Last updated at 2023-09-30

Essential Docker Commands

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Sep 28, 2023
In this guide, you will learn some essential docker commands that you can use to work with docker on daily basis.

The Importance of Docker

Docker has become an essential tool for developers and development teams, providing a way to package and distribute applications in a consistent and portable manner.
It allows you to create lightweight, isolated containers that can run on any system with Docker installed, regardless of the underlying operating system.

Why Docker is Useful

Docker offers several benefits for developers:
  • Portability: With Docker, you can package your application and its dependencies into a single container, making it easy to deploy and run on any system. This eliminates the "it works on my machine" problem and ensures that your application runs consistently in any environment.
  • Isolation: Docker containers provide a lightweight and isolated environment for your application, ensuring that it doesn't interfere with other processes or applications running on the same system. This makes it easier to manage dependencies and avoids conflicts between different versions of software.
  • Scalability: Docker allows you to easily scale your application by running multiple instances of the same container. This makes it ideal for high-traffic websites or applications that need to handle a large number of requests.
  • Version Control: Docker images are versioned, allowing you to easily track changes to your application and roll back to a previous version if needed. This makes it easier to manage and collaborate on projects, especially in a team environment.
Now that we understand the importance of Docker, let's take a look at some essential Docker commands that every developer should know.

Install Docker

To get started with Docker, you need to install it on your system.
he installation process varies depending on your operating system.


If you're using macOS, you can install Docker using Homebrew.
Open a terminal and run the following command:
brew install docker


On Linux, the installation process depends on the distribution you're using.
You can refer to the official Docker documentation for instructions on how to install Docker on your specific distribution.

Check Docker Version

Once Docker is installed, you can check its version by running the following command in a terminal:
docker -v
This will display the version of Docker installed on your system.

Docker Run Daemon

Before you can use Docker, you need to start the Docker daemon. On macOS, you can do this by opening the Docker desktop application.
On Linux, the Docker daemon should start automatically after installation.

Docker List Running Images

If you're joining a team that already uses Docker, you may need to see what processes are currently running.
To list the running Docker processes, you can use the following command:
docker ps
This will display a list of running Docker containers, along with information such as the container ID, image used, and status.

Docker List Images

If you are building a docker container, you want to see if the images is built successfully.
You can use this command to list available images in your machine.
docker images # OR docker image ls

Docker Remove Image

To remove an image when you don’t need it anymore, you can use this command
docker image rm DOCKER_IMAGE_NAME

Docker Compose Build

If you have a docker-compose.yml, you build using this command.
docker compose build

Docker Run Image

When you have image installed in your machine, you can run the image using this command
docker run -p 4000:3000 IMAGE_TO_RUN

Docker Compose Run

docker compose up

Uninstall Docker

If you no longer need Docker or want to perform a clean installation, you can uninstall it from your system. The uninstallation process depends on your operating system.


To uninstall Docker on macOS, you can use Homebrew. Open a terminal and run the following command:
brew uninstall docker


On Linux, the uninstallation process depends on the distribution you're using.
You can refer to the official Docker documentation for instructions on how to uninstall Docker on your specific distribution.
In conclusion, Docker is a powerful tool that provides portability, isolation, scalability, and version control for your applications.
By learning and mastering essential Docker commands, you can enhance your development workflow and become a more efficient developer.

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