Compose (docker-compose) and Docker (docker) CLI

Commonly used docker-compose and docker commands used in GroundWork Monitor.


  • Important! Mistakes can be made when typing Docker commands. You may want to consider a system backup.
  • For additional reference see Compose command-line reference and Docker commands. You can also see this information by running docker-compose [SUBCOMMAND] --help from the command line
  • You will need to be in your GroundWork Monitor 8 installation directory (e.g., gw8) before executing commands.
  • Remember service names are the short names for the containers as listed in gw8/docker-compose.yml.



docker ps

List all running containers in Docker. Not only GroundWork containers.

docker ps -a

List all containers. Includes containers not running.

docker-compose ps

List running GroundWork containers. These are services in the current docker-compose.yaml deployment.

docker-compose down

Stop the GroundWork system. Removes containers, networks, volumes, and images created by docker-compose up.

docker-compose up -d

Start the GroundWork system. Starts containers in the background and leaves them running, add the -d for detached mode background output.

docker-compose up -d <service>

Start an individual named service. Example: docker-compose up -d cloudhub

docker-compose restart <service>

Restart an individual named service. Example: docker-compose restart cloudhub

docker-compose stop <service>

Stop a container (service) through proper shutdown. Example: docker-compose stop cloudhub

docker-compose kill <service>

Forces the stopping of a container (service). Example: docker-compose kill cloudhubUse when docker-compose stop <service> is not working.

docker-compose exec

Execute a command running in a specified container. 

Example 1:

You can run bash as in:

docker-compose exec -u 1000 nagios bash

This logs into the nagios container and runs a shell in the container OS. 

Example 2:

You can run psql (the postgres client in the container) as in:

docker-compose exec -u 1000 pg psql

(-u 1000 option puts you in the container named as the container's default user)



docker-compose logs --tail=<#> <service>

Display a log file for a service.


docker-compose logs --tail=125 groundwork

docker-compose logs --tail=50 cloudhub

docker-compose logs --tail=100 nagios

docker-compose logs -f --tail=<#>  <service>

Display and follow a log file for a service.

Remember docker-compose ps to list containers, and docker-compose service names are the short names for the containers as listed in gw8/docker-compose.yml. The .yml file should not be edited.


docker-compose logs -f --tail=125 groundwork

docker-compose logs -f --tail=50 cloudhub

docker-compose logs -f --tail=100 nagios

docker container logs <option> <containerID>

List logs for a container. 


You can find the container ID with docker ps.

Enter command with option and container ID.

Here we list 10 logs for the containerID specified:

docker container logs --tail 10 48d2eeca14c6

docker-compose exec <service>

Enable/disable logging.

By default, access logging is disabled on all containers. However, there are Docker commands to enable them temporarily for diagnostic reasons. As logging is more expensive with the ELK Stack integrated, access to logs should not be left on during normal operation. Containers log independently, so any combination of the containers below can be enabled/disabled. Normally, revproxy access logging is sufficient to debug client/server communications. Remember, service names are the short names for the containers as listed in gw8/docker-compose.yml.


# main rail, (revproxy)

docker-compose exec revproxy /src/ enableAccessLogging

docker-compose exec revproxy /src/ disableAccessLogging

# dalek

docker-compose exec dalek /src/ enableAccessLogging

docker-compose exec dalek /src/ disableAccessLogging

# monarch

docker-compose exec monarch /src/ enableAccessLogging

docker-compose exec monarch /src/ disableAccessLogging

# rstools

docker-compose exec rstools /src/ enableAccessLogging

docker-compose exec rstools /src/ disableAccessLogging

# nedi

docker-compose exec nedi /src/ enableAccessLogging

docker-compose exec nedi /src/ disableAccessLogging

# nagios-ui

docker-compose exec nagios-ui /src/ enableAccessLogging

docker-compose exec nagios-ui /src/ disableAccessLogging

Docker Access



Verify access to Docker.


Verify access to Docker Compose.



docker volume ls

List all volumes.



docker -v

Show Docker version.

docker-compose -v

Show Compose version.

