I'm trying to run a docker image that works on other systems (and you can even pull it from dockerhub, if you'd like: it's dougbtv/asterisk) however, on my general workstation, it's complaining about free space when it (looks like) it's untarring the docker images.

I try to run it, and when I do I get an error stating that it's out of space. Here's an example of me trying to run it, and it complaining about space..

[root@localhost docker]# docker run -i -t dougbtv/asterisk /bin/bash
Timestamp: 2015-05-13 07:50:58.128736228 -0400 EDT
Code: System error

Message: [/usr/bin/tar -xf /var/lib/docker/tmp/70c178005ccd9cc5373faa8ff0ff9c7c7a4cf0284bd9f65bbbcc2c0d96e8565d410879741/_tmp.tar -C /var/lib/docker/devicemapper/mnt/70c178005ccd9cc5373faa8ff0ff9c7c7a4cf0284bd9f65bbbcc2c0d96e8565d/rootfs/tmp .] failed: /usr/bin/tar: ./asterisk/utils/astdb2sqlite3: Wrote only 512 of 10240 bytes
/usr/bin/tar: ./asterisk/utils/conf2ael.c: Cannot write: No space left on device
/usr/bin/tar: ./asterisk/utils/astcanary: Cannot write: No space left on device
/usr/bin/tar: ./asterisk/utils/.astcanary.o.d: Cannot write: No space left on device
/usr/bin/tar: ./asterisk/utils/check_expr.c: Cannot write: No space left on device
[... another few hundred similar lines]

Of course, I check how much space is available, and through googling I find that sometimes this happens because you're out of inodes. So I take a look at both, and I can see that there's plenty of inodes as well.

[root@localhost docker]# df -h
Filesystem               Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
devtmpfs                 3.9G     0  3.9G   0% /dev
tmpfs                    3.9G   20M  3.9G   1% /dev/shm
tmpfs                    3.9G  1.2M  3.9G   1% /run
tmpfs                    3.9G     0  3.9G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/mapper/fedora-root   36G  9.4G   25G  28% /
tmpfs                    3.9G  5.2M  3.9G   1% /tmp
/dev/sda3                477M  164M  285M  37% /boot
/dev/mapper/fedora-home   18G  7.7G  8.9G  47% /home
tmpfs                    793M   40K  793M   1% /run/user/1000
/dev/sdb1                489G  225G  265G  46% /mnt/extradoze
[root@localhost docker]# df -i
Filesystem                 Inodes  IUsed     IFree IUse% Mounted on
devtmpfs                  1012063    585   1011478    1% /dev
tmpfs                     1015038     97   1014941    1% /dev/shm
tmpfs                     1015038    771   1014267    1% /run
tmpfs                     1015038     15   1015023    1% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/mapper/fedora-root   2392064 165351   2226713    7% /
tmpfs                     1015038    141   1014897    1% /tmp
/dev/sda3                  128016    429    127587    1% /boot
/dev/mapper/fedora-home   1166880 145777   1021103   13% /home
tmpfs                     1015038     39   1014999    1% /run/user/1000
/dev/sdb1               277252836 168000 277084836    1% /mnt/extradoze

And so you can see a bit what's going on here's my /etc/fstab

[root@localhost docker]# cat /etc/fstab 

# /etc/fstab
# Created by anaconda on Tue Mar 17 20:11:16 2015
# Accessible filesystems, by reference, are maintained under '/dev/disk'
# See man pages fstab(5), findfs(8), mount(8) and/or blkid(8) for more info
/dev/mapper/fedora-root /                       ext4    defaults        1 1
UUID=2e2535da-907a-44ec-93d8-1baa73fb6696 /boot                   ext4    defaults        1 2
/dev/mapper/fedora-home /home                   ext4    defaults        1 2
/dev/mapper/fedora-swap swap                    swap    defaults        0 0

And I also asked someone with a similar stack exchange question asked for the results of the lvs command, which shows:

[root@localhost docker]# lvs
  LV   VG     Attr       LSize  Pool Origin Data%  Meta%  Move Log Cpy%Sync Convert
  home fedora -wi-ao---- 17.79g                                                    
  root fedora -wi-ao---- 36.45g                                                    
  swap fedora -wi-ao----  7.77g         

It's a Fedora 21 system:

[root@localhost docker]# cat /etc/redhat-release 
Fedora release 21 (Twenty One)
[root@localhost docker]# uname -a
Linux localhost.localdomain 3.19.5-200.fc21.x86_64 #1 SMP Mon Apr 20 19:51:56 UTC 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Storage driver:

[doug@localhost cs]$ sudo docker info|grep Driver:
Storage Driver: devicemapper
Execution Driver: native-0.2

Docker version:

[doug@localhost cs]$ sudo docker -v
Docker version 1.6.0, build 3eac457/1.6.0

Per this recommended article I tried to change docker to /etc/sysconfig/docker

OPTIONS='--selinux-enabled --storage-opt dm.loopdatasize=500GB --storage-opt dm.loopmetadatasize=10GB'

And restarted docker, to no avail. I have changed it back to just --selinux-enabled (note: I have selinux disabled)

Additionally I noticed that the article mentioned looking at the spare data file, which looks like:

[root@localhost doug]# ls -alhs /var/lib/docker/devicemapper/devicemapper
total 3.4G
4.0K drwx------ 2 root root 4.0K Mar 20 13:37 .
4.0K drwx------ 5 root root 4.0K Mar 20 13:39 ..
3.4G -rw------- 1 root root 100G May 13 14:33 data
9.7M -rw------- 1 root root 2.0G May 13 14:33 metadata

Is it a problem that the sparse file is larger than the size of the disk?

