Docker Lessons Learned: 3 months in

In my primer my usage was very limited, and there are a few questions i’ve been able to answer and I’d like to share the top ones. These I think are questions beginners itch to answer as they become intermediates.

Backing up image

this will create of /usr/app/data and back it up at /data/backup

docker run --volumes-from data-container -v $(pwd):/usr/app ubuntu zip -r /usr/app/data /data/backup

Bash into image

run a bash session straight into a container, where ID=container-name

docker run -it $ID bash

Restart Policy

I’ve always thought, running a container on a daemon will make it persist on error, but it doesn’t you have to set always restart.

docker run --restart=always -d redis /bin/bash


add some boundaries on what can and cannot be done on a container, because containers do offer a security woe when accessible from shell, it is hard to restrict from shell’s access

--cap-add and --cap-del

nginx proxy

jwilder nginx proxy allows you to, using environment variable VIRTUAL_HOST set on container, using docker remote events api, it can register any new domain you need for reverse proxy.

simply run the nginx container attached to port 80, and still run your containers as normal, it should pick your domains up and register them.

docker run -d -p 80:80 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/tmp/docker.sock jwilder/nginx-proxy

cross-container IP/communication

when in the same docker-compose, containers whithin the compose are accessible by either service name or container name automagically, however I had the use case where I like to keep a compose with every project, so I had a Node APi backed by Mongo, and that had it’s own docker-compose, but also had an angular client, with it’s own compose file. the way around is to create --links or external-links: in docker-compose. referencing other containers by name:alias, this alias then can be used in the code.

Or you could simply attempt to get a container’s IP by running

docker inspect --format='\{\{.NetworkSettings.IPAddress}}'  $ID


tag and push

docker tag [-f|--force[=false] IMAGE [REGISTRYHOST/][USERNAME/]NAME[:TAG]