Retailer Docker Photographs and Containers on an Exterior Drive | Siege Tech

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Docker shops downloaded photographs, working containers, and chronic quantity information in a single shared root listing in your system drive. You possibly can customise your setup to make use of an exterior drive, a community share, or a second inside drive if it’s worthwhile to add storage to your setup.


The principle a part of this information applies to Docker Engine for Linux and Docker Desktop on Home windows and Mac. You will have to seek out your Docker daemon.json file on all three platforms. Will probably be in one of many following locations:

  • /and many others/docker/daemon.json on Linux.
  • %programdatapercentdockerconfigdaemon.json on Home windows
  • ~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker/Information/database/com.docker.driver.amd64-linux/and many others/docker/daemon.json on Mac

Docker recommends that Home windows and Mac customers replace the configuration file by way of the consumer interface, relatively than manually making use of adjustments in a textual content editor. You possibly can entry the configuration display by going to Preferences > Docker Engine > Edit File within the Docker Desktop interface.

Change your information listing

The placement of the Docker information listing is managed by the data-root configuration in your configuration file. Previous variations of Docker launched earlier than 17.06 are used graph as an alternative. You possibly can test the model you could have by working the docker model area.

$ docker model
Server: Docker Engine - Group
    Model: 20.10.17

Discover or add the related key inside the configuration file. Set your required listing path as its worth. Here’s a Linux instance that can retailer Docker information on an exterior drive mounted on the file system:

    "data-root": "/mnt/docker-data"

You should restart the Docker daemon after making the change:

$ sudo service docker restart

Docker Desktop will be restarted on Home windows and Mac by exiting after which beginning a brand new occasion.

You should copy the contents of your present information listing to the brand new path if you wish to preserve your current content material. In any other case, you will begin with a clear slate, unable to entry beforehand created containers and pictures.

$ sudo rsync -aSv /var/lib/docker/ /mnt/docker-data

Change information listing with out reboot

You possibly can transfer your information listing with out restarting the daemon by making a symbolic hyperlink from /var/lib/docker to its new location. This may very well be helpful if you’re working out of house on a number the place an unscheduled restart of the Docker service shouldn’t be a viable choice.

Copy your current Docker information to your new listing:

$ sudo rsync -aSv /var/lib/docker/ /mnt/docker-data

Subsequent, create a symlink that resolves /var/lib/docker to the vacation spot location:

$ sudo ln -s /mnt/docker-data/ /var/lib/docker

Don’t use this method for workloads that quickly modify file system information. There’s a danger of inconsistencies if information is written within the time between copying the prevailing listing and creating the symbolic hyperlink.

What actually adjustments?

Altering the foundation listing of Docker impacts all of the several types of information that the daemon shops. This contains your photographs, containers, put in plugins, Swarm configuration, and volumes, in addition to the Docker construct cache.

Modifying the trail will write all of this information to its new location. You can’t selectively transfer particular varieties to separate mount factors. Because of this it is very important choose a storage location that gives good general efficiency. Utilizing a sluggish exterior drive might hurt the responsiveness of your docker CLI operations, even when it fits sure kinds of information, akin to long-term picture storage.

Within the absence of per-type datapath help, deleting unused sources could also be a greater approach to handle Docker’s storage necessities. As an alternative of allocating extra space to Docker, clear up redundant property and push unused photographs to a separate central registry. This may liberate appreciable house in your host.

Single use of a special information listing

You possibly can manually begin the Docker Engine with a particular information listing by passing the --data-root flag whenever you begin the daemon. This can be utilized to modify between information directories or run a clear occasion with out your current information.

$ sudo /usr/bin/dockerd --data-root /mnt/docker-data

The flag will override the listing path specified by the daemon.json proceedings. The configured listing will stay intact as a way to return to that occasion sooner or later.


Docker shops all of its information, together with constructed and pulled photographs, constructed containers, and volumes inside a single listing tree. The foundation is normally /var/lib/docker however you may customise it by including a setting to your config file or by offering the --data-root flag whenever you begin the daemon.

Altering the information listing implies that your current information won’t seem in Docker until you copy it to the brand new path. You should utilize this characteristic to take care of a number of separate Docker storage repositories, akin to one for private tasks and one for work. Nonetheless, you have to to restart the daemon earlier than switching contexts, as just one occasion will be working at a time.

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How to Store Docker Images and Containers on an External Drive