Does Docker Have DNS Server?


Heather Bennett

In this tutorial, we will explore the question: Does Docker have a DNS server? Docker is a popular platform that allows you to automate the deployment and management of applications within containers. It provides isolation and portability, making it easy to develop and deploy applications across different environments.

The Role of DNS in Docker

DNS (Domain Name System) is a fundamental component of the internet that translates human-readable domain names into IP addresses. It enables us to access websites using familiar domain names like instead of remembering their numeric IP addresses.

When it comes to Docker, DNS plays an important role in facilitating communication between containers. Each container in a Docker network has its own unique IP address, but these addresses are not easily memorable or meaningful for humans. This is where DNS comes in.

Default DNS Configuration in Docker

By default, Docker uses a built-in DNS server called “dockerd” that provides name resolution for containers within the same network. When you create a new container with Docker, it automatically assigns a unique hostname based on the container’s name.

The DNS server within Docker is responsible for resolving these hostnames to their respective IP addresses, allowing containers to communicate with each other using easy-to-remember names instead of complex IP addresses.

DNS Resolution Order

  • Docker Daemon’s Embedded DNS Server: When you create a new container, it automatically registers its hostname and IP address with the embedded DNS server running on the Docker daemon. This server acts as the primary source for name resolution within the local network.
  • Host’s Default DNS Server: If the embedded DNS server fails to resolve a hostname, Docker falls back to using the default DNS server configured on the host machine. This allows containers to access resources outside the Docker network.

Customizing DNS Configuration in Docker

While Docker provides a default DNS configuration, you can also customize it according to your needs. You can specify custom DNS servers or even modify the default search domains for name resolution.

To customize the DNS configuration, you can use the --dns option when running a container. For example:

docker run --dns 8.8.8 my-container

This command instructs Docker to use the specified DNS server (in this case, Google’s public DNS server at 8.8) for name resolution within the container.

Using DNS Names in Docker Compose

In addition to using individual containers, you can also define multi-container applications using Docker Compose. When using Compose, you can specify custom network aliases for services within a compose file.

By defining these aliases, you can refer to services using meaningful names instead of relying on IP addresses or container names. Docker automatically handles the DNS resolution for these aliases within the defined network.

    image: nginx
      - my-network

In this example, the web service is assigned two custom DNS aliases: and These aliases allow other containers within the same network to communicate with this service using these human-readable names.

In Conclusion

Docker comes with its own built-in DNS server that provides name resolution for containers within the Docker network. This DNS server, along with the ability to customize DNS configurations, allows you to easily manage and communicate between containers using human-readable names instead of complex IP addresses.

By understanding the role of DNS in Docker and how to customize its configuration, you can ensure efficient communication and seamless integration between your containers in a Docker environment.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy