How to list all the docker containers?

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list all docker containers in system

To list all the running docker containers, use this command –

docker ps

and use this command to list all the containers running or otherwise

docker ps -a

Different Container States

Suppose no container is running in your system, then docker ps command will return an empty table as shown in the image –

docker ps (no container running)
docker ps (no container running)

In this situation we might need to know about all the containers which are stopped. docker ps -a will return all of them, no matter whether they are running or stopped. Check out the image below –

docker ps -a (no container running)
docker ps -a (no container running)

You can see that the command displayed a list of many containers. They are all in exited state.

If a container is running then the outputs are –

For docker ps

docker ps (container running)
docker ps (container running)

For docker ps -a

docker ps -a (some containers running)
docker ps -a (some containers running)

Understanding Response

Let us understand the response return by the command. It’s a table of columns –

  1. CONTAINER ID – This is a 12 digit unique alphanumeric id which is assigned by docker to each container. This id is used to start/stop a container.
  2. IMAGE – It’s the name of the image for which the container is running.
  3. COMMAND – This is the entrypoint command which is listed in Dockerfile of image. This command runs when a container gets live.
  4. CREATED – This shows the time when the container was created.
  5. STATUS – The current status of container (Up or Exited). Along with that it shows the time when it attained this status.
  6. PORTS – The ports which are exposed in the container.
  7. NAMES – A human readable name for container. You can do everything using this name what you can do with container id.

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