Josh A. Young
Software Engineer

Updating a Container

In order to update a docker container, we need to follow a few steps (outlined below). We will need to update the image to a newer version and then build a new container based off that image. It is usually best to not use the image with the ':latest' tag. Instead try to build your container off of a specific image version (What's Wrong With The Docker :latest Tag?).

1. Stop the Running Container:
  • Run: docker container stop [container id]
    • Or: run docker-compose down
1. Remove the Old Container:
  • Run: docker container rm id
1. Pull the New Image:
  • Run: docker pull image:tag
    • Or: update the image tag in your docker-compose file.
1. Start the New Container:
  • Run: docker run ...
    • Or: docker-compose up

In order to find the current image version of your container, you can run an inspect command on your running container:

  • docker inspect [container id]

Find the current image tag within this metadata. Then take this image tag and plug it into a search on Docker Hub to determine a reasonable image version for your new container.


When you update your image to a new version pay attention to breaking changes. Do not update your container to an image version that requires changes to your container setup without first making the needed changes.

Last Updated: March 03, 2021
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