Useful Docker Commands: A Deep Dive for Java Developers and Security Experts

Docker has revolutionized software development, especially in the realm of consistency between environments, from development to production. For Java developers looking to streamline their build and deploy processes, and for security experts aiming for a robust, isolated environment, understanding Docker is vital. But with its wide range of functionalities come an extensive list of commands. So, which are the most useful Docker commands? Let’s unravel this together.

1. Basic Docker Commands

  • docker ps: Lists the running containers. By adding the -a flag (docker ps -a), you can view all containers, including the stopped ones
docker ps -a

This command provides insights about container IDs, its status, ports mapped, etc., which is especially useful when managing multiple containers.

docker run: This command is used to start a container. For Java developers, it’s crucial to know how to run Java applications in a Docker container:

docker run -p 8080:8080 my-java-app 

The -p flag maps the port on the host to the port on the container. In this case, the Java app inside the container listening on port 8080 would be accessible on the host’s port 8080.

2. Docker Image Commands

  • docker images: List all the images on your machine.
docker images

As Java developers, this command helps keep track of all your Java application versions (images) built.

docker rmi: Removes Docker images.

  • docker rmi image_id This command is essential for security experts to ensure that outdated or vulnerable images are purged from the system regularly.

3. Docker Container Lifecycle Commands

  • docker start: Start a stopped container.sql
docker start container_id

docker stop: Gracefully stop a running container. Important for Java developers to prevent potential data loss or incomplete transactions in Java applications.

docker stop container_id

docker restart: Restart a container. Useful when updates or changes have been made and need to be reflected.

docker restart container_id

docker kill: Force stops a container. Security experts may use this when they detect suspicious activity in a container.

docker kill container_id

4. Docker Network Commands

  • docker network ls: List all Docker networks. This is vital for both Java developers and security experts to understand the networking landscape of their containers.bash
docker network ls

docker network create: Used to create a new network. Beneficial for security experts to isolate certain containers deliberately.

docker network create my_network_name

5. Docker Volume and Data Commands

  • docker volume ls: Lists all volumes. Volumes are essential for persisting data generated by and used by Docker containers.bash
docker volume ls

Java developers, especially those working with databases, will find this command crucial.

docker volume create: Create a volume.

docker volume create my_volume_name

6. Docker System Commands

  • docker info: Displays system-wide information, which includes the kernel version, number of containers and images, etc. Useful for both developers and security experts for a system overview.
docker info

docker system df: Shows the amount of space used by Docker images, containers, and volumes. As applications grow, managing disk space becomes vital.

docker system df

docker system prune: Clean up unused data. This might include stopped containers, unused volumes, and networks not used by any container. Both Java developers and security experts should use this command cautiously, ensuring they don’t delete essential data.

docker system prune


Docker, with its vast landscape of commands, provides a plethora of functionalities beneficial for both Java developers and security experts. Whether you’re deploying a Java microservice or ensuring the security of containerized applications, these useful Docker commands are indispensable in your day-to-day operations. With practice and regular use, these commands will soon become second nature, enhancing your productivity and the overall efficiency of your workflow.