How to debug a failed docker build command?

Better Stack Team
Updated on April 14, 2023

When a Docker build command fails, there are several steps you can take to debug the issue:

Check the error message

When a Docker build command fails, Docker will output an error message indicating the reason for the failure. Make sure to read the error message carefully and try to understand what went wrong.

Check the Dockerfile

Review the Dockerfile used in the build process to ensure that it is correct and does not contain any syntax errors or invalid instructions. Check that all required files and dependencies are included, and that any environment variables or configuration settings are correct.

Use the --no-cache option

When you run a Docker build command, Docker will use cached layers from previous builds to speed up the process. However, if a cached layer is causing the build to fail, you can use the --no-cache option to force Docker to rebuild all layers from scratch.

Use the --progress=plain option

When you run a Docker build command, Docker will output a progress indicator by default. However, if the build is failing, this progress indicator can be difficult to read. You can use the --progress=plain option to disable the progress indicator and get more detailed output.

Use the --verbose option

The --verbose option can be used to enable verbose output from the Docker build command, which can help you identify the root cause of the failure.

Run the container interactively

If the build command is failing because of a problem with the container, you can try running the container interactively using the docker run command. This will allow you to access the container and investigate any issues directly.

Check system logs

If the build command is failing because of a system-level issue, you can check the system logs for any relevant error messages.

By following these steps, you can usually identify the cause of the failed Docker build command and take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

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