devicemapper - a storage backend based on Device Mapper
Theory of operation
The device mapper graphdriver uses the device mapper thin provisioning
module (dm-thinp) to implement CoW snapshots. The preferred model is
to have a thin pool reserved outside of Docker and passed to the
daemon via the
--storage-opt dm.thinpooldev option.
As a fallback if no thin pool is provided, loopback files will be
created. Loopback is very slow, but can be used without any
pre-configuration of storage. It is strongly recommended that you do
not use loopback in production. Ensure your Docker daemon has a
--storage-opt dm.thinpooldev argument provided.
In loopback, a thin pool is created at
(devicemapper graph location) based on two block devices, one for
data and one for metadata. By default these block devices are created
automatically by using loopback mounts of automatically created sparse
The default loopback files used are
/var/lib/docker/devicemapper/devicemapper/metadata. Additional metadata
required to map from docker entities to the corresponding devicemapper
volumes is stored in the
file (encoded as Json).
In order to support multiple devicemapper graphs on a system, the thin
pool will be named something like:
0:33 part is the minor/major device nr and
19478248 is the
inode number of the
On the thin pool, docker automatically creates a base thin device,
called something like
docker-0:33-19478248-base of a fixed
size. This is automatically formatted with an empty filesystem on
creation. This device is the base of all docker images and
containers. All base images are snapshots of this device and those
images are then in turn used as snapshots for other images and
As of docker-1.4.1,
docker info when using the
devicemapper storage driver
will display something like:
$ sudo docker info [...] Storage Driver: devicemapper Pool Name: docker-253:1-17538953-pool Pool Blocksize: 65.54 kB Base Device Size: 107.4 GB Data file: /dev/loop4 Metadata file: /dev/loop4 Data Space Used: 2.536 GB Data Space Total: 107.4 GB Data Space Available: 104.8 GB Metadata Space Used: 7.93 MB Metadata Space Total: 2.147 GB Metadata Space Available: 2.14 GB Udev Sync Supported: true Data loop file: /home/docker/devicemapper/devicemapper/data Metadata loop file: /home/docker/devicemapper/devicemapper/metadata Library Version: 1.02.82-git (2013-10-04) [...]
Each item in the indented section under
Storage Driver: devicemapper are
status information about the driver.
Pool Namename of the devicemapper pool for this driver.
Pool Blocksizetells the blocksize the thin pool was initialized with. This only changes on creation.
Base Device Sizetells the maximum size of a container and image
Data fileblockdevice file used for the devicemapper data
Metadata fileblockdevice file used for the devicemapper metadata
Data Space Usedtells how much of
Data fileis currently used
Data Space Totaltells max size the
Data Space Availabletells how much free space there is in the
Data file. If you are using a loop device this will report the actual space available to the loop device on the underlying filesystem.
Metadata Space Usedtells how much of
Metadata fileis currently used
Metadata Space Totaltells max size the
Metadata Space Availabletells how much free space there is in the
Metadata file. If you are using a loop device this will report the actual space available to the loop device on the underlying filesystem.
Udev Sync Supportedtells whether devicemapper is able to sync with Udev. Should be
Data loop filefile attached to
Data file, if loopback device is used
Metadata loop filefile attached to
Metadata file, if loopback device is used
Library Versionfrom the libdevmapper used
About the devicemapper options
The devicemapper backend supports some options that you can specify
when starting the docker daemon using the
This uses the
dm prefix and would be used something like
dockerd --storage-opt dm.foo=bar.