How to explore Docker container Linux apps’ file system

Docker is a well stable, commercial and one of the most popular way to start the containerized virtual machines on Windows, macOS, Linux and FreeBSD. If you already have used it then you would know how easy it to create and install any Container image of different Linux apps on Docker; however, recently I was performing a tutorial installing headless Cockpit CMS on Docker and need to access its file system. Thus, I thought might be someone out there also want to know the commands to find the files and directory of Docker containerized apps such as Cockpit CMS.

For that first of all, you should know the name of the Docker image you have installed. If you don’t know then simply type:

docker ps

Now, to explore the file system of any install Linux app on Linux, type:

docker exec -t -i name-of-image /bin/bash


docker run --rm -it --entrypoint=/bin/bash name-of-image

Note: Replace the name-of-image with the exact name of your Docker install container image.

Now, you will see the root directory of the install Linux app, type:



ls -lsa

and start exploring the directory of it. You can change the directory using: