Docker Storage and volumes
Docker containers runs your applications, those applications need data and that data need to be stored some where. You as a docker administrator need to know manage docker storage and volumes.

Manage data in Docker

By default all files created inside a container are stored on a writable container layer, but data should not be stored inside the container! because there are some issues with that :
    Containers are designed to be ephemeral (disposable)
    When containers are stopped, data is not accessible.
    Containers are typically stored on each host
    The container file system wasn't designed for high performance I/O.
Docker has two options for containers to store files in the host machine, so that the files are persisted even after the container stops: volumes, and bind mounts.
If you’re running Docker on Linux you can also use a tmpfs mount. If you’re running Docker on Windows you can also use a named pipe.
    1.
    Volumes : The recommended way to persist data, stored at /var/lib/docker/volumes/
    2.
    Bind Mounts: have limited functionality and you must use the exact file path on the host; (volumes recommended)
    3.
    tmpfs mounts: Stored only in a host's memory in Linux (least recommended)

Docker storage drivers

In fact, in docker we are not writing to container's writable layer, instead we are using docker volumes. For doing that storage driver is needed . Storage driver manage filesystem behind the scenes. There are different storage drivers that we can plug in and plug out:
    overlay , overlay2
    aufs
    devicemapper
    btrfs
    zfs
Depending on the linux distribution we are using different storage drivers is recommended (always check docs.docker.com for latest updates):
Linux distribution
Recommended storage drivers
Alternative drivers
Docker CE on ubuntu
overlay2 or aufs (for Ubuntu 14.04 running on kernel 3.13)
overlay, devicemapper, zfs, vfs
Docker CE on Debian
overlay2 (Debian Stretch), aufs or devicemapper (older versions)
overlay, vfs
Docker CE on CentOS
overlay2
overlay, devicemapper, zfs, vfs
Docker CE on Fedora
overlay2
overlay, devicemapper , zfs, vfs
Important: When you change the storage driver, any existing images and containers become inaccessible. This is because their layers cannot be used by the new storage driver. If you revert your changes, you can access the old images and containers again, but any that you pulled or created using the new driver are then inaccessible.
use docker info | less command to see which storage driver is currently running.
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[[email protected]~]#docker info
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...
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Storage Driver: overlay2
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Docker Root Dir: /var/lib/docker
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...
Copied!

Use volumes

Volumes are the preferred mechanism for persisting data generated by and used by Docker containers. While bind mounts are dependent on the directory structure of the host machine, volumes are completely managed by Docker. Volumes have several advantages over bind mounts:
    Volumes are easier to back up or migrate than bind mounts.
    You can manage volumes using Docker CLI commands or the Docker API.
    Volumes work on both Linux and Windows containers.
    Volumes can be more safely shared among multiple containers.
    Volume drivers let you store volumes on remote hosts or cloud providers, to encrypt the contents of volumes, or to add other functionality.
    New volumes can have their content pre-populated by a container.
In addition, volumes are often a better choice than persisting data in a container’s writable layer, because a volume does not increase the size of the containers using it, and the volume’s contents exist outside the lifecycle of a given container.

Create a volume:

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[[email protected] ~]# docker volume create my-vol
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my-vol
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List volumes:

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[[email protected] ~]# docker volume ls
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DRIVER VOLUME NAME
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local 8137730e7356621d3075c51b80c7838fd987b0ac34f586c035cf66eb2a9af6ed
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local my-vol
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get more information about a volume by using docker volume inspect my-vol command.

Remove a volume

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[[email protected] ~]# docker volume rm my-vol
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my-vol
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Start a container with a volume

If you start a container with a volume that does not yet exist, Docker creates the volume for you. The following example mounts the volume myvol2 into /app/ in the container.
The -v and --mount examples below produce the same result.
--mount
-v
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$ docker run -d \
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--name devtest \
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--mount source=myvol2,target=/app \
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nginx:latest
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Use docker inspect devtest to verify that the volume was created and mounted correctly. Look for the Mounts section.
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$ docker run -d \
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--name devtest \
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-v myvol2:/app \
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nginx:latest
Copied!
Use docker inspect devtest to verify that the volume was created and mounted correctly. Look for the Mounts section.
Choose the -v or --mount flag
Originally, the -v or --volume flag was used for standalone containers and the --mount flag was used for swarm services. However, starting with Docker 17.06, you can also use --mount with standalone containers. In general, --mount is more explicit and verbose. The biggest difference is that the -v syntax combines all the options together in one field, while the --mount syntax separates them. Here is a comparison of the syntax for each flag.
New users should try --mount syntax which is simpler than --volume syntax.
Differences between -v and --mount behavior
As opposed to bind mounts, all options for volumes are available for both --mount and -v flags.
For removing Stop the container and remove the volume. Note volume removal is a separate step.
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$ docker container stop devtest
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$ docker container rm devtest
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$ docker volume rm myvol2
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The docker export command does not export the contents of volumes associated with the container. If a volume is mounted on top of an existing directory in the container, docker export will export the contents of the underlying directory, not the contents of the volume.
Refer to Backup, restore, or migrate data volumes in the user guide for examples on exporting data in a volume.

Use bind mounts

Bind mounts have been around since the early days of Docker. Bind mounts have limited functionality compared to volumes. When you use a bind mount, a file or directory on the host machine is mounted into a container. The file or directory is referenced by its full or relative path on the host machine. By contrast, when you use a volume, a new directory is created within Docker’s storage directory on the host machine, and Docker manages that directory’s contents.
The file or directory does not need to exist on the Docker host already. It is created on demand if it does not yet exist. Bind mounts are very performant, but they rely on the host machine’s filesystem having a specific directory structure available. If you are developing new Docker applications, consider using named volumes instead. You can’t use Docker CLI commands to directly manage bind mounts.
--mount
-v
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$ docker run -d \
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-it \
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--name devtest \
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--mount type=bind,source="$(pwd)"/target,target=/app \
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nginx:latest
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Use docker inspect devtest to verify that the bind mount was created correctly. Look for the Mounts section:
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$ docker run -d \
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-it \
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--name devtest \
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-v "$(pwd)"/target:/app \
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nginx:latest
Copied!
Use docker inspect devtest to verify that the bind mount was created correctly. Look for the Mounts section

Choose the -v or --mount flag

Originally, the -v or --volume flag was used for standalone containers and the --mount flag was used for swarm services. However, starting with Docker 17.06, you can also use --mount with standalone containers. In general, --mount is more explicit and verbose. The biggest difference is that the -v syntax combines all the options together in one field, while the --mount syntax separates them. Here is a comparison of the syntax for each flag.
Tip: New users should use the --mount syntax. Experienced users may be more familiar with the -v or --volume syntax, but are encouraged to use --mount, because research has shown it to be easier to use.

Differences between -v and --mount behavior

Because the -v and --volume flags have been a part of Docker for a long time, their behavior cannot be changed. This means that there is one behavior that is different between -v and --mount.
    If you use -v or --volume to bind-mount a file or directory that does not yet exist on the Docker host, -v creates the endpoint for you. It is always created as a directory.
    If you use --mount to bind-mount a file or directory that does not yet exist on the Docker host, Docker does not automatically create it for you, but generates an error.
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with the special thanks of David Davis .
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Last modified 10mo ago