How to tell when Docker volume group is low on space

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • OpenShift Container Platform
  • Docker Container Runtime


  • It is possible that the volume group used to house docker images is filling up, but there's a need to verify that this is the issue.
  • We are using docker thinpool storage, and are unsure of how to read its usage as its mechanics are different than other filesystems.
  • We don't have Prometheus, Grafana, or similar monitoring installed in our cluster, and are looking to manually check usage.


  • Use "docker info" command. This is the quickest, and should be run on each node with Docker runtime enabled to verify its accuracy.

  • Use the output from "lvs" command, and observe Data% and Meta% values:

  LV           VG         Attr       LSize   Pool Origin Data%  Meta%  Move Log Cpy%Sync Convert
  docker-pool  docker_vg  twi-aot--- 242.63g             21.92  14.22
  lv_openshift vg_ose     -wi-ao---- 100.00g
  lv_audit     vg_rh7ctho -wi-ao----   5.00g
  lv_home      vg_rh7ctho -wi-ao----  10.00g
  lv_log       vg_rh7ctho -wi-ao----  10.00g
  lv_root      vg_rh7ctho -wi-ao---- <60.36g
  lv_swap      vg_rh7ctho -wi-a-----   4.00g
  lv_tmp       vg_rh7ctho -wi-ao----  20.00g
  lv_var       vg_rh7ctho -wi-ao----  20.00g

Note that only the Docker thinpool has these values. Adding these percentages together will give you an approximate usage percentage.

Root Cause

"Thin pool" storage refers to a backing storage used by thin provisioning, allowing docker to allocate virtual storage for storing images. This is different than traditional fat provisioning, which uses a traditional storage model.

Using "vgs" to determine thin pool usage can be deceiving. For example:

  VG         #PV #LV #SN Attr   VSize    VFree
  docker_vg    1   1   0 wz--n- <245.00g    1.87g
  vg_ose       1   1   0 wz--n- <250.00g <150.00g
  vg_rh7ctho   1   7   0 wz--n- <129.50g  140.00m

At first glance, VFree appears to be the free space within the docker_vg above, but it's actually the free space outside of the docker_vg. The autoextend feature can obscure this.

If you are unsure of how to set up docker thin pool storage, please see this document.

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