docker inspect

Return low-level information on Docker objects


$ docker inspect [OPTIONS] NAME|ID [NAME|ID...]

Refer to the options section for an overview of available OPTIONS for this command.


Docker inspect provides detailed information on constructs controlled by Docker.

By default, docker inspect will render results in a JSON array.

Format the output (--format)

If a format is specified, the given template will be executed for each result.

Go’s text/template package describes all the details of the format.

Specify target type (--type)

--type container|image|node|network|secret|service|volume|task|plugin

The docker inspect command matches any type of object by either ID or name. In some cases multiple type of objects (for example, a container and a volume) exist with the same name, making the result ambiguous.

To restrict docker inspect to a specific type of object, use the --type option.

The following example inspects a volume named “myvolume”

$ docker inspect --type=volume myvolume

Inspect the size of a container (-s, --size)

The --size, or short-form -s, option adds two additional fields to the docker inspect output. This option only works for containers. The container doesn’t have to be running, it also works for stopped containers.

$ docker inspect --size mycontainer

The output includes the full output of a regular docker inspect command, with the following additional fields:

  • SizeRootFs: the total size of all the files in the container, in bytes.
  • SizeRw: the size of the files that have been created or changed in the container, compared to it’s image, in bytes.
$ docker run --name database -d redis
$ docker inspect --size database -f '{{ .SizeRootFs }}'
$ docker inspect --size database -f '{{ .SizeRw }}'
$ docker exec database fallocate -l 1000 /newfile
$ docker inspect --size database -f '{{ .SizeRw }}'

For example uses of this command, refer to the examples section below.


Name, shorthand Default Description
--format , -f Format output using a custom template: ‘json’: Print in JSON format ‘TEMPLATE’: Print output using the given Go template. Refer to for more information about formatting output with templates
--size , -s Display total file sizes if the type is container
--type Return JSON for specified type


Get an instance’s IP address

For the most part, you can pick out any field from the JSON in a fairly straightforward manner.

$ docker inspect --format='{{range .NetworkSettings.Networks}}{{.IPAddress}}{{end}}' $INSTANCE_ID

Get an instance’s MAC address

$ docker inspect --format='{{range .NetworkSettings.Networks}}{{.MacAddress}}{{end}}' $INSTANCE_ID

Get an instance’s log path

$ docker inspect --format='{{.LogPath}}' $INSTANCE_ID

Get an instance’s image name

$ docker inspect --format='{{.Config.Image}}' $INSTANCE_ID

List all port bindings

You can loop over arrays and maps in the results to produce simple text output:

$ docker inspect --format='{{range $p, $conf := .NetworkSettings.Ports}} {{$p}} -> {{(index $conf 0).HostPort}} {{end}}' $INSTANCE_ID

Find a specific port mapping

The .Field syntax doesn’t work when the field name begins with a number, but the template language’s index function does. The .NetworkSettings.Ports section contains a map of the internal port mappings to a list of external address/port objects. To grab just the numeric public port, you use index to find the specific port map, and then index 0 contains the first object inside of that. Then we ask for the HostPort field to get the public address.

$ docker inspect --format='{{(index (index .NetworkSettings.Ports "8787/tcp") 0).HostPort}}' $INSTANCE_ID

Get a subsection in JSON format

If you request a field which is itself a structure containing other fields, by default you get a Go-style dump of the inner values. Docker adds a template function, json, which can be applied to get results in JSON format.

$ docker inspect --format='{{json .Config}}' $INSTANCE_ID