Docker volume types


Docker volumes are a crucial aspect of containerized applications, providing a mechanism for persistent storage and data sharing between containers and the host system. Docker supports several types of volumes, each with its own characteristics and use cases.

  1. Local Volumes Local volumes reside within the host machine’s filesystem and are managed by Docker. They are ideal for preserving data accessible to one or more containers on the same host. For instance, to create a local volume named “my_volume”:
docker volume create my_volume


  1. Named Volumes Named volumes, managed by Docker, are not confined to a particular location on the host filesystem. Docker handles their storage and lifecycle, ensuring ease of use and portability across environments. Here’s an example of using a named volume in a Docker Compose file:
version: '3.8'




      - my_named_volume:/app/data




  1. Bind Mounts Bind mounts link a directory on the host machine to a directory within the container’s filesystem. They provide direct access to host files and directories from within the container. For instance, to mount the host directory “/host/data” to the container directory “/container/data”:
docker run -v /host/data:/container/data my_image


  1. Tmpfs Volumes Tmpfs volumes reside in the container’s memory, offering high-performance but ephemeral storage. They are suitable for temporary data or applications requiring swift access to transient data. To create a tmpfs volume with a size limit of 100MB:
docker run -v my_tmpfs:/tmp:rw,size=100m my_image


By grasping the diverse Docker volume types and their traits, developers can select the most suitable option based on their application’s needs for data persistence, performance, and flexibility. Whether employing local volumes for on-host storage, named volumes for cross-container data exchange, bind mounts for host connectivity, or tmpfs volumes for temporary data storage, Docker provides a versatile storage solution for containerized applications.

About the Author: Vladislav Antoseac

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