull java

11. Docker save and load image and list images

Lets say you have created your custom image, now you want to export in file and copy to another server then you can simply use this option, its just for portable version of docker images.


docker save -o test-cn.tar test-cn
docker load --input test-cn

To list downloaded images

docker images

Mix command

To stop all container in one single command

docker stop 'docker ps -aq'

I hope this is useful for you, feel free to email/comment if any quires.

In next tutorial we will learn about building docker images.