How do I change the Docker image installation directory?

Folks on CentOS 7, don’t follow this.

I would like to make Docker get images from an EFS/AWS volume, there should not be any performance penalty right?

Really helpful.

Hello guys

How can i pass the -g option with the new docker for mac?
I want to change the default images folder too.

Thanks in advance.

The -g option on Ubuntu 16.04 with docker-engine 1.12.1-0 from< official PPA is completely ignored:

Before docker-engine is even installed in /etc/default/docker:

DOCKER_OPTS="--dns --dns -g /media/actionmystique/SAMSUNG-850-Ext4/Docker"
/var/lib/docker does not exist
/media/actionmystique/SAMSUNG-850-Ext4/Docker is empty

After installation without overwriting the /etc/default/docker file:

ll /var/lib/docker
drwx--x--x  10 root root 4096 Aug 28 14:58 ./
drwxr-xr-x 112 root root 4096 Aug 28 14:58 ../
drwx------   5 root root 4096 Aug 28 14:58 aufs/
drwx------   2 root root 4096 Aug 28 14:58 containers/
drwx------   3 root root 4096 Aug 28 14:58 image/
drwxr-x---   3 root root 4096 Aug 28 14:58 network/
drwx------   2 root root 4096 Aug 28 14:58 swarm/
drwx------   2 root root 4096 Aug 28 14:58 tmp/
drwx------   2 root root 4096 Aug 28 14:58 trust/
drwx------   2 root root 4096 Aug 28 14:58 volumes/

 /media/actionmystique/SAMSUNG-850-Ext4/Docker is empty

Using the symlink is the way to go.
Also, the correct commands to control docker service are:

systemctl stop docker
install the symlink as explained by @nhazlett
systemctl start docker
systemctl status docker
● docker.service - Docker Application Container Engine
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/docker.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Sun 2016-08-28 15:12:22 CEST; 7s ago
 Main PID: 7097 (dockerd)
    Tasks: 24
   Memory: 17.5M
      CPU: 429ms
   CGroup: /system.slice/docker.service
           ├─7097 /usr/bin/dockerd -H fd://
           └─7104 docker-containerd -l unix:///var/run/docker/libcontainerd/docker-containerd.sock --shim docker-containerd-shim --metrics-interval=0 --start-timeout 2m --st

Aug 28 15:12:22 samsung-ubuntu dockerd[7097]: time="2016-08-28T15:12:22.331839947+02:00" level=info msg="[graphdriver] using prior storage driver \"aufs\""
Aug 28 15:12:22 samsung-ubuntu dockerd[7097]: time="2016-08-28T15:12:22.341400411+02:00" level=info msg="Graph migration to content-addressability took 0.00 seconds"
Aug 28 15:12:22 samsung-ubuntu dockerd[7097]: time="2016-08-28T15:12:22.341959470+02:00" level=info msg="Loading containers: start."
Aug 28 15:12:22 samsung-ubuntu dockerd[7097]: time="2016-08-28T15:12:22.346940335+02:00" level=info msg="Firewalld running: false"
Aug 28 15:12:22 samsung-ubuntu dockerd[7097]: time="2016-08-28T15:12:22.587848771+02:00" level=info msg="Default bridge (docker0) is assigned with an IP address
Aug 28 15:12:22 samsung-ubuntu dockerd[7097]: time="2016-08-28T15:12:22.719073186+02:00" level=info msg="Loading containers: done."
Aug 28 15:12:22 samsung-ubuntu dockerd[7097]: time="2016-08-28T15:12:22.719141624+02:00" level=info msg="Daemon has completed initialization"
Aug 28 15:12:22 samsung-ubuntu dockerd[7097]: time="2016-08-28T15:12:22.719159156+02:00" level=info msg="Docker daemon" commit=23cf638 graphdriver=aufs version=1.12.1
Aug 28 15:12:22 samsung-ubuntu systemd[1]: Started Docker Application Container Engine.
Aug 28 15:12:22 samsung-ubuntu dockerd[7097]: time="2016-08-28T15:12:22.723875496+02:00" level=info msg="API listen on /var/run/docker.sock"

