Docker SSH Into Container

Docker SSH Into Container

Are you new to Docker and want to learn how to SSH into a running container? In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to SSH into a Docker container. SSH stands for Secure Shell and it allows you to remotely access and manage your Docker containers.

Why SSH Into a Docker Container?

SSHing into a Docker container can be useful in various scenarios. It allows you to troubleshoot issues, inspect running processes, modify configurations, and perform other administrative tasks within the container. This can be particularly helpful when you are using Docker for development or testing purposes.

How to SSH Into a Docker Container

To SSH into a Docker container, follow these simple steps:

  1. Make sure you have Docker installed on your system. If not, you can refer to our article on Docker Install Mac: A Guide for Beginners or Docker Install Ubuntu for detailed instructions.

  2. Start a Docker container using the docker run command. For example, if you want to SSH into a container based on the Ubuntu image, you can run the following command:

    docker run -it ubuntu

    This starts a new container based on the Ubuntu image in interactive mode.

  3. Find the IP address of the running container by running the command docker inspect <container_id>. Replace <container_id> with the actual ID or name of the container you started in the previous step.

  4. Open a new terminal window and use the SSH command to connect to the container. The command syntax is as follows:

    ssh <username>@<container_ip>

    Replace <username> with the username you want to use to log in to the container and <container_ip> with the IP address obtained in the previous step.

    Note: In most cases, the default username for the Ubuntu image is root, so you can use root@<container_ip> as the SSH command.

  5. Enter the password when prompted. By default, the password for the root user in the Ubuntu image is empty. Simply press Enter if asked for a password.

Congratulations! You have successfully SSHed into a Docker container. Now you can execute commands and interact with the container as if you were working on a remote server.

Best Practices for SSHing Into Docker Containers

While SSHing into Docker containers can be useful, it is important to follow best practices to ensure security and proper container management. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid SSHing into containers unless necessary. Containers are designed to be lightweight and disposable. If possible, prefer using Docker exec to run commands directly inside the containers.

  • Do not use SSH as a means to transfer files in and out of containers. Instead, leverage Docker's built-in volume and file sharing mechanisms.

  • Use SSH keys for authentication instead of passwords whenever possible. This provides better security and can be easily managed.

  • Limit the containers' network access and use SSH port forwarding if you need to access specific ports within the container.

  • Regularly update and patch both your host system and Docker images to ensure the latest security fixes are applied.

Related Articles

Here are some other articles that you may find useful:


SSHing into a Docker container allows you to gain remote access and perform administrative tasks within the container. By following the steps outlined in this guide and considering the best practices, you can effectively and securely manage your Docker containers. Remember to make use of the power of docker exec and other Docker features to minimize the need for SSH access whenever possible.

Ruslan Osipov
Written by author: Ruslan Osipov