Docker storage drivers

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Ideally, very little data is written to a container’s writable layer, and you use Docker volumes to write data. However, some workloads require you to be able to write to the container’s writable layer. This is where storage drivers come in.

Docker uses a series of different storage drivers to manage the filesystems within images and running containers. These storage drivers are different from Docker volumes, which manage storage which can be shared among multiple containers.

Docker relies on driver technology to manage the storage and interactions associated with images and the containers that run them. This section contains the following pages:

If you are new to Docker containers make sure you read about images, containers, and storage drivers first. It explains key concepts and technologies that can help you when working with storage drivers.


The Docker storage driver material was created in large part by our guest author Nigel Poulton with a bit of help from Docker’s own Jérôme Petazzoni. In his spare time Nigel creates IT training videos and co-hosts the weekly In Tech We Trust podcast. Follow him on Twitter.

container, storage, driver, aufs, btrfs, devicemapper, zfs, overlay, overlay2