Episode 11: Inspecting Image, Copying files into and from Docker

Amir Mustafa
4 min readFeb 27, 2022

In this article, we will learn the way we can :

  1. Inspecting Image.
  2. Copy docker data into and from the container

1. Inspecting Image:

→ We may need more information on our dockerized project to store in the database (say node version, created date, docker exposed PORT)

STEP 1: We need to get an image ID whose data we need. We use the below command

docker ps -a
docker image

STEP 2: Paste the image ID in the below command

docker image inspect <docker-image-id>eg. docker image e6bed6a65a54

2. Copying Docker Files:

→ It is possible we can copy files from codebase to docker container and vice-versa.

→ Let us a file in our project to copy (say test/test-file-1.js)

a. Copying from Project to specific docker container

→ For this we need a docker container, we use the below command to create contained:

docker build .         // Create Docker Image (copy image id)
docker run -p 3000:80 <image-ID> // Create Docker Container
docker ps -a // Copy recently created container id

→ We use the below command to paste it into the docker command

docker cp <source_file> <container-id-or-name>:/<directory-to-paste>// copy specific file inside a directoryeg1 docker cp test/test_file_1.js optimistic_wozniak:/test
// copy all files inside a directoryeg2 docker cp test/. optimistic_wozniak:/test


It is possible to check into a container

For this, we go to the docker section  → expand our container

b. Copying from a specific docker container to Project

→ Also sometimes it happens containers is shared by our colleague or clients

→ We might need it in our project.

→ We now have the test file in our container, let us delete the project’s test files

→ The below command will help us copy from docker’s container to our project directory.

docker cp <container-id-or-name>:/<directory-to-copy> <source_file>eg. docker cp optimistic_wozniak:/test test

a. Before running the command:

b. After running the command:

When do we require this 🤔 ?

Eg. When we run the application from docker, reading the docker file in the container will be difficult. We can copy into our project and read from our favourite editor.


Closing Thoughts:

In this article, we have understood ways to get detailed information about docker images, copy files into and from the docker container.

Thank you for reading till the end 🙌 . If you enjoyed this article or learned something new, support me by clicking the share button below to reach more people and/or give me a follow on Twitter and subscribe Happy Learnings !! to see some other tips, articles, and things I learn about and share there.



Amir Mustafa

JavaScript Specialist | Consultant | YouTuber 🎬. | AWS ☁️ | Docker 🐳 | Digital Nomad | Human. Connect with me on https://www.linkedin.com/in/amirmustafa1/