My lsblk looks like:

[root@localhost doug]# lsblk
NAME                        MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda                           8:0    0 111.8G  0 disk 
├─sda1                        8:1    0   100M  0 part 
├─sda2                        8:2    0  49.2G  0 part 
├─sda3                        8:3    0   500M  0 part /boot
├─sda4                        8:4    0     1K  0 part 
└─sda5                        8:5    0    62G  0 part 
  ├─fedora-swap             253:0    0   7.8G  0 lvm  [SWAP]
  ├─fedora-root             253:1    0  36.5G  0 lvm  /
  └─fedora-home             253:2    0  17.8G  0 lvm  /home
sdb                           8:16   0   1.8T  0 disk 
└─sdb1                        8:17   0   489G  0 part /mnt/extradoze
loop0                         7:0    0   100G  0 loop 
└─docker-253:1-1051064-pool 253:3    0   100G  0 dm   
loop1                         7:1    0     2G  0 loop 
└─docker-253:1-1051064-pool 253:3    0   100G  0 dm   
  • What storage driver are you using? sudo docker info|grep Driver:
    – mattdm
    May 13, 2015 at 13:30
  • Good question @mattdm, it's devicemapper with execution driver native-0.2. I updated my question with that info and the docker version.
    – dougBTV
    May 13, 2015 at 13:53
  • can you attach the output of lsblk? This blog post may help, although it's a little out of date.
    – mattdm
    May 13, 2015 at 17:50
  • I went and updated it and walked through the blog post to checkout a couple things, which I also noted, appreciate the pointer there @mattdm
    – dougBTV
    May 13, 2015 at 18:38
  • Docker is extracting a tar file from /var/lib/docker/tmp/70.... to a directory under /var/lib/docker/devicemapper/.... The fact that there's the substring 'devicemapper' in that path makes me think that docker is mapping some block storage device into a docker specific block device for use. This probably means that if you run lsblk/df and friends before or after the docker command, you'll miss the mapped device (docker cleans up after itself?). I'd propbably ctrl-z the unbundling process after the errors start popping and start poking around with df/dm tools. Can you do that?
    – Lmwangi
    May 23, 2015 at 20:36

4 Answers 4


If you are using any operating system Red-Hat based, you should know that "Devicemapper" is limited to 10 GB per image, and if you are trying to run an image which is up to 10GB you may get that error. That may be your issue. Try this, it worked for me


 sudo systemctl stop docker.service


sudo service docker stop

rm -rvf /var/lib/docker (Take back up of any important data; containers and images will be deleted)

Run this command

docker daemon --storage-opt dm.basesize=20G

Where "20G" refers to the new size you want the devicemapper to take, and then, restart docker

sudo systemctl start docker.service


sudo service docker start

Check if it is set by running

docker info

Hope this works!

  • Thank you! I will give this a shot later. I still have this machine around, however, it's now fairly out of date, so it might behoove me to update to latest Fedora & Docker.
    – dougBTV
    Mar 10, 2016 at 19:09
  • I gave this a go, but docker refused to start up afterwards. I think "just don't use redhat" would be a simpler solution :)
    – samthebest
    Jul 28, 2016 at 13:31
  • 1
    sudo dockerd-current --storage-opt dm.basesize=20G... that is docker daemon => dockerd in RedHat. Apr 18, 2018 at 17:38
  • 3
    The command docker daemon --storage-opt dm.basesize=20G does not seem to exist anymore.
    – Alex
    Apr 4, 2019 at 8:02
  • 1
    docker daemon is simply dockerd now
    – Dominik
    Dec 30, 2020 at 22:01

Are you by any chance trying to run a very-large image ? RHEL does not have aufs native support. So you use devicemapper When you use devicemapper, you only have access to 10GB by default for your container filesystem. Check this article, it may be of help.

  • 4
    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes.
    – Anthon
    Jul 17, 2015 at 4:43

Running docker system prune worked for a while, then I had to keep increasing "Disk image size" in Preferences... > Disk, but that only helped until I increased it again.

I refuse to keep increasing disk image size and docker system prune was not claiming any more space, but running docker volume prune has helped this time.


Run docker system df to see where the disk usage is coming from. In my case, the build cache maxed out my allocated disk space of 128GB. I tried various .. prune commands and flags and they all missed clearing the cache.

To clear the build cache, run docker builder prune. That dropped my cache disk space usage to 0. The next build took a lot longer because it had to download 10gb+. After that it uses the cache again.

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