To install and configure PX Developer edition via the Docker CLI, use the command-line steps in this section.

PX stores configuration metadata in a KVDB (key/value store), such as Etcd or Consul. We recommend setting up a dedicated kvdb for PX to use. If you want to set one up, see the etcd example for PX

Install and configure Docker

PX requires a minimum of Docker version 1.10 to be installed. Follow the Docker install guide to install and start the Docker Service.

If you are running a version prior to Docker 1.12 or running docker on Ubuntu 14.4 LTS, then you must configure Docker to allow shared mounts propagation. Please follow these instructions to enable shared mount propagation. This is needed because PX runs as a container and it will be provisioning storage to other containers.

Specify storage

Portworx pools the storage devices on your server and creates a global capacity for containers. This example uses the two non-root storage devices (/dev/xvdb, /dev/xvdc).

Back up any data on storage devices that will be pooled. Storage devices will be reformatted!

To view the storage devices on your server

Use this command line:

# lsblk

Example output:

Note that devices without the partition are shown under the TYPE column as part.

# lsblk
    NAME                      MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
    xvda                      202:0    0     8G  0 disk
    └─xvda1                   202:1    0     8G  0 part /
    xvdb                      202:16   0    64G  0 disk
    xvdc                      202:32   0    64G  0 disk

Identify the storage devices you will be allocating to PX. PX can run in a heterogeneous environment, so you can mix and match drives of different types. Different servers in the cluster can also have different drive configurations.

Run PX

You can now run PX via the Docker CLI as follows:

if `uname -r | grep -i coreos > /dev/null`; \
then HDRS="/lib/modules"; \
else HDRS="/usr/src"; fi
sudo docker run --restart=always --name px -d --net=host       \
                 --privileged=true                             \
                 -v /run/docker/plugins:/run/docker/plugins    \
                 -v /var/lib/osd:/var/lib/osd:shared           \
                 -v /dev:/dev                                  \
                 -v /etc/pwx:/etc/pwx                          \
                 -v /opt/pwx/bin:/export_bin                   \
                 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock  \
                 -v /var/cores:/var/cores                      \
                 -v ${HDRS}:${HDRS}                            \
                portworx/px-dev -k etcd:// -c MY_CLUSTER_ID -s /dev/sdb -s /dev/sdc

Where the following arguments are provided to the PX daemon:


-c                        [REQUIRED] Specifies the cluster ID that this PX instance is to join
-k                        [REQUIRED] Points to your key value database, such as an etcd cluster or a consul cluster
-s                        [REQUIRED unless -a is used] Specifies the various drives that PX should use for storing the data
-e key=value              [OPTIONAL] Specify extra environment variables
-v <dir:dir[:shared,ro]>  [OPTIONAL] Specify extra mounts
-d <ethX>                 [OPTIONAL] Specify the data network interface
-m <ethX>                 [OPTIONAL] Specify the management network interface
-z                        [OPTIONAL] Instructs PX to run in zero storage mode
-f                        [OPTIONAL] Instructs PX to use an unmounted drive even if it has a filesystem on it
-a                        [OPTIONAL] Instructs PX to use any available, unused and unmounted drives
-A                        [OPTIONAL] Instructs PX to use any available, unused and unmounted drives or partitions
-j                        [OPTIONAL] Specifies a journal device for PX.  Specify a persistent drive like /dev/sdc or use auto (recommended)
-x <swarm|kubernetes>     [OPTIONAL] Specify scheduler being used in the environment
-r <portnumber>           [OPTIONAL] Specifies the portnumber from which PX will start consuming. Ex: 9001 means 9001-9020
  • additional PX-OCI -specific options:
-oci <dir>                [OPTIONAL] Specify OCI directory (default: /opt/pwx/oci)
-sysd <file>              [OPTIONAL] Specify SystemD service file (default: /etc/systemd/system/portworx.service)

KVDB options

-userpwd <user:passwd>    [OPTIONAL] Username and password for ETCD authentication
-ca <file>                [OPTIONAL] Specify location of CA file for ETCD authentication
-cert <file>              [OPTIONAL] Specify location of certificate for ETCD authentication
-key <file>               [OPTIONAL] Specify location of certificate key for ETCD authentication
-acltoken <token>         [OPTIONAL] ACL token value used for Consul authentication

Secrets options

-secret_type <aws|dcos|docker|k8s|kvdb|vault>   [OPTIONAL] Specify the secret type to be used by Portworx for cloudsnap and encryption features.
-cluster_secret_key <id>        [OPTIONAL] Specify the cluster wide secret key to be used when using AWS KMS or Vault for volume encryption.

Environment variables

PX_HTTP_PROXY         [OPTIONAL] If running behind an HTTP proxy, set the PX_HTTP_PROXY variables to your HTTP proxy.
PX_HTTPS_PROXY        [OPTIONAL] If running behind an HTTPS proxy, set the PX_HTTPS_PROXY variables to your HTTPS proxy.
PX_ENABLE_NFS         [OPTIONAL] Enable the PX NFS daemon. Set PX_ENABLE_NFS=true.

NOTE: Setting environment variables can be done using the -e option, during PX-OCI or PX Docker Container command line install (e.g. add -e VAR=VALUE option).

# Example PX-OCI config with extra "PX_ENABLE_CACHE_FLUSH" environment variable
$ sudo /opt/pwx/bin/px-runc install -e PX_ENABLE_CACHE_FLUSH=yes \
    -c MY_CLUSTER_ID -k etcd:// -s /dev/xvdb

The following Docker runtime command options are explained:

    > Sets PX to be a privileged container. Required to export block device and for other functions.