Cloud Hub Connections


docker-compose exec cloudhub bash -c

This command will give you a line of output for each deployed connector instance, and will also show you the display name so you can disambiguate multiple deployments of the same connector type.


docker-compose exec cloudhub bash -c 'grep -r displayName /usr/local/groundwork/config/cloudhub/*'

Advanced Mode

Configuring the Details

In many cases, no additional configuration beyond what is possible in the user interface will be needed. There are, however, some areas of the system that support customizations and tuning. If you are an advanced user, you will need to access these to get the most out of your system. To use these customizations and make tuning changes, you will need to edit some of the files the system uses to control the applications, settings, and parameters.

NeDi Example

For example, we ship the NeDi application with no access to the database snapshot interface. If you want to use it, you must change the following line (un-comment) in the file /usr/local/groundwork/config/nedi/nedi.conf:


#module System Database db adm


module System Database db adm

The file should then be saved, and the permissions should be left at -rw-rw-r-- 1 nedi nedi. That is, owned by the nedi user.

Such changes are preserved across upgrades.

Additions of files and deletions of files are NOT preserved, but will be reverted on upgrades. This ensures we can provide you with a secure, functional system with minimal instability.

While we are working on adding more ways to configure GroundWork Monitor to the user interface, we expect for the foreseeable future some aspects will require command line editing of configuration files, and possibly the restarting of containers. The following instructions are provided to enable you to make these changes safely and without having to master too many new commands.

Generally speaking, you will want to have your GroundWork Monitor 8 system running, and use a docker feature called docker exec to make changes in the containers. Don't try to go around the containers and access the files directly on the file system. The containers are there for your protection, and will help you to be efficient in your editing.

So, to make the change described above, enter:

cd gw8
docker-compose exec -u 1000 nedi bash

This will place you at a shell in the container as the nedi user, for example:


Change to the mounted configuration volume directory for nedi:

cd /usr/local/groundwork/config/nedi

Edit the file with vi:

vi nedi.conf

Make the change(s) and save the file. It is then good practice to check that it is still at the native permissions:

ls -la nedi.conf

You should see something like this:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 nedi nedi 21706 Dec 3 21:32 /usr/local/groundwork/config/nedi/nedi.conf

Leave the shell:


NeDi makes immediate use of the changes you make to its settings file. There's no need to restart the container in this case. You are done!

Using similar procedures, you can access the nagios and noma_daemon containers, for example:

docker-compose exec -u 1000 nagios bash


docker-compose exec -u 1000 noma_daemon bash

Using the -u 1000 option puts you in the container as the container's default user (nedi, nagios, noma, etc.). If you leave it out, you will get a root shell, which is not recommended, since you can easily make a change that will leave your container (and perhaps the entire monitoring system) inoperable.

Container Directories

The directories you can access will vary by container.

For NoMa:


contains the NoMa.Yaml file that can be customized to add custom methods, for example.

For the Nagios container, the directories:


are useful for testing, and custom settings, though we caution against adding custom plugins to your system. They will vanish on upgrade!

A better way is to use GDMA (see the GDMA Monitoring documentation).

The global settings can be configured by making changes to the files in /usr/local/groundwork/config.

Configuration files available:

  • check_cacti.conf
  • cloudhub-log4j.xml
  • cloudhub-logback.xml
  • event-feeder.conf
  • foundation-log4j.xml
  • groundwork.lic
  • log-archive-receive.conf
  • log-archive-send.conf
  • menu.json
  • register_agent_by_discovery.conf
  • statistics-feeder.conf
  • cloudhub-docker-3.xml

In addition, there are subdirectories that contain more files and templates that you can manage:

  • /certs
  • /cloudhub
  • /migrations
  • /nedi
  • /profiles
  • /rstools
  • /vema

The thing to remember is that changing these settings files can affect multiple aspects of the system. Make sure you comment your changes so they are easily reversible, and make regular backups of the system so you can revert the whole thing if you make a catastrophic change.

Related Resources