docker update

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Edge only: This is the CLI reference for Docker CE Edge versions. Some of these options may not be available to Docker CE stable or Docker EE. You can view the stable version of this CLI reference or learn about Docker CE Edge.


Update configuration of one or more containers




Name, shorthand Default Description
--blkio-weight 0 Block IO (relative weight), between 10 and 1000, or 0 to disable (default 0)
--cpu-period 0 Limit CPU CFS (Completely Fair Scheduler) period
--cpu-quota 0 Limit CPU CFS (Completely Fair Scheduler) quota
--cpu-rt-period 0 Limit the CPU real-time period in microseconds
--cpu-rt-runtime 0 Limit the CPU real-time runtime in microseconds
--cpu-shares, -c 0 CPU shares (relative weight)
--cpuset-cpus   CPUs in which to allow execution (0-3, 0,1)
--cpuset-mems   MEMs in which to allow execution (0-3, 0,1)
--kernel-memory 0 Kernel memory limit
--memory, -m 0 Memory limit
--memory-reservation 0 Memory soft limit
--memory-swap 0 Swap limit equal to memory plus swap: ‘-1’ to enable unlimited swap
--restart   Restart policy to apply when a container exits

Parent command

Command Description
docker The base command for the Docker CLI.

Extended description

The docker update command dynamically updates container configuration. You can use this command to prevent containers from consuming too many resources from their Docker host. With a single command, you can place limits on a single container or on many. To specify more than one container, provide space-separated list of container names or IDs.

With the exception of the --kernel-memory option, you can specify these options on a running or a stopped container. On kernel version older than 4.6, you can only update --kernel-memory on a stopped container or on a running container with kernel memory initialized.


The following sections illustrate ways to use this command.

Update a container’s cpu-shares

To limit a container’s cpu-shares to 512, first identify the container name or ID. You can use docker ps to find these values. You can also use the ID returned from the docker run command. Then, do the following:

$ docker update --cpu-shares 512 abebf7571666

Update a container with cpu-shares and memory

To update multiple resource configurations for multiple containers:

$ docker update --cpu-shares 512 -m 300M abebf7571666 hopeful_morse

Update a container’s kernel memory constraints

You can update a container’s kernel memory limit using the --kernel-memory option. On kernel version older than 4.6, this option can be updated on a running container only if the container was started with --kernel-memory. If the container was started without --kernel-memory you need to stop the container before updating kernel memory.

For example, if you started a container with this command:

$ docker run -dit --name test --kernel-memory 50M ubuntu bash

You can update kernel memory while the container is running:

$ docker update --kernel-memory 80M test

If you started a container without kernel memory initialized:

$ docker run -dit --name test2 --memory 300M ubuntu bash

Update kernel memory of running container test2 will fail. You need to stop the container before updating the --kernel-memory setting. The next time you start it, the container uses the new value.

Kernel version newer than (include) 4.6 does not have this limitation, you can use --kernel-memory the same way as other options.

Update a container’s restart policy

You can change a container’s restart policy on a running container. The new restart policy takes effect instantly after you run docker update on a container.

To update restart policy for one or more containers:

$ docker update --restart=on-failure:3 abebf7571666 hopeful_morse

Note that if the container is started with “–rm” flag, you cannot update the restart policy for it. The AutoRemove and RestartPolicy are mutually exclusive for the container.