    > Sets communication to be on the host IP address over ports 9001 -9003. Future versions will support separate IP addressing for PX.

    > PX advertises support for asynchronous I/O. It uses shared memory to sync across process restarts

-v /run/docker/plugins
    > Specifies that the volume driver interface is enabled.

-v /dev
    > Specifies which host drives PX can see. Note that PX only uses drives specified in config.json. This volume flage is an alternate to --device=\[\].

-v /etc/pwx/config.json:/etc/pwx/config.json
    > the configuration file location.

-v /var/run/docker.sock
    > Used by Docker to export volume container mappings.

-v /var/lib/osd:/var/lib/osd:shared
    > Location of the exported container mounts. This must be a shared mount.

-v /opt/pwx/bin:/export_bin
    > Exports the PX command line (**pxctl**) tool from the container to the host.

Optional - running with config.json

You can also provide the runtime parameters to PX via a configuration file called config.json. When this is present, you do not need to pass the runtime parameters via the command line. This maybe useful if you are using tools like chef or puppet to provision your host machines.

  1. Download the sample config.json file:
  2. Create a directory for the configuration file.
# sudo mkdir -p /etc/pwx
  1. Move the configuration file to that directory. This directory later gets passed in on the Docker command line.
# sudo cp -p config.json /etc/pwx
  1. Edit the config.json to include the following:
    • clusterid: This string identifies your cluster and must be unique within your etcd key/value space.
    • kvdb: This is the etcd connection string for your etcd key/value store.
    • devices: These are the storage devices that will be pooled from the prior step.

Example config.json:

      "clusterid": "make this unique in your k/v store",
      "dataiface": "bond0",
      "kvdb": [
      "mgtiface": "bond0",
      “loggingurl”: “http://dummy:80,
      "storage": {
        "devices": [

If you are using Compose.IO and the kvdb string ends with [port]/v2/keys, omit the /v2/keys. Before running the container, make sure you have saved off any data on the storage devices specified in the configuration.

Please also ensure “loggingurl:” is specificed in config.json. It should either point to a valid lighthouse install endpoint or a dummy endpoint as shown above. This will enable all the stats to be published to monitoring frameworks like Prometheus

You can now start the Portworx container with the following run command:

if `uname -r | grep -i coreos > /dev/null`; \
then HDRS="/lib/modules"; \
else HDRS="/usr/src"; fi
sudo docker run --restart=always --name px -d --net=host       \
                 --privileged=true                             \
                 -v /run/docker/plugins:/run/docker/plugins    \
                 -v /var/lib/osd:/var/lib/osd:shared           \
                 -v /dev:/dev                                  \
                 -v /etc/pwx:/etc/pwx                          \
                 -v /opt/pwx/bin:/export_bin                   \
                 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock  \
                 -v /var/cores:/var/cores                      \
                 -v ${HDRS}:${HDRS}                            \

At this point, Portworx should be running on your system. To verify, run docker ps.

Authenticated etcd and consul

To use etcd with authentication and a cafile, use this in your config.json:

"kvdb": [
 "cafile": "/etc/pwx/pwx-ca.crt",
 "certfile": "/etc/pwx/pwx-user-cert.crt",
 "certkey": "/etc/pwx/pwx-user-key.key",

To use consul with an acltoken, use this in your config.json:

"kvdb": [
 "acltoken": "<token>",

Alternatively, you could specify and explicit username and password as follows:

 "username": "root",
 "password": "xxx",
 "cafile": "/etc/pwx/cafile",

Access the pxctl CLI

After Portworx is running, you can create and delete storage volumes through the Docker volume commands or the pxctl command line tool, which is exported to /opt/pwx/bin/pxctl. With pxctl, you can also inspect volumes, the volume relationships with containers, and nodes.

To view all pxctl options, run:

# /opt/pwx/bin/pxctl help

To view global storage capacity

To view the global storage capacity, run:

# sudo /opt/pwx/bin/pxctl status

The following sample output of pxctl status shows that the global capacity for Docker containers is 128 GB.

# /opt/pwx/bin/pxctl status
Status: PX is operational
Node ID: 0a0f1f22-374c-4082-8040-5528686b42be
 	Local Storage Pool: 2 pools
	0	LOW		64 GiB	1.1 GiB	Online	b	us-east-1
	1	LOW		128 GiB	1.1 GiB	Online	b	us-east-1
	Local Storage Devices: 2 devices
	Device	Path		Media Type		Size		Last-Scan
	0:1	/dev/xvdf	STORAGE_MEDIUM_SSD	64 GiB		10 Dec 16 20:07 UTC
	1:1	/dev/xvdi	STORAGE_MEDIUM_SSD	128 GiB		10 Dec 16 20:07 UTC
	total			-			192 GiB
Cluster Summary
	Cluster ID: 55f8a8c6-3883-4797-8c34-0cfe783d9890
	IP		ID					Used	Capacity	Status	0a0f1f22-374c-4082-8040-5528686b42be	2.2 GiB	192 GiB		Online (This node)
Global Storage Pool
	Total Used    	:  2.2 GiB
	Total Capacity	:  192 GiB

For more on using pxctl, see the CLI Reference.

You have now completed setup of Portworx on your first server. To increase capacity and enable high availability, repeat the same steps on each of the remaining two servers. Run pxctl status to view the cluster status. Then, to continue with examples of running stateful applications and databases with Docker and PX, see Application Solutions.

Adding Nodes

To add nodes to increase capacity and enable high availability, simply repeat these steps on other servers. As long as PX is started with the same cluster ID, they will form a cluster.

Application Examples

After you complete this installation, continue with the set up to run stateful containers with Docker volumes: