How does one remove an image in Docker?

I'm running Docker under Vagrant under OS X 10.8.4 (Mountain Lion), and whenever I try to delete a saved image, I get an error:

$ docker rmi some-image-id
2013/07/15 hh:mm:ss unexpected JSON input

According to the rmi help, the proper syntax is docker rmi IMAGE [IMAGE...], and I'm not sure what to make of that.

How can I delete an image?

$ docker version
Client version: 0.4.8
Server version: 0.4.8
Go version: go1.1


$docker info
Containers: 1
Images: 3

Interestingly, when I run docker ps, no containers show up at all. Running docker images shows four (4) base images and one (1) node image.


Try docker rmi node. That should work.

Seeing all created containers is as simple as docker ps -a.

To remove all existing containers (not images!) run docker rm $(docker ps -aq)

The following are some of the ways to remove docker images/containers:

Remove single image
docker rmi image_name:version/image-id
Remove all images
docker rmi $(docker images -qf "dangling=true")
Kill containers and remove them:
docker rm $(docker kill $(docker ps -aq))

Note: Replace kill with stop for graceful shutdown

Remove all images except "my-image"

Use grep to remove all except my-image and ubuntu

docker rmi $(docker images | grep -v 'ubuntu\|my-image' | awk {'print $3'})

Or (without awk)

docker rmi $(docker images --quiet | grep -v $(docker images --quiet ubuntu:my-image))

Delete all docker containers

docker rm $(docker ps -a -q)

Delete all docker images

docker rmi $(docker images -q)

To remove an image from Docker using the image ID:

  1. Get the list of all Images

    docker images
  2. Identify the image ID of the image you want to delete, for example:

    kweku360/java  latest  08d3a9b8e166    2 weeks ago         5.733 GB`
  3. Finally remove the image using the image ID (only the first three digits are required)

    docker rmi 08d

  1. List images

    docker images

  2. Remove one image

    docker rmi image_name

  3. Force remove one image

    docker rmi -f image_name

  1. List all containers

    docker ps -a

  2. Remove one container

    docker rm container_id

  3. Force remove one container

    docker rm -f container_id

Update, as commented by VonC in How to remove old Docker containers.

With Docker 1.13 (Q4 2016), you now have:

docker system prune will delete ALL unused data (i.e., in order: containers stopped, volumes without containers and images with no containers).

See PR 26108 and commit 86de7c0, which are introducing a few new commands to help facilitate visualizing how much space the Docker daemon data is taking on disk and allowing for easily cleaning up "unneeded" excess.

docker system prune

WARNING! This will remove:
    - all stopped containers
    - all volumes not used by at least one container
    - all images without at least one container associated to them
Are you sure you want to continue? [y/N] y

Removing Containers
  1. To remove a specific container

    • For single image

      docker rm  70c0e19168cf
    • For multiple images

      docker rm  70c0e19168cf c2ce80b62174
  2. Remove exited containers

    docker ps -a -f status=exited
  3. Remove all the containers

    docker ps -q -a | xargs docker rm

Removing Images
docker rmi IMAGE_ID
  1. Remove specific images

    • for single image

      docker rmi ubuntu
    • for multiple images

      docker rmi ubuntu alpine
  2. Remove dangling images Dangling images are layers that have no relationship to any tagged images as the Docker images are constituted of multiple images.

    docker rmi -f $(docker images -f dangling=true -q)
  3. Remove all Docker images

    docker rmi -f $(docker images -a -q)

Removing Volumes

To list volumes, run docker volume ls

  1. Remove a specific volume

    docker volume rm VOLUME_NAME
  2. Remove dangling volumes

    docker volume rm $(docker volume ls -f dangling=true -q)
  3. Remove a container and its volumes

    docker rm -v CONTAINER_NAME

docker rm container_name

docker rmi image_name

docker help

rm Remove one or more containers

rmi Remove one or more images

docker rmi  91c95931e552

Error response from daemon: Conflict, cannot delete 91c95931e552 because the container 76068d66b290 is using it, use -f to force FATA[0000] Error: failed to remove one or more images

Find container ID,

# docker ps -a

# docker rm  daf644660736 

First of all, we have to stop and remove the Docker containers which are attached with the Docker image that we are going to remove.

So for that, first

  • docker stop container-id - To stop the running container
  • docker rm container-id - To delete/remove the container


  • docker rmi image-id - To delete/remove the image

For versions 1.13 and higher:

docker image rm [OPTIONS] IMAGE [IMAGE...]


the [OPTIONS] seem to have no difference.

--force , -f        Force removal of the image
--no-prune          Do not delete untagged parents

From: Introducing Docker 1.13

CLI restructured

In Docker 1.13, we regrouped every command to sit under the logical object it’s interacting with. For example list and start of containers are now subcommands of docker container and history is a subcommand of docker image.

These changes let us clean up the Docker CLI syntax, improve help text and make Docker simpler to use. The old command syntax is still supported, but we encourage everybody to adopt the new syntax.

