I'm trying to run a docker and it fails for various reasons. As I check my list of dockers (docker ps -a), I see those names:


I use docker-compose and I'm sure we do not have such names in our setup files. Is that just something docker people thought would be fun to do?! I searched on some of those names and could not really find anything useful, although it looks like these appear on many sites, somewhat sporadically.

  • 2
    Those are the default names Docker will set when you don't set one yourself. – ThoriumBR Feb 10 '20 at 0:32
  • @ThoriumBR Wow! Good to know, but why not just use docker1, docker2, etc. These just look scary/hacky! – Alexis Wilke Feb 10 '20 at 0:41
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    Perhaps you have a strange definition of scary/hacky :) – Conor Mancone Feb 10 '20 at 0:57
  • The names aren't scary. It's an adjective plus a famous name: Gauss, Tesla, Gates, Einstein... – ThoriumBR Feb 10 '20 at 5:09

As mentioned in comments this is part of Docker's innate functionality, and is designed to make it easier to work with containers.

The canonical identifier for a Docker container is a SHA-256 hash, which is not the most user friendly thing to type.

So if you don't specify a name (using --name) when you start a container Docker will assign one to you.

The names are a combination of an adjective and a scientist's name, and the source code for generation is here. There is only one combination that is blocked in the Docker source code which is "boring_wozniak" because Steve Wozniak's not boring.

  • Wow! They use a goto... – Alexis Wilke Dec 6 '20 at 16:51

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