Ob Ubuntu 16.04 Server (64bit) I could successfully change the path by editing the


like this

ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker daemon -H -H unix:///var/run/docker.sock $OPTIONS \
          $BLOCK_REGISTRY \
          --tlsverify \
          --tlscacert=/etc/docker/cert/ca.pem \
          --tlscert=/etc/docker/cert/server-cert.pem \
          --tlskey=/etc/docker/cert/server-key.pem \
          -g /data/docker

Added the line with -g (and don’t forget the ’ ’ in the line before).

I did both options on a VPS with an sshfs storage vps connected as the image location. I keep getting an error when doing “docker pull ubuntu” -> failed to register layer: Error processing tar file(exit status 1): lchown /bin/dnsdomainname: no such file or directory

Anyone know how to deal with this?

Check this

I have followed instructions in Runtime directory and storage driver on Ubuntu 16.04.1:

  1. mkdir /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d

  2. create some drop-in.conf file in /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d , e.g. docker-overlay.conf

  3. add these lines into drop-in file, replace “/mnt/docker-data” with your new docker data location:
    ExecStart=/usr/bin/dockerd --graph="/mnt/docker-data" --storage-driver=overlay

  4. sudo systemctl daemon-reload

  5. sudo systemctl restart docker

Those on 16.04 see comment by @thaJeztah

It’s also possible to use a daemon.json configuration file instead of /etc/default/docker. The /etc/default/docker is only used for systems running upstart, and not for systems running systemd, so is more portable. Also it allows reloading some configuration settings without restarting the daemon;


I’m on Ubuntu 16.04.1, but it shouldn’t matter because this is a cross-distro solution.

Just put this json into /etc/docker/daemon.json:

“graph”: “/path/to/docker”
Worked for me and I didn’t have to mess with upstart or systemd.


I want to do this centos7, could anyone please suggest me how to achieve this? I am using centos 7 and latest docker version 1.13. I have mounted a storage drive /dev/sdb and i want the docker to use this drive instead of /var/lib/docker.

Thanks, that’s worked for me, on Fedora 25 :slight_smile:


Works for docker raspberry pi 3, debian jessie running docker version 17.03.0-ce

Thank you so much! That’s worked perfectly!!!



Modifying the docker.service.d might be a problem when updating the packages.
for Centos, you should modify:
OPTIONS=’–selinux-enabled --log-driver=journald --signature-verification=false -g /new/path/to/docker


That works, thanks!!!

For anyone browsing this page in the future looking for a shell script to move/change the docker root directory on Ubuntu (tested with 16.04), you can download it directly or visit my site

#change paths below to suit your needs

set -e
dockerdir_new2=$(echo "$dockerdir_new" | sed 's/\//\\\//g')
systemctl stop docker
mkdir -p $dockerdir_new
rsync -a $dockerdir_old* $dockerdir_new
sed -i.bak "/ExecStart=\/usr\/bin\/dockerd \-H fd:\/\//c ExecStart=\/usr\/bin\/dockerd \-H fd:\/\/ -g ${dockerdir_new2}" /lib/systemd/system/docker.service
mv $dockerdir_old /var/lib/docker.bak/
ln -s $dockerdir_new /var/lib/docker
systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl start docker.service
printf '\n* The Docker systemd config has been backed up to /lib/systemd/system/docker.service.bak\n* A backup of the old Docker Root has been copied to /var/lib/docker.bak/\n\n'
docker info | grep 'Root Dir'

I tried. Worked !!! Thanks :slight_smile:

You’re welcome. Took me all day dealing with sed’s delimiter escapes. I’m sure there is a more proficient scripter out there who may want to improve on my script, but hey, it works great.

Worked perfectly thanks !!! :smiley:

For newer versions you would need to have a look here:

Here is the content of “etc/docker/daemon.json”

  "graph": "/mnt/docker"
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