Docker Remote API

Docker’s Remote API uses an open schema model. In this model, unknown properties in incoming messages are ignored. Client applications need to take this behavior into account to ensure they do not break when talking to newer Docker daemons.

The API tends to be REST, but for some complex commands, like attach or pull, the HTTP connection is hijacked to transport STDOUT, STDIN, and STDERR.

By default the Docker daemon listens on unix:///var/run/docker.sock and the client must have root access to interact with the daemon. If a group named docker exists on your system, docker applies ownership of the socket to the group.

To connect to the Docker daemon with cURL you need to use cURL 7.40 or later, as these versions have the --unix-socket flag available. To run curl against the daemon on the default socket, use the following:

curl --unix-socket /var/run/docker.sock http:/containers/json

If you have bound the Docker daemon to a different socket path or TCP port, you would reference that in your cURL rather than the default.

The current version of the API is v1.24 which means calling /info is the same as calling /v1.24/info. To call an older version of the API use /v1.23/info. If a newer daemon is installed, new properties may be returned even when calling older versions of the API.

Use the table below to find the API version for a Docker version:

Docker version API version Changes
1.12.x 1.24 API changes
1.11.x 1.23 API changes
1.10.x 1.22 API changes
1.9.x 1.21 API changes
1.8.x 1.20 API changes
1.7.x 1.19 API changes
1.6.x 1.18 API changes

Refer to the GitHub repository for older releases.

Authentication

Authentication configuration is handled client side, so the client has to send the authConfig as a POST in /images/(name)/push. The authConfig, set as the X-Registry-Auth header, is currently a Base64 encoded (JSON) string with the following structure:

{"username": "string", "password": "string", "email": "string",
   "serveraddress" : "string", "auth": ""}

Callers should leave the auth empty. The serveraddress is a domain/ip without protocol. Throughout this structure, double quotes are required.

Using Docker Machine with the API

If you are using docker-machine, the Docker daemon is on a host that uses an encrypted TCP socket using TLS. This means, for Docker Machine users, you need to add extra parameters to curl or wget when making test API requests, for example:

curl --insecure \
     --cert $DOCKER_CERT_PATH/cert.pem \
     --key $DOCKER_CERT_PATH/key.pem \
     https://YOUR_VM_IP:2376/images/json

wget --no-check-certificate --certificate=$DOCKER_CERT_PATH/cert.pem \
     --private-key=$DOCKER_CERT_PATH/key.pem \
     https://YOUR_VM_IP:2376/images/json -O - -q

Docker Events

The following diagram depicts the container states accessible through the API.

States

Some container-related events are not affected by container state, so they are not included in this diagram. These events are:

  • export emitted by docker export
  • exec_create emitted by docker exec
  • exec_start emitted by docker exec after exec_create
  • detach emitted when client is detached from container process
  • exec_detach emitted when client is detached from exec process

Running docker rmi emits an untag event when removing an image name. The rmi command may also emit delete events when images are deleted by ID directly or by deleting the last tag referring to the image.

Acknowledgment: This diagram and the accompanying text were used with the permission of Matt Good and Gilder Labs. See Matt’s original blog post Docker Events Explained.

Version history

This section lists each version from latest to oldest. Each listing includes a link to the full documentation set and the changes relevant in that release.

