How To Get A File From A Docker Container

Getting started with docker
Getting started with docker from


Docker containers have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to package and deploy applications in a consistent and reproducible manner. However, one common challenge that developers face is how to access or retrieve files from a running Docker container. In this article, we will explore different methods to get a file from a Docker container in 2023.

Method 1: Using the Docker cp Command

The most straightforward way to get a file from a Docker container is by using the docker cp command. This command allows you to copy files and directories between a container and the host system. To use this method, you need to know the container ID or name and the path to the file inside the container.

Step 1: Find the Container ID or Name

To find the container ID or name, you can use the docker ps command. This command lists all the running containers along with their IDs and names. Note down the ID or name of the container from which you want to retrieve the file.

Step 2: Copy the File

Once you have the container ID or name and the path to the file inside the container, you can use the following command to copy the file to your host system:

docker cp [container_id/name]:[path_inside_container] [path_on_host]

Replace [container_id/name] with the actual container ID or name, [path_inside_container] with the path to the file inside the container, and [path_on_host] with the desired location on your host system.

Method 2: Using a Docker Volume

If you frequently need to access files from a Docker container, using a Docker volume can be a more convenient and efficient option. A Docker volume is a directory that is stored outside the container’s filesystem and can be shared between multiple containers.

Step 1: Create a Docker Volume

To create a Docker volume, you can use the docker volume create command. For example:

docker volume create my_volume

This command creates a new volume named “my_volume”.

Step 2: Mount the Volume

To mount the volume inside a container, you need to specify the volume name and the mount point in the container’s configuration. This can be done using the -v or --mount flag when running a container. For example:

docker run -v my_volume:/path/inside/container my_image

This command runs a container from the image “my_image” and mounts the “my_volume” volume at the specified path inside the container.

Step 3: Access the File

Once the volume is mounted inside the container, you can access the files in the volume as if they were part of the container’s filesystem. You can use standard commands like cp or mv to copy or move files between the volume and the container.


Retrieving files from a Docker container is a common requirement for developers working with containerized applications. In this article, we explored two methods to get a file from a Docker container in 2023. The first method involves using the docker cp command to directly copy the file from the container to the host system. The second method utilizes Docker volumes, which provide a more flexible and convenient way to access files from containers. By following these methods, you can easily retrieve files from Docker containers and streamline your development workflow.