How to change the default data/image directory of docker?

Changing data/image location – Docker.

Well, in some low disk host you may prefer a better, large partition for your Docker base directory. Once you installed Docker, the default data directory is “/var/lib/docker.”

It contains all the data for your docker installation, like all the docker images your built or pulled from the hub.

Common directories under /var/lib/docker

drwx------  2 root root 4096 Jan 22 22:08 builder/
drwx--x--x  3 root root 4096 Jan 22 22:08 containerd/
drwx------  5 root root 4096 Jan 23 05:47 containers/
drwx------  3 root root 4096 Jan 22 22:08 image/
drwxr-x---  3 root root 4096 Jan 22 22:08 network/
drwx------ 15 root root 4096 Jan 23 05:49 overlay2/
drwx------  4 root root 4096 Jan 22 22:08 plugins/
drwx------  2 root root 4096 Jan 23 05:46 runtimes/
drwx------  2 root root 4096 Jan 22 22:08 swarm/
drwx------  2 root root 4096 Jan 23 05:49 tmp/
drwx------  2 root root 4096 Jan 22 22:08 trust/
drwx------  2 root root 4096 Jan 22 22:08 volumes/

Steps to change the default location.

Step 1. Stop docker daemon.

/etc/init.d/docker stop

Step 2. Make sure that there are no docker related processes.

ps aux|grep docker

Step 3. Move the contents of /var/lib/docker to your new location.

mv /var/lib/docker /home/

Step 4. Create a softlink to default location.

ln -s /home/docker/ /var/lib/docker

Step 5. Start docker daemon.

/etc/init.d/docker start

Step 6. Make sure all the images and data are working from the new location.

That’s it!

1. An introduction note to Docker containers – basics, part 1
2. Managing Docker containers – basics, part 2

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Arunlal Ashok

Linux Systems Architect at Endurance International Group. I know her (Linux) since many years. Linux lover. Like to play on Linux console. I started this blog to share and discuss Linux thoughts.

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