'docker ps' output is too wide - how to hide columns

Posted in how to on May 19, 2020 ‐ 2 min read

I’ve been using docker a lot more often lately, and have many containers that have long image names and a large number of ports used. This results in the docker ps -a output being entirely too wide even on my high resolutions screens which can make it difficult to read. In general I only care about a few columns and I’d prefer to limit my output to just those columns.

Format option

The docker ps command supports an option called --format that allows you to “Pretty-print containers using a Go template”.

When using the --format option, the ps command will either output the data exactly as the template declares or, when using the table directive, includes column headers as well. I like to see the table headers so I include table.


To get a list of all running containers with just their IDs and labels you would use $ docker ps --format "table {{.ID}}\t{{.Labels}}".

a87ecb4f327c        com.docker.swarm.node=ubuntu,com.docker.swarm.storage=ssd
c1d3b0166030        com.docker.swarm.node=debian,com.docker.swarm.cpu=6
41d50ecd2f57        com.docker.swarm.node=fedora,com.docker.swarm.cpu=3,com.docker.swarm.storage=ssd

Check the docker ps documentation to find the different column header names that can be used.

I personally like to see all containers with just their name, image, and status by using $ docker ps -a --format="table {{.Names}}\t{{.Image}}\t{{.Status}}".


To prevent having to constantly type that command over and over, you can easily add this as a bash alias such as alias dpsa='docker ps -a --format="table {{.Names}}\t{{.Image}}\t{{.Status}}"'.