Delete all of them using

Step 1: Kill all containers

for i in `sudo docker ps -a | awk '{ print $1 }'`; do sudo docker kill $i ; done

Step 2: RM them first

for i in `sudo docker ps -a | awk '{ print $1 }'`; do sudo docker rm $i ; done

Step 3: Delete the images using force

for i in `sudo docker images | awk '{ print $3}'`; do  sudo docker rmi --force $i ; done

Use the step 1 in case you are getting error saying it cant be deleted owing to child dependencies

If you want to automatically/periodically clean up exited containers and remove images and volumes that aren't in use by a running container you can download the image meltwater/docker-cleanup.

I use this on production since we deploy several times a day on multiple servers, and I don't want to go to every server to clean up (that would be a pain).

Just run:

docker run -d -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:rw  -v /var/lib/docker:/var/lib/docker:rw --restart=unless-stopped meltwater/docker-cleanup:latest

It will run every 30 minutes (or however long you set it using DELAY_TIME=1800 option) and clean up exited containers and images.

More details:

Docker provides some command to remove images.

Show/Remove Images:

docker images
docker images -a # All images
docker images --no-trunc # List the full length image IDs

docker images --filter "dangling=true" // Show unstage images
docker rmi $(docker images -f "dangling=true" -q) # Remove on unstages images

docker rmi <REPOSITORY> or <Image ID> # Remove a single image

docker image prune # Interactively remove dangling images
docker image prune -a # Remove all images


docker rmi -f $(sudo docker images -a -q)

Also, you can also use filter parameters to remove set of images at once:


$docker images --filter "before=<hello-world>" // It will all images before hello-world

$docker images --filter "since=<hello-world>" // It will all images since hello-world

So you can delete that filter images like this:

docker rmi $(docker images --filter "since=<hello-world>")
docker rmi $(docker images --filter "before=<hello-world>")

Here's a shell script to remove a tagged (named) image and it's containers. Save as docker-rmi and run using 'docker-rmi my-image-name'



if [ "$IMAGE" == "" ] ; then
  echo "Missing image argument"
  exit 2

docker ps -qa -f "ancestor=$IMAGE" | xargs docker rm
docker rmi $IMAGE

For me the following worked fine:

> docker images
REPOSITORY   TAG           IMAGE ID          CREATED             SIZE
debian       jessie        86baf4e8cde9      3 weeks ago         123MB
ubuntu       yakkety       7d3f705d307c      3 weeks ago         107MB
alpine       3.5           074d602a59d7      7 weeks ago         3.99MB

Then go ahead and remove an image by running some like these:

> docker rmi debian:jessie
> docker rmi ubuntu:yakkety
> docker rmi alipine:3.5

List images:

ahanjura@ubuntu:~$ sudo docker images

REPOSITORY TAG IMAGE ID CREATED SIZE 88282f8eda00 19 seconds ago 308.5 MB 13e5d3d682f4 19 hours ago 663 MB busybox2 latest 05fe66bb1144 20 hours ago 1.129 MB ubuntu 16.04 00fd29ccc6f1 5 days ago 110.5 MB ubuntu 14.04 67759a80360c 5 days ago 221.4 MB python 2.7 9e92c8430ba0 7 days ago 680.7 MB busybox latest 6ad733544a63 6 weeks ago 1.129 MB ubuntu 16.10 7d3f705d307c 5 months ago 106.7 MB

Delete images:

ahanjura@ubuntu:~$ sudo docker rmi 88282f8eda00

Deleted: sha256:88282f8eda0036f85b5652c44d158308c6f86895ef1345dfa788318e6ba31194 Deleted: sha256:4f211a991fb392cd794bc9ad8833149cd9400c5955958c4017b1e2dc415e25e9 Deleted: sha256:8cc6917ac7f0dcb74969ae7958fe80b4a4ea7b3223fc888dfe1aef42f43df6f8 Deleted: sha256:b74a8932cff5e61c3fd2cc39de3c0989bdfd5c2e5f72b8f99f2807595f8ece43

ahanjura@ubuntu:~$ sudo docker rmi 13e5d3d682f4

Error response from daemon: conflict: unable to delete 13e5d3d682f4 (must be forced) - image is being used by stopped container 5593e25eb638

Delete by force:

ahanjura@ubuntu:~$ sudo docker rmi -f 13e5d3d682f4

Deleted: sha256:13e5d3d682f4de973780b35a3393c46eb314ef3db45d3ae83baf2dd9d702747e Deleted: sha256:3ad9381c7041c03768ccd855ec86caa6bc0244223f10b0465c4898bdb21dc378 Deleted: sha256:5ccb917bce7bc8d3748eccf677d7b60dd101ed3e7fd2aedebd521735276606af Deleted: sha256:18356d19b91f0abcc04496729c9a4c49e695dbfe3f0bb1c595f30a7d4d264ebf

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