Updating a Container with Docker Compose

Updating a Container with Docker Compose
Last updated: 10/20/23


Leveraging Docker Compose simplifies the process of managing Docker containers, including their updates. If you've already acquainted yourself with downloading and using Docker containers, updating them will be a breeze.


  • Data Persistence: One crucial aspect to remember is the potential data loss during the container update process. Unless you've configured persistent volumes in your docker-compose.yml file, updating your container might wipe out data associated with it. Essentially, it would be like setting up the container anew.
  • Identifying Persistent Volumes: In your Docker Compose file, you can identify persistent volumes with the volumes: tag. Here's a quick example:
version: "2"
    image: b4bz/homer
    container_name: homer
      - /home/tcude/docker/homer/data:/www/assets
      - 8092:8080
    #  - UID=1000
    #  - GID=1000
    restart: unless-stopped


With that out of the way, let's get to updating!

Fetch the Latest Image: Navigate to your container's directory that houses the Docker Compose file. Execute the command:

docker compose pull

Docker will relay an output indicating whether it's pulling the newest container image.

Deploy the Updated Container: With the latest image in tow, deploy the container using:

docker compose up -d

Docker will refresh the container using this new image. The entire process appears as follows:

Note: If your container is already updated, Docker will provide a specific output notifying you of the same.

Conclusion & What's Next

There you have it—an efficient way to keep your Docker containers updated using Docker Compose. The entire process is streamlined into two primary commands.

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