The Docker Cloud CLI

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Docker Cloud maintains a Command Line Interface (CLI) tool that you can use to interact with the service. We highly recommend installing the CLI, as it will allow you to script and automate actions in Docker Cloud without using the web interface. If you will only ever be using the web interface, this is not necessary.


Install the docker-cloud CLI either by running a Docker container, or by using the package manager for your system.

Run the CLI in a Docker container

If you have Docker Engine installed locally, you can run the following docker command in your shell regardless of which operating system you are using.

docker run dockercloud/cli -h

This command runs the docker-cloud CLI image in a container for you. Learn more about how to use this container here.

Install for Linux or Windows

You can install the CLI locally using the pip package manager, which is a package manager for Python applications.

  • If you already have 2.x or Python 3.x installed, you probably have pip and setuptools, but will need to upgrade per the instructions here.

  • If you do not have Python or pip installed, you can either install Python or use this standalone pip installer. You do not need Python for our purposes, just pip.

Now that you have pip, open a shell or terminal window and run the following command to install the docker-cloud CLI:

$ pip install docker-cloud

If you encounter errors on Linux machines, make sure that python-dev is installed. For example, on Ubuntu, run the following command: apt-get install python-dev

Install on macOS

We recommend installing Docker CLI for macOS using Homebrew. If you don’t have brew installed, follow the instructions here:

Once Homebrew is installed, open Terminal and run the following command:

$ brew install docker-cloud

Note: You can also use pip to install on macOS, but we suggest Homebrew since it is a package manager designed for the Mac.

Validate the installation

Check that the CLI installed correctly:

$ docker-cloud -v
docker-cloud 1.0.0

Getting Started

First, you should log in using the docker CLI and the docker login command. Your Docker ID, which you also use to log in to Docker Hub, is also used for logging in to Docker Cloud.

$ docker login
Username: user
Login succeeded!

What’s next?

See the Developer documentation for more information on using the CLI and our APIs.

Use the docker-cloud CLI with an organization

When you use the docker-cloud CLI, it authenticates against the Docker Cloud service with the user credentials saved by the docker login command. To use the CLI to interact with objects belonging to an Organization, you must override the DOCKERCLOUD_NAMESPACE environment variable that sets this user.

For example:

$ export DOCKERCLOUD_NAMESPACE=myorganization

You can also set the DOCKERCLOUD_NAMESPACE variable before each CLI command. for example:

$ DOCKERCLOUD_NAMESPACE=myteam docker container ps

To learn more, see the Docker Cloud CLI README.

Upgrade the docker-cloud CLI

Periodically, Docker will add new features and fix bugs in the existing CLI. To use these new features, you must upgrade the CLI.

Upgrade on the docker-cloud CLI on Linux or Windows

$ pip install -U docker-cloud

Upgrade the docker-cloud CLI on macOS

$ brew update && brew upgrade docker-cloud

Uninstall the docker-cloud CLI

If you are having trouble using the docker-cloud CLI, or find that it conflicts with other applications on your system, you may want to uninstall and reinstall.

Uninstall on Linux or Windows

Open your terminal or command shell and execute the following command:

$ pip uninstall docker-cloud

Uninstall on macOS

Open your Terminal application and execute the following command:

$ brew uninstall docker-cloud
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