How to list images in Docker?

DockerOperating SystemOpen Source

Docker provides a plethora of useful Docker commands that will help you to create, manipulate, and manage Docker objects such as volumes, images, containers, networks, etc. If you have been working with Docker for a long time now, you might have several Docker images already in your machine. Keeping track of all these images becomes quite difficult especially through a single command line.

However, you can list all Docker images along with filtered outputs to get your desired results. In this article, we will discuss how to use different commands along with multiple options to list all Docker images in our host machine.

Listing Docker Images

There are two major commands that can be used interchangeably to list Docker images and both of them provide the same results. The syntaxes of both these commands are mentioned below.

$ docker image ls [OPTIONS] [REPOSITORY[:TAG]]

You can use multiple options along with this command. These are -

  • --digests - It is used to print the digests of the images.
  • --filter - You can use this option to filter your output.
  • --format - You can pretty-print output using a Go template.
  • --no-trunc - You can use this to avoid output truncate.
  • --quiet - Display only IDs of images.
  • --all - You can list intermediate images using this option.

Another command to achieve the same result is -

$ docker images

Let’s discuss a few examples to modify your result output.

If you want to list only those images that belong to a particular repository, you can use the following command.

$ docker images <repository-name>:<tag-name>


For example, if you want to list all the nginx images, you can use the following command.


$ docker images nginx

You can also provide the tag name along with the name of the image repository.

$ docker images nginx:latest

If you see the results carefully, you will find that the Docker images list command displays the image list by truncating the IDs of the images. If you want to override this default behaviour, you can use the --no-trunc option. Let’s see how to do so.

$ docker images --no-trunc

If you want to list the digests of the images as well, you can simply use the --digests option along with the Docker images command. Image digests are unique IDs given to each tagged image that is often used to check for similar images.

$ docker images --digests

If you want to list all the dangling or untagged images, you can use the --filter option to do so. You need to provide appropriate key-value pairs. Some examples of filters that you can provide are - label, dangling, before, since, and reference. Let’s see how to list all the dangling images.

$ docker images --filter "dangling=true"

If you want to filter all those images that were created before a particular image, you can use the before filter.

$ docker images --filter "before=fedora"

The above command will display a list of all images that were created before the fedora image in your host machine. To list images that were created after a particular image, you can use the since filter.

$ docker images --filter "since=fedora"

You can also use the reference option to list images matching a particular pattern. For example, if you want to list all images starting with the letter m, you can use the following command.

$ docker images --filter=reference='m*'

To list all the images including intermediate and dangling ones, you can use the --all option.

$ docker images --all

If you want to print only the IDs of the images, you can use the --quiet option.

$ docker images --quiet

You can also use the --format option to pretty-print the output using a Go template. Let’s see how to do so.

$ docker images --format "The Image ID for the image is {{.ID}} belonging to {{.Repository}}"

Other placeholders that you can use are tag, ID, digest, size, createdat, createdsince, etc.

Final Thoughts!

To sum up, in this article we discussed how to use two different commands to list all the Docker images in your host machine. We saw how to use several different options to format the output according to our requirements. We looked at multiple options such as quiet, all, digest, format, filter, etc. We certainly hope that you will now be able to use the Docker image list command in the most precise manner to get accurate results.

raja
Published on 06-Aug-2021 12:16:39
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