Mastering Docker Volumes: Essential Guide to Mounting Volumes


Mounting volumes in Docker is a crucial technique for managing persistent data and sharing files between the host and containers. This article provides an in-depth look at how to use Docker volumes to mount data inside containers, ensuring data persistence across container restarts and deployments.

Understanding Docker Volumes

What is a Docker Volume? A Docker volume is a storage unit created specifically to store persistent or shared data. Unlike data in container layers, a volume is completely managed by Docker and is decoupled from the container lifecycle. This means that data in Docker volumes remains intact even when containers are deleted.

How to Mount Volumes in Docker Containers

1. Creating and Using a Docker Volume

To create a volume and mount it inside a container, you can use the docker volume create command to create a volume, followed by the docker run command to mount it.

Example Command to Create a Volume:

docker volume create myvolume

Expected Output:


This command creates a new volume named "myvolume" that can be mounted into containers.

Example Command to Mount the Volume in a Container:

docker run -d --name my-nginx -v myvolume:/usr/share/nginx/html nginx

This command runs an NGINX container and mounts the myvolume volume at /usr/share/nginx/html, the default directory where NGINX serves static files.

2. Mounting Host Directories as Volumes

You can also mount a specific directory from the host into a container using the bind mount feature.

Example Command:

docker run -d --name devtest -v /path/to/data:/data alpine

This mounts the host directory /path/to/data into the container at /data.

Expected Output: This command does not produce any output to the console, but you can verify the mount by checking the contents of /data inside the container.

Best Practices for Using Docker Volumes

  • Data Backup: Regularly back up important data stored in Docker volumes, especially when using host directory mounts.

  • Volume Management: Regularly inspect and clean up unused volumes with docker volume prune to free up space.

  • Security: Be cautious with permissions when mounting host directories to avoid exposing sensitive data.

3. Inspecting and Managing Volumes

You can inspect details of a Docker volume using the docker volume inspect command, which provides configuration and usage details.

Example Command:

docker volume inspect myvolume

Expected Output:

        "CreatedAt": "2020-06-01T14:50:49Z",
        "Driver": "local",
        "Labels": {},
        "Mountpoint": "/var/lib/docker/volumes/myvolume/_data",
        "Name": "myvolume",
        "Options": {},
        "Scope": "local"

This output provides detailed information about the volume, including its creation time, mount point, and configuration options.


Mounting volumes in Docker is a powerful feature that enhances the flexibility and usability of containers, especially for applications that need to maintain state or share data between the host and the container. By understanding and utilizing Docker volumes effectively, you can significantly improve the data management capabilities of your Dockerized applications.

Additional Resources

For more information on managing data with Docker, visit the Docker documentation on volumes.