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Docker overlay2 cleanup

Docker is a fantastic tool for building, shipping, and running applications in containers. However, as you use Docker, your system might accumulate unused images, containers, and volumes, taking up valuable storage space. This can lead to performance issues and, eventually, a cluttered environment. To address this, Docker provides various cleanup options. In this guide, we will focus on one of the essential techniques: Docker overlay2 cleanup.

If you don’t want to get into all this, you can avail our Docker consulting services. Our experts will make sure your Docker environment runs smoothly without any errors.

What is Docker overlay2?

Overlay2 is a storage driver used by Docker to efficiently manage container storage. It allows multiple layers of images to be combined into a single image. However, when containers are frequently created and removed, these layers can accumulate, leading to wasted disk space.

What is Docker overlay2 cleanup?

Docker overlay2 cleanup means removing extra stuff made by Docker on your computer. When you use Docker, it creates files and data. Over time, these pile up and use lots of space on your computer.

Cleaning up overlay2 is like cleaning your room. You remove things you don’t need anymore, like old toys or clothes. In the same way, cleaning up overlay2 means deleting unused files and data from Docker. Doing this makes your computer faster, gives you more space, and helps Docker work better.

Also Check: Our blog post on docker ps

How to do Docker overlay2 cleanup?

First, we need to check how much space Docker is using on our computer. We can do this by typing a command:

When we run this command, it tells us how much space is being used by different things in Docker, like images, containers, and local volumes.

Docker doesn’t automatically remove images that are not being used. To get rid of these unused images, we can use this command:

If we want to clean up not only images but also unused containers and everything else, we can use a more powerful command:

However, there are some things this cleanup won’t remove:

  • Containers that are actively running.
  • Logs and changes made by those containers to the system.
  • Anything created outside of the usual Docker folders might not be cleaned up. This could be because of other programs writing to this folder or previous Docker setups.

If you ever need to completely start fresh with Docker and remove everything, it’s a good idea to delete the entire Docker directory, not just specific parts like “overlay2”.

Read More: About docker cleanup

Delete Specific Containers or Images

Run this command to delete specific containers or images: 

Replace <container_id or container_name> with the ID or name of the container you want to remove, and <image_id or image_name> with the ID or name of the image you want to delete.

Remove Stopped Containers After Running a Specific Command

Run this command to remove stopped container after running a specific command:

This command removes all containers that have exited (stopped) after running a specific command.

Automate Cleanup (Optional)

You can automate these cleanup tasks using cron jobs or scheduled scripts to run them at specific intervals. Automation ensures regular maintenance of your Docker environment.

NOTE: Be cautious when using these commands, especially the ones that prune (prune means remove) multiple resources at once. Ensure you don’t remove containers, images, or volumes that are currently in use.

By following these steps, you can effectively perform a Docker overlay2 cleanup, keeping your system organized, efficient, and ready for new tasks!

Also Read: Our blog post on docker clear cache

Why is Docker overlay2 cleanup required?

Docker overlay2 cleanup is important because it helps make your computer work better and faster. Imagine your computer is like a big closet, and Docker containers are like items in the closet. Sometimes, you have things in there that you don’t need anymore. In the same way, Docker containers can pile up and take up a lot of space on your computer.

When you clean up Docker overlay2, you’re like someone cleaning out the unnecessary stuff from your closet. It makes your computer run smoother and faster. Here’s why it’s important:

  • More Space: Just like cleaning out your closet gives you more space, cleaning up Docker overlay2 gives your computer more room to store important things.
  • Faster Computer: Removing unnecessary stuff helps your computer work faster. It’s like having a clean and organized room – everything is easy to find and use.
  • Less Confusion: Cleaning up makes it easier to understand what’s going on. Think of it like organizing your toys – you know where everything is and what you need.
  • Keeps Your Computer Safe: Sometimes, old things in your closet can be dusty or not safe to use. Similarly, unused containers might have old or sensitive information. Cleaning up keeps your computer safe and secure.
  • Gets Ready for More Stuff: When your closet is clean, you can easily put in new things. Docker overlay2 cleanup prepares your computer to handle new programs and tasks without getting messy or slow.

So, just like you clean your room or closet to keep things neat and easy to use, Docker overlay2 cleanup keeps your computer organized, fast, and ready for anything new you want to do.

Wrapping up

Keeping your Docker environment clean is really important. By cleaning up old stuff like containers and images, you make sure your computer works well. It helps your computer use less space, run faster, and do tasks without problems. Regular Docker overlay2 cleanup will make sure your docker environments work smoothly and make your experience with it much better and easier.