Docker – How to upgrade docker container after its image changed


Let's say I have pulled the official mysql:5.6.21 image.

I have deployed this image by creating several docker containers.

These containers have been running for some time until MySQL 5.6.22 is released. The official image of mysql:5.6 gets updated with the new release, but my containers still run 5.6.21.

How do I propagate the changes in the image (i.e. upgrade MySQL distro) to all my existing containers? What is the proper Docker way of doing this?

Best Answer

After evaluating the answers and studying the topic I'd like to summarize.

The Docker way to upgrade containers seems to be the following:

Application containers should not store application data. This way you can replace app container with its newer version at any time by executing something like this:

docker pull mysql
docker stop my-mysql-container
docker rm my-mysql-container
docker run --name=my-mysql-container --restart=always \
  -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=mypwd -v /my/data/dir:/var/lib/mysql -d mysql

You can store data either on host (in directory mounted as volume) or in special data-only container(s). Read more about it

Upgrading applications (eg. with yum/apt-get upgrade) within containers is considered to be an anti-pattern. Application containers are supposed to be immutable, which shall guarantee reproducible behavior. Some official application images (mysql:5.6 in particular) are not even designed to self-update (apt-get upgrade won't work).

I'd like to thank everybody who gave their answers, so we could see all different approaches.

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