Docker "Development" on OSX: out of space!

Written by Steve Nolen

Using docker-machine/docker-toolbox to do some hefty container lifting? Constantly running out of disk space? A quick resolution to your problem!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been creating and toying with docker containers (and maybe docker-compose and the enormous ecosystem of docker tools) in a development environment (hopefully in production too!). If you’re doing dev stuff on OSX with the docker-toolbox, kitematic etc etc you’ve likely found that you if you debug/iterate on the same container builds you’ve filled up that measely 20GB of space that docker-machine gives you in virtualbox really quickly. The quickest way to regain some space is to remove those pesky dangling images (courtesy of this stackoverflow q):

docker rm $(docker ps -qa --no-trunc --filter "status=exited")

or one even better (as the helpful VonC mentions) is to make an alias to do this (name it however you want, i used the keyword ‘docker’ so I could remind myself with tab completion):

Steves-MacBook-Pro:~ steve$ cat ~/.bash_profile | grep none
alias docker-rm-dangling='docker rmi $(docker images --filter "dangling=true" -q --no-trunc)'

At some point, you’ll still end up hitting a wall. Bloated container sizes or just many, many containers – you’re going to need some more space. Thankfully docker-machine makes that exceedingly simple. I’ll assume you don’t need to save any data (it’s just dev, afterall). You can quickly swap from 20G to 50G with this:

docker-machine rm default
docker-machine create --driver virtualbox --virtualbox-disk-size "50000" --virtualbox-memory "2048" default

This should get me out of that bind for a good long while!