Difference Between Docker Volumes and Bind Mounts

The following article explains the Difference Between Docker Volumes and Bind Mounts.

Docker provides two methods to store data outside of containers: volumes and bind mounts. Although both of these options allow containers to access files and directories outside of their own filesystem, they have different characteristics and use cases. The following list shows the main differences between Docker volumes and Bind mounts.

  1. Persistence. Volumes are managed by Docker and can persist data even if no containers are using them. Bind mounts, on the other hand, are simply a reference to a host file or directory and do not persist data if the host file or directory is deleted or modified.
  2. Management. Volumes are managed by Docker and can be listed, named, and managed independently of the containers that use them. Bind mounts are simply a reference to a host file or directory. Moreover, Docker doesn’t manage Bind mounts.
  3. Sharing. We can share Volumes between multiple containers. Whereas, bind mounts are tied to a specific host and cannot be shared between containers running on different hosts.
  4. Performance. Volumes are generally faster than bind mounts, as they use Docker’s optimized volume driver to manage data. Bind mounts, on the other hand, rely on the host’s file system and can be slower in certain cases.
  5. Flexibility. Bind mounts provide greater flexibility than volumes, as they allow you to reference any file or directory on the host system. On the other hand, Docker manages Volumes. So, they are limited to Docker-specific configurations.

In summary, Docker volumes are a more flexible and robust way of storing data for containerized applications. Whereas, bind mounts are useful for quick and easy access to host files or directories. Which one to use depends on the specific use case and requirements of the application.

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