Docker: Run Command in Container – Exec Example

The docker exec command serves for executing commands in a running container.

If the Docker container is stopped, before running the docker exec command it should be started using the docker run command.

In this short note i will show the examples of how to execute commands Docker containers.

Cool Tip: Enter a running Docker container and start a bash session! Read More →

Run Command in Docker Container

Use the docker exec to execute a command in already running Docker container:

$ docker exec -it <container> <command>

– example –

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID  IMAGE         COMMAND         CREATED     STATUS    PORTS   NAMES
df51f67134f2  nginx:latest  "/docker-e..."  5 mins ago  Up 5 min  80/tcp  nginx

$ docker exec -it 067f66a99dff nginx -v
nginx version: nginx/1.17.10

If the required Docker container is stopped, you should firstly start it from an image using the docker run command:

$ docker run -dt <image>
$ docker exec -it <container> <command>

– example –

$ docker run -dt alpine:latest
c7d42807e9c083f3cf88fea7ec476ad86525ac2b9dfc816fd75bfb150d4c8920

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID  IMAGE          COMMAND    CREATED    STATUS      PORTS   NAMES
c7d42807e9c0  alpine:latest  "/bin/sh"  1 sec ago  Up 1 sec            alpine

$ docker exec -it c7d42807e9c0 cat /etc/alpine-release
3.11.6
Option Description
-i, --interactive Keep STDIN open even if not attached
-t, --tty Allocate a pseudo-TTY
-d, --detach Run the container in the background (detached mode)

Cool Tip: Copy files between Docker container and a host machine! Read More →