15 Docker Commands You Should Know


In this article we’ll look at 15 Docker CLI commands you should know. If you haven’t yet, check out the rest of this series on Docker conceptsthe ecosystemDockerfiles, and keeping your images slim. In Part 6 we’ll explore data with Docker. I’ve got a series on Kubernetes in the works too, so follow me to make sure you don’t miss the fun!

There are about a billion Docker commands (give or take a billion). The Docker docs are extensive, but overwhelming when you’re just getting started. In this article I’ll highlight the key commands for running vanilla Docker.


Recall that a Docker image is made of a Dockerfile + any necessary dependencies. Also recall that a Docker container is a Docker image brought to life. To work with Docker commands, you first need to know whether you’re dealing with an image or a container.

  • A Docker image either exists or it doesn’t.
  • A Docker container either exists or it doesn’t.
  • A Docker container that exists is either running or it isn’t.

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