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Using docker run --net=container:XX ... to debug network issues

Sharing the network namespace with a existing container is a less known feature of Docker. If you run:

docker run --net=container:my-existing-container ...

Your container runs in the same network namespace, sharing the same network configuration as my-existing-container.

This is very useful for debugging purposes: I just wanted to verify the current outgoing connections from a container in our infrastructure and realized that due to the network scoping that’s not easily possible. You can use ip netns exec but that assumes you have the namespace mounted to /var/run/netns. You can symlink things around but it’s ugly. Much nicer:

docker run -t -i --net=container:my-existing-container --rm ubuntu netstat -anp
Published 13 Nov 2014