Michele Nasti

Thoughts on what I learn

Docker cheatsheet

I usually forget everything if I don't use it that much. Here is a brief list of docker commands learned on the go.

Start a simple container

docker run -i -t ubuntu /bin/bash
  • run runs the ubuntu image
  • -i allows you to write to the container ("Keep STDIN open even if not attached")
  • -t allocates a pseudoTTY and allows to read from the container
  • ubuntu is the name of the image to start
  • /bin/bash is the command to launch once the image is started

In practice: use -i -t to read and write from the docker image in the console.

Optional commands:

  • --name XXX assigns the name XXX to the container
  • -d launches the container as a daemon
  • -c XXX passes XXX to the command. In our example the command is /bin/bash. With -c we can pass any kind of commands; for example -c "while true; do echo hello world; sleep 1; done". Docker would pass this string t bash and the container would print hello world every second without stopping. Note the quotes.

See containers status

docker ps -a 
  • ps alone prints only the active containers
  • -a shows also the exited containers

Inspecting a container

If the container is started as daemon you might want to see the output.

docker logs -t -f NAME_OF_CONTAINER 
  • logs NAME_OF_CONTAINER shows you the logs of the container. Without options you see the latest logs and then the propt gets back to your shell.
  • -f works like -f in tail -f; logs become live. Use CTRL-C to exit.
  • -t shows also timestamps.

To check container processes:

docker top daemon_dave

To get stats about a bunch of docker containers:

docker stats daemon_dave daemon_kate

Running programs in a container

Daemon mode:

sudo docker exec -d daemon_dave touch /etc/new_config_file
  • -d stands for daemon mode.
  • exec is used to run a command in the daemon-dave container.

Interactive mode:

docker exec -t -i daemon_dave /bin/bash
  • -t creates a TTY
  • -i captures STDIN

...basically opens an interactive shell.

Stopping & Deleting

docker stop CONTAINER 
docker rm CONTAINER 

Listing docker images

docker images

Build a static container with my blog

create the Dockerfile:

# Version: 0.0.1 
FROM ubuntu:18.04
LABEL maintainer="XXX@gmail.com"
# update and install stuff we need: ruby, nodejs, nginx
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y nginx make build-essential ruby ruby-dev curl
RUN curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_10.x | bash -
RUN apt-get install -y nodejs
# install ruby gems to build the blog
RUN gem install bundler
RUN gem install jekyll
# specify that we want to work in the directory /root/
WORKDIR /root/
# Remove the default Nginx configuration file
RUN rm -v /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
# Copy a configuration file from the current directory
ADD nginx.conf /etc/nginx/
# add files from our current directory (.) to the local work dir (/root/)
ADD . .
# install jekyll plugins and build the site
RUN bundle install
RUN bundle exec jekyll build --config=_config.yml,_config_dev.yml
# copy generated website to nginx public dir
RUN cp -r _site/* /usr/share/nginx/html/
# run nginx as foreground process.
CMD ["nginx", "-g", "daemon off;"]

In a Dockerfile there must be a CMD command otherwise the process will stop after being launched.

To actually make it work you should also configure your nginx with a valid nginx.conf:

# file nginx.conf
worker_processes 1;

events { worker_connections 1024; }

http {
include mime.types;
sendfile on;
server {
root /usr/share/nginx/html/;
index index.html;
server_name localhost;
listen 80;

Then we can build the image:

docker build -t "musikele/blog" .

And we can run it with:

docker run -d -p 80:80 --name blog musikele/blog

In case anything goes wrong, you can enter and inspect the running container with:

docker exec -i -t blog /bin/bash