Basic Docker Cheat Sheet

This is intended as a quick reference of Docker commands for a .Net Developer using Windows Container. For more detail you can visit Docker Docs

A simple analogy of a container and image. An image is like a hard drive of a computer, which contains information. A container is like a computer that needs the hard drive, which it will use. Another word a container is basically a running image.

Docker Client

Some useful command regarding the client

docker help – This will give you all the available commands. It provides a quick description of what each commands does.

docker <COMMAND> --help This provide more information or how to utilise a particular command.

docker version – This will show what version of Docker installed on your machine as well as if your running a linux or windows container.

docker info – This has lot more useful information like number of container and its state as well as the number of images.

Docker Images

docker images – List all the images locally downloaded.

docker pull <IMAGE NAME> – If you do not have the image on your local machine then it will download the image from Docker hub. However it will not start a container.

docker search <SEARCH TERM> – This is equivalent to vising Docker Hub.

Docker Container

  • docker create <IMAGE NAME> – Create a container from an image without starting it.
  • docker start <CONTAINER ID> – Start up a container.
  • docker run <CONTAINER ID> – Creates and starts a container.
  • docker stop <CONTAINER ID> – Stop a container.
  • docker rename <CONTAINER NAME> <NEW NAME> – Change the name of the container.
  • docker attach <CONTAINER ID> – This will connect to a running container.
  • docker ps – This gives you a list of all the running containers.
  • docker ps -a – This will list all running and exited containers.

Docker Run

If you wish to download and run then the following command will be more appropriate. docker run --rm -it microsoft/dotnet:2.1-sdk dotnet --version

The arguments are as follows:

  • --rm – It will delete the container and not the image when we exit the container.
  • -it – create an “interactive” session and attaches the tty input.
  • microsoft/dotnet – the name of the image.
  • 2.1-sdk – This is the tag, which means what version of image to use.
  • dotnet --version – The command to execute in the container when it starts.

Other useful parameter you can use with docker run:

  • -d – Running the container in Detached mode.
  • --name <CONTAINER NAME> – This will give a name to the container instead of the default image name if omitted.
  • -v <HOST DIR>:<CONTAINER DIR> – Map the Host and Container folder. *-p <HOST PORT>:<CONTAINER PORT> – This is port forwarding from between Host and Container.

As of writing this blog on windows you can not use localhost:8080 but instead you will need to use the container ip address. This can be found using: docker inspect <CONTAINER ID>

Running the following command will change between Linux and Windows containers

& 'C:\Program Files\Docker\Docker\DockerCli.exe' -SwitchDaemon


docker system prune – This will remove all unused and dangling images, containers and build cache.

docker rm -f $(docker ps -a -q) This will delete all Docker containers.

docker rmi -f $(docker images -q)This will delete all Docker images.

Written on March 1, 2018 by Ranu Miah