Question about Watchtower (was: Does Watchtower update itself?)


Legendary Member
Original poster
Local time
9:15 PM
Aug 1, 2018
Does watchtower update itself? I see a lot of development going on with watchtower, but I don't see that it updates itself. In fact, I am not even sure how to determine what version of watchtower is actually running.

the quick answer to this question is yes Watchtower should update itself. From the here:

Updating Watchtower
If watchtower is monitoring the same Docker daemon under which the watchtower container itself is running (i.e. if you volume-mounted /var/run/docker.sock into the watchtower container) then it has the ability to update itself. If a new version of the containrrr/watchtower image is pushed to the Docker Hub, your watchtower will pull down the new image and restart itself automatically.
Last edited:


Full Member
Local time
9:15 PM
Aug 31, 2018
PlexGuide is currently pulling the v2tec/watchtower:latest
docker image, which hasn’t been updated in a year, that I can tell. The active project is containrrr/watchtower:latest which was updated 6 days ago.


Legendary Member
Original poster
Local time
9:15 PM
Aug 1, 2018
I'd like to see watchtower refactored, with a config file used so we can modify runtime arguments with a restart of the container.
Edit: There is no option yet for a watchtower config file - this has been requested as an enhancement for Watchtower

We should also be using the latest version. I wanted to find out how to determine what version was running and see what other options I could use. I did the following to test.

I pulled the latest docker file from containrrr and not v2tec (thanks @loa92)
docker pull containrrr/watchtower:latest

I stopped the current watchtower in portainer and ran a new watchtower2 container with the following command:
docker run -d --name watchtower2 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock containrrr/watchtower --interval 60 --cleanup --debug

This ran quickly and updated 6 of my containers to their latest version. It was also running version 0.3.2 of watchtower. I could tell this by running the following command against the container:

docker run --rm containrrr/watchtower --help

The output looked like this:

   watchtower - Automatically update running Docker containers

   watchtower [global options] command [command options] [arguments...]

   0.3.2 - 7db0aed2a5235a471b5b67f7d57b903c9c882ff0 - 2019-04-06T12:29:48Z

     help, h  Shows a list of commands or help for one command

   --host value, -H value                       daemon socket to connect to (default: "unix:///var/run/docker.sock") [$DOCKER_HOST]
   --interval value, -i value                   poll interval (in seconds) (default: 300) [$WATCHTOWER_POLL_INTERVAL]
   --schedule value, -s value                   the cron expression which defines when to update [$WATCHTOWER_SCHEDULE]
   --no-pull                                    do not pull new images [$WATCHTOWER_NO_PULL]
   --no-restart                                 do not restart containers [$WATCHTOWER_NO_RESTART]
   --cleanup                                    remove old images after updating [$WATCHTOWER_CLEANUP]
   --tlsverify                                  use TLS and verify the remote [$DOCKER_TLS_VERIFY]
   --stop-timeout value                         timeout before container is forcefully stopped (default: 10s) [$WATCHTOWER_TIMEOUT]
   --label-enable                               watch containers where the com.centurylinklabs.watchtower.enable label is true [$WATCHTOWER_LABEL_ENABLE]
   --debug                                      enable debug mode with verbose logging
   --notifications value                        notification types to send (valid: email, slack, msteams) [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATIONS]
   --notifications-level value                  The log level used for sending notifications. Possible values: "panic", "fatal", "error", "warn", "info" or "debug" (default: "info") [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATIONS_LEVEL]
   --notification-email-from value              Address to send notification e-mails from [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_EMAIL_FROM]
   --notification-email-to value                Address to send notification e-mails to [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_EMAIL_TO]
   --notification-email-server value            SMTP server to send notification e-mails through [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_EMAIL_SERVER]
   --notification-email-server-port value       SMTP server port to send notification e-mails through (default: 25) [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_EMAIL_SERVER_PORT]
   --notification-email-server-tls-skip-verify  Controls whether watchtower verifies the SMTP server's certificate chain and host name. If set, TLS accepts any certificate presented by the server and any host name in that certificate. In this mode, TLS is susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. This should be used only for testing. [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_EMAIL_SERVER_TLS_SKIP_VERIFY]
   --notification-email-server-user value       SMTP server user for sending notifications [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_EMAIL_SERVER_USER]
   --notification-email-server-password value   SMTP server password for sending notifications [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_EMAIL_SERVER_PASSWORD]
   --notification-slack-hook-url value          The Slack Hook URL to send notifications to [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_SLACK_HOOK_URL]
   --notification-slack-identifier value        A string which will be used to identify the messages coming from this watchtower instance. Default if omitted is "watchtower" (default: "watchtower") [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_SLACK_IDENTIFIER]
   --notification-msteams-hook value            The MSTeams WebHook URL to send notifications to [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_MSTEAMS_HOOK_URL]
   --notification-msteams-data                  The MSTeams notifier will try to extract log entry fields as MSTeams message facts [$WATCHTOWER_NOTIFICATION_MSTEAMS_USE_LOG_DATA]
   --help, -h                                   show help
   --version, -v                                print the version
if you are wondering, the version of watchtower that is running with the v2tec container is 0.3.0
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