Clear up space used by Docker with a built-in command

Tim Kleyersburg
Tim Kleyersburg on 6 January 2023
2 minutes to read


If you've been using Docker for a while, you may have noticed that it can quickly use up a lot of disk space. Especially after testing out a few images, updating existing ones you may find your host slowly but surely filling up.

In this quick tip, I'll show you how to use the built-in command docker system prune to clear up space used by Docker.

What does docker system prune do?

To quote the official documentation: this command "removes unused data".

In practice, this means that it will remove:

I've found, that especially dangling images can use up a lot of space. If you are using my quicktip for updating your Home Assistant installation this can quickly use up a lot of space on your SD card.

Available options

--all, -a - Remove all unused images not just dangling ones

--force, -f - Do not prompt for confirmation

--volumes - Prune volumes

Be careful when using the --volumes option. This will remove all volumes that are not used by any containers and could potentially delete data you need!

How to use it

To use the command, simply run it in your terminal with your wanted options. For example, to remove all unused images and dangling containers, you would run:

docker system prune --all


Using the built-in command docker system prune is a quick and easy way to clear up space used by Docker. It's a good idea to run it every once in a while to keep your host running smoothly and efficiently. On my Raspberry Pi I run it after updating my existing containers.

I hope this post helped you! If you have any questions, hit me up on X 😊.

You might find these related articles helpful or interesting, make sure to check them out!

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