v1.24 API changes

Docker Remote API v1.24 documentation

  • POST /containers/create now takes StorageOpt field.
  • GET /info now returns SecurityOptions field, showing if apparmor, seccomp, or selinux is supported.
  • GET /info no longer returns the ExecutionDriver property. This property was no longer used after integration with ContainerD in Docker 1.11.
  • GET /networks now supports filtering by label and driver.
  • GET /containers/json now supports filtering containers by network name or id.
  • POST /containers/create now takes MaximumIOps and MaximumIOBps fields. Windows daemon only.
  • POST /containers/create now returns an HTTP 400 “bad parameter” message if no command is specified (instead of an HTTP 500 “server error”)
  • GET /images/search now takes a filters query parameter.
  • GET /events now supports a reload event that is emitted when the daemon configuration is reloaded.
  • GET /events now supports filtering by daemon name or ID.
  • GET /events now supports a detach event that is emitted on detaching from container process.
  • GET /events now supports an exec_detach event that is emitted on detaching from exec process.
  • GET /images/json now supports filters since and before.
  • POST /containers/(id or name)/start no longer accepts a HostConfig.
  • POST /images/(name)/tag no longer has a force query parameter.
  • GET /images/search now supports maximum returned search results limit.
  • POST /containers/{name:.*}/copy is now removed and errors out starting from this API version.
  • API errors are now returned as JSON instead of plain text.
  • POST /containers/create and POST /containers/(id)/start allow you to configure kernel parameters (sysctls) for use in the container.
  • POST /containers/<container ID>/exec and POST /exec/<exec ID>/start no longer expects a “Container” field to be present. This property was not used and is no longer sent by the docker client.
  • POST /containers/create/ now validates the hostname (should be a valid RFC 1123 hostname).
  • POST /containers/create/ HostConfig.PidMode field now accepts container:<name|id>, to have the container join the PID namespace of an existing container.

v1.23 API changes

Docker Remote API v1.23 documentation

  • GET /containers/json returns the state of the container, one of created, restarting, running, paused, exited or dead.
  • GET /containers/json returns the mount points for the container.
  • GET /networks/(name) now returns an Internal field showing whether the network is internal or not.
  • GET /networks/(name) now returns an EnableIPv6 field showing whether the network has ipv6 enabled or not.
  • POST /containers/(name)/update now supports updating container’s restart policy.
  • POST /networks/create now supports enabling ipv6 on the network by setting the EnableIPv6 field (doing this with a label will no longer work).
  • GET /info now returns CgroupDriver field showing what cgroup driver the daemon is using; cgroupfs or systemd.
  • GET /info now returns KernelMemory field, showing if “kernel memory limit” is supported.
  • POST /containers/create now takes PidsLimit field, if the kernel is >= 4.3 and the pids cgroup is supported.
  • GET /containers/(id or name)/stats now returns pids_stats, if the kernel is >= 4.3 and the pids cgroup is supported.
  • POST /containers/create now allows you to override usernamespaces remapping and use privileged options for the container.
  • POST /containers/create now allows specifying nocopy for named volumes, which disables automatic copying from the container path to the volume.
  • POST /auth now returns an IdentityToken when supported by a registry.
  • POST /containers/create with both Hostname and Domainname fields specified will result in the container’s hostname being set to Hostname, rather than Hostname.Domainname.
  • GET /volumes now supports more filters, new added filters are name and driver.
  • GET /containers/(id or name)/logs now accepts a details query parameter to stream the extra attributes that were provided to the containers LogOpts, such as environment variables and labels, with the logs.
  • POST /images/load now returns progress information as a JSON stream, and has a quiet query parameter to suppress progress details.

v1.22 API changes

Docker Remote API v1.22 documentation

  • POST /container/(name)/update updates the resources of a container.
  • GET /containers/json supports filter isolation on Windows.
  • GET /containers/json now returns the list of networks of containers.
  • GET /info Now returns Architecture and OSType fields, providing information about the host architecture and operating system type that the daemon runs on.
  • GET /networks/(name) now returns a Name field for each container attached to the network.
  • GET /version now returns the BuildTime field in RFC3339Nano format to make it consistent with other date/time values returned by the API.
  • AuthConfig now supports a registrytoken for token based authentication
  • POST /containers/create now has a 4M minimum value limit for HostConfig.KernelMemory
  • Pushes initiated with POST /images/(name)/push and pulls initiated with POST /images/create will be cancelled if the HTTP connection making the API request is closed before the push or pull completes.
  • POST /containers/create now allows you to set a read/write rate limit for a device (in bytes per second or IO per second).
  • GET /networks now supports filtering by name, id and type.
  • POST /containers/create now allows you to set the static IPv4 and/or IPv6 address for the container.
  • POST /networks/(id)/connect now allows you to set the static IPv4 and/or IPv6 address for the container.
  • GET /info now includes the number of containers running, stopped, and paused.
  • POST /networks/create now supports restricting external access to the network by setting the Internal field.
  • POST /networks/(id)/disconnect now includes a Force option to forcefully disconnect a container from network
  • GET /containers/(id)/json now returns the NetworkID of containers.
  • POST /networks/create Now supports an options field in the IPAM config that provides options for custom IPAM plugins.
  • GET /networks/{network-id} Now returns IPAM config options for custom IPAM plugins if any are available.
  • GET /networks/<network-id> now returns subnets info for user-defined networks.
  • GET /info can now return a SystemStatus field useful for returning additional information about applications that are built on top of engine.

