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docker rmi could have a --deep option? #11139

timepieces141 opened this Issue Mar 3, 2015 · 3 comments


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timepieces141 commented Mar 3, 2015

When we pull down a select group of docker images and fire up a cluster of containers based on them, on our project we tend to refer to them by their name:tag. When we choose to dynamically clean up the pulled images, we have to do some bash magic to determine the Image ID of a given name:tag before calling docker rmi. But it would be really nice to be able to call docker rmi --deep [name:tag] and docker would remove not just the local tag, but all tag references and the image. Currently if you are removing using name:tag, you have to delete each tag, and the last one deletes the actual image (understandable default behavior).

This would be handy for CI/CD workflows that run integration/system tests on dynamically produced and tagged docker image clusters.

Just food for thought...


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estesp commented Mar 3, 2015

See #11058; not the exact same, but I noted in the comments that in a sense that "fix" is a proposal for something similar to what you are asking, although in that case it is by ID with -f that will do a "deep" rm.


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timepieces141 commented Mar 3, 2015

It is a similar issue, but keep in mind the behavior I am looking for already exists, just by ID. docker rmi [image_id] without any flags will remove the image and any tagged references, and is the behavior I want. I would just like that extended to referring to the image by name:tag.

Maybe a better way to describe it would be: docker rmi [image_id|name] could remove the image and any tagged references (current behavior for image, new behavior for name), and a new command, say docker untag [name:tag], could be added to maintain the current behavior of docker rmi [name:tag] which just removes the tag reference to the named image.


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terencechow commented Sep 25, 2016

Was gonna work on this but it seems that this recommended feature is pretty much the intended behaviour.

Whenever [name:tag] points to a unique image then docker rmi [name:tag] has the same functionality as docker rmi [image_id] (which is what @timepieces141 asked for).

When [name:tag] points to a duplicate image then docker rmi [name:tag] will untag the aliased image and remove it from your image list, while docker rmi [image_id] will give an error saying you can't remove the image because it is referenced in more than 1 repo.

Hence in the second scenario, docker rmi image_id doesn't give the intended behaviour that @timepieces141 was asking for anyways and I think the current behaviour is pretty logical, i.e. it removes a duplicate image from your list which just has a different tag name.

I'd recommend closing this.

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