In this post we going to learn how to run docker images, and we going to use some options and commands most used.


  • Docker installed, you can check my post about install Docker here.


To run docker images you can use the command docker container run

docker container run -it -d --name my_container image_name command

For example

docker container run -it -d --name ubuntu_dev ubuntu /bin/bash

OK lets explain all the options we have here.

  • The -i option means that it will be interactive mode (Keep STDIN open even not attached)*
  • The -t option gives you STDOUT (Allocate a pseudo-TTY)*
  • The -d option (daemon mode) keeps the container running in the background*
  • –name my_container name of the container*
  • image_name docker will try to find the image locally at first if does not exist it will search for the image in docker hub.
  • /bin/bash is the command it runs as pid 1, if this command stop if the container stops*.

* Not required.

If you want to know more about STDIN and STDOUT you can read here

Docker Hub is an image repository where you can find official and unofficial docker images.

1. Put the last command to docker download and run the latest ubuntu image from docker hub

$ docker container run -it -d --name dev_ubuntu ubuntu /bin/bash
Unable to find image 'ubuntu:latest' locally
latest: Pulling from library/ubuntu
33c9bf8777b5: Pull complete
3a1900e16211: Pull complete
d53c8a81c254: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:cbcf86d7781dbb3a6aa2bcea25403f6b0b443e20b9959165cf52d2cc9608e4b9
Status: Downloaded newer image for ubuntu:latest

2. Verify that the container is running with docker container ls

$ docker container ls
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND             CREATED             STATUS              PORTS               NAMES
91773f80517d        ubuntu              "/bin/bash"         2 minutes ago       Up 2 minutes                            dev_ubuntu

3. Now lets connect to the container with docker container exec

docker container exec -it dev_ubuntu /bin/bash

4. Once you connect to the container you can update, install packages or configure your container, once you want to return to the host you can type exit

$ exit

Well now that you know how to run containers you can look into Docker Hub for more containers, you will find almost any application for all purpose, like samba, apache, redis, nginx, dns, dhcp, etc

Now, lets clean up

5. Stop the container

docker container stop dev_ubuntu
If you want to start the container later you can use the command "docker container start container_name"

6. If you don't going to use the container again, you can remove the container after stopping it, this will delete all data except the image.

docker container rm dev_ubuntu

7. And if you dont going to use the image anymore you can delete it

docker image rm ubuntu:latest

Well done, now you know how to run container with Docker and use some basic commands