v1.21 API changes

Docker Remote API v1.21 documentation

  • GET /volumes lists volumes from all volume drivers.
  • POST /volumes/create to create a volume.
  • GET /volumes/(name) get low-level information about a volume.
  • DELETE /volumes/(name) remove a volume with the specified name.
  • VolumeDriver was moved from config to HostConfig to make the configuration portable.
  • GET /images/(name)/json now returns information about an image’s RepoTags and RepoDigests.
  • The config option now accepts the field StopSignal, which specifies the signal to use to kill a container.
  • GET /containers/(id)/stats will return networking information respectively for each interface.
  • The HostConfig option now includes the DnsOptions field to configure the container’s DNS options.
  • POST /build now optionally takes a serialized map of build-time variables.
  • GET /events now includes a timenano field, in addition to the existing time field.
  • GET /events now supports filtering by image and container labels.
  • GET /info now lists engine version information and return the information of CPUShares and Cpuset.
  • GET /containers/json will return ImageID of the image used by container.
  • POST /exec/(name)/start will now return an HTTP 409 when the container is either stopped or paused.
  • GET /containers/(name)/json now accepts a size parameter. Setting this parameter to ‘1’ returns container size information in the SizeRw and SizeRootFs fields.
  • GET /containers/(name)/json now returns a NetworkSettings.Networks field, detailing network settings per network. This field deprecates the NetworkSettings.Gateway, NetworkSettings.IPAddress, NetworkSettings.IPPrefixLen, and NetworkSettings.MacAddress fields, which are still returned for backward-compatibility, but will be removed in a future version.
  • GET /exec/(id)/json now returns a NetworkSettings.Networks field, detailing networksettings per network. This field deprecates the NetworkSettings.Gateway, NetworkSettings.IPAddress, NetworkSettings.IPPrefixLen, and NetworkSettings.MacAddress fields, which are still returned for backward-compatibility, but will be removed in a future version.
  • The HostConfig option now includes the OomScoreAdj field for adjusting the badness heuristic. This heuristic selects which processes the OOM killer kills under out-of-memory conditions.

v1.20 API changes

Docker Remote API v1.20 documentation

  • GET /containers/(id)/archive get an archive of filesystem content from a container.
  • PUT /containers/(id)/archive upload an archive of content to be extracted to an existing directory inside a container’s filesystem.
  • POST /containers/(id)/copy is deprecated in favor of the above archive endpoint which can be used to download files and directories from a container.
  • The hostConfig option now accepts the field GroupAdd, which specifies a list of additional groups that the container process will run as.

v1.19 API changes

Docker Remote API v1.19 documentation

  • When the daemon detects a version mismatch with the client, usually when the client is newer than the daemon, an HTTP 400 is now returned instead of a 404.
  • GET /containers/(id)/stats now accepts stream bool to get only one set of stats and disconnect.
  • GET /containers/(id)/logs now accepts a since timestamp parameter.
  • GET /info The fields Debug, IPv4Forwarding, MemoryLimit, and SwapLimit are now returned as boolean instead of as an int. In addition, the end point now returns the new boolean fields CpuCfsPeriod, CpuCfsQuota, and OomKillDisable.
  • The hostConfig option now accepts the fields CpuPeriod and CpuQuota
  • POST /build accepts cpuperiod and cpuquota options

v1.18 API changes

Docker Remote API v1.18 documentation

  • GET /version now returns Os, Arch and KernelVersion.
  • POST /containers/create and POST /containers/(id)/startallow you to set ulimit settings for use in the container.
  • GET /info now returns SystemTime, HttpProxy,HttpsProxy and NoProxy.
  • GET /images/json added a RepoDigests field to include image digest information.
  • POST /build can now set resource constraints for all containers created for the build.
  • CgroupParent can be passed in the host config to setup container cgroups under a specific cgroup.
  • POST /build closing the HTTP request cancels the build
  • POST /containers/(id)/exec includes Warnings field to response.