Changing the location of docker named volumes

Andrew Pruski, 2018-05-09 (first published: 2018-05-02)

A few weeks ago I was presenting at SQL Saturday Raleigh and was asked a question that I didn’t know the answer to.

The question was, “can you change the location of named volumes in docker?”

This is one of the things that I love about presenting, being asked questions that I don’t know the answer to. They give me something to go away and investigate (many thanks to Dave Walden (b|t) for his help!)

N.B. – I’ve previously written about persisting data using named volumes here

First let’s have a look at a named volume. To create one, run: –

docker volume create sqlserver

And now let’s have a look at it: –

docker volume inspect sqlserver

You can see above where the named volume lives on the host. But what if we want to change that location?

Well, in order to do so we need to use a docker volume plugin. Which unfortunately means that this functionality is not available on Windows or on MACs (as plugins aren’t supported on those platforms). The workaround is to run the plugin from a container but I would just mount a volume from the host (see here).

The plugin that I’m going to use is the Local Persist Plugin

Really simple to install: –

curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/CWSpear/local-persist/master/scripts/install.sh | sudo bash

And we are good to go!

Ok, let’s create a directory to point our named volume to: –

mkdir /sqlserver

And now we can create our named volume: –

docker volume create -d local-persist -o mountpoint=/sqlserver --name=sqlserver2

Let’s have a look at it: –

docker volume inspect sqlserver2

And there you have it, the named volume pointing to a custom location.

Thanks for reading!

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