This guide serves as a cheat sheet to help Docker users keep their system organized, and to free disk space by removing unused Docker containers, images, volumes, and networks.
Docker is an open-source containerization platform that allows you to quickly build, test, and deploy applications as portable containers that can run virtually anywhere.
When working with Docker, you can quickly accumulate a large number of unused objects that consume significant disk space and clutter the output produced by the Docker commands. Docker doesn’t remove unused objects such as containers, images, volumes, and networks unless you explicitly tell it to do so.
This guide serves as a “cheat sheet” to help Docker users keep their system organized, and to free disk space by removing unused Docker containers, images, volumes, and networks.
docker system prune command removes all stopped containers, dangling images, and unused networks:
docker system prune
This command will prompt you to confirm the operation:
WARNING! This will remove: - all stopped containers - all networks not used by at least one container - all dangling images - all build cache Are you sure you want to continue? [y/N]
--force option to bypass the prompt.
By default, the command doesn’t remove unused volumes to prevent losing important data. If you want to remove all unused volumes, pass the
docker system prune --volumes WARNING! This will remove: - all stopped containers - all networks not used by at least one container - all volumes not used by at least one container - all dangling images - all build cache Are you sure you want to continue? [y/N] y
Docker containers are not automatically removed when you stop them unless you start the container using the
To remove one or more Docker containers, use the
docker container rm command, followed by the IDs of the containers you want to remove.
You can get a list of all containers bu invoking the
docker container ls command with the
docker container ls -a
The output should look something like this:
CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS PORTS NAMES cc3f2ff51cab centos "/bin/bash" 2 months ago Created competent_nightingale cd20b396a061 solita/ubuntu-systemd "/bin/bash -c 'exec …" 2 months ago Exited (137) 2 months ago systemd fb62432cf3c1 ubuntu "/bin/bash" 3 months ago Exited (130) 3 months ago jolly_mirzakhani
Once you know the
CONTAINER ID of the containers you want to delete, pass it to the
docker container rm command. For example, to remove the first two containers listed in the output above you would run:
docker container rm cc3f2ff51cab cd20b396a061
If you get an error message similar to the one shown below, it means that the container is running. You’ll need to stop the container before removing it.
Error response from daemon: You cannot remove a running container fc983ebf47
To create a network we use the $ docker network create command. The --driver or -d flag sets the driver to be used which defaults to bridge if not provided. We can also control the subnet (IP pool) using the --subnet else Docker will configure it automatically.
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We can get a list of all containers in docker using `docker container list` or `docker ps` commands.
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