Install on Docker Standalone

This document presents the Docker method of installing a Portworx cluster using runC containers. Please refer to the Portworx on Kubernetes page if you want to install Portworx on Kubernetes.


Running Portworx as a runC container eliminates any cyclical dependencies between a Docker container consuming storage from the Portworx container. It also enables you to run your Linux containers without a Docker daemon completely, while still getting all of the advantages of a Linux container and cloud native storage from Portworx.



  • SYSTEMD: The installation below assumes the systemd package is installed on your system (i.e. systemctl command works).
    • Note, if you are running Ubuntu 16.04, CentoOS 7 or CoreOS v94 (or newer) the “systemd” is already installed and no actions will be required.
  • SCHEDULERS: If you are installing PX into Kubernetes or Mesosphere DC/OS cluster, we recommend to install the scheduler-specific Portworx package, which provides tighter integration, and better overall user experience.
  • FIREWALL: Ensure ports 9001-9022 are open between the cluster nodes that will run Portworx.
  • NTP: Ensure all nodes running PX are time-synchronized, and NTP service is configured and running.
  • KVDB: Please have a clustered key-value database (etcd or consul) installed and ready. For etcd installation instructions refer this doc.
  • STORAGE: At least one of the PX-nodes should have extra storage available, in a form of unformatted partition or a disk-drive. Also please note that storage devices explicitly given to Portworx (ie. px-runc ... -s /dev/sdb -s /dev/sdc3) will be automatically formatted by PX.

The installation and setup of PX OCI bundle is a 3-step process:

  1. Install PX OCI bits
  2. Configure PX OCI
  3. Enable and start Portworx service

Step 1: Install the PX OCI bundle

Portworx provides a Docker based installation utility to help deploy the PX OCI bundle. This bundle can be installed by running the following Docker container on your host system:

# Uncomment appropriate `REL` below to select desired Portworx release
REL="/2.1"       # 2.1 portworx release
#REL="/2.0"     # 2.0 portworx release

latest_stable=$(curl -fsSL "$REL/?type=dock&stork=false&aut=false" | awk '/image: / {print $2}')

# Download OCI bits (reminder, you will still need to run `px-runc install ..` after this step)
sudo docker run --entrypoint / \
    --rm -i --privileged=true \
    -v /opt/pwx:/opt/pwx -v /etc/pwx:/etc/pwx \
Running the PX OCI bundle does not require Docker, but Docker will still be required to install the PX OCI bundle. If you do not have Docker installed on your target hosts, you can download this Docker package and extract it to a root tar ball and manually install the OCI bundle.

Step 2: Configure PX under runC

Now that you have downloaded and installed the PX OCI bundle, you can use the px-runc install command from the bundle to configure systemd to start PX runC.

The px-runc command is a helper-tool that does the following:

  1. Prepares the OCI directory for runc
  2. Prepares the runC configuration for PX
  3. Uses systemd to start the PX OCI bundle

Installation example:

sudo /opt/pwx/bin/px-runc install -c MY_CLUSTER_ID \
    -k etcd:// \
    -s /dev/xvdb -s /dev/xvdc

Command-line arguments

General options
-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.

Sharedv4 options

To enable sharedv4 type of volumes provide the following portworx input argument:

   -enable-shared-and-shared-v4  Enables both regular and NFSv4 volume sharing

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.
Setting environment variables can be done using the -e option

Below is an example install command 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


Installing Portworx using etcd:

px-runc install -k etcd:// -c MY_CLUSTER_ID -s /dev/sdc -s /dev/sdb2 {{ include.sched-flags }}
px-runc install -k etcd:// -c MY_CLUSTER_ID -s /dev/sdc -d enp0s8 -m enp0s8 {{ include.sched-flags }}

Installing Portworx using consul:

px-runc install -k consul:// -c MY_CLUSTER_ID -s /dev/sdc -s /dev/sdb2 {{ include.sched-flags }}
px-runc install -k consul:// -c MY_CLUSTER_ID -s /dev/sdc -d enp0s8 -m enp0s8 {{ include.sched-flags }}

Modifying the PX configuration

After the initial installation, you can modify the PX configuration file at /etc/pwx/config.json (see details) and restart Portworx using systemctl restart portworx.

Step 3: Starting PX runC

Once you install the PX OCI bundle and systemd configuration from the steps above, you can start and control PX runC directly via systemd.

Below commands reload systemd configurations, enable and starts the Portworx service.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable portworx
sudo systemctl start portworx

Upgrading the PX OCI bundle

To upgrade the OCI bundle, simply re-run the installation Step 1 with the --upgrade option. After the upgrade, you will need to restart the Portworx service.

Below command upgrades your installation to the latest stable Portworx version:

latest_stable=$(curl -fsSL '' | awk '/image: / {print $2}')
sudo docker run --entrypoint / \
    --rm -i --privileged=true \
    -v /opt/pwx:/opt/pwx -v /etc/pwx:/etc/pwx \
    $latest_stable --upgrade
sudo systemctl restart portworx

Uninstalling the PX OCI bundle

To uninstall the PX OCI bundle, please run the following:

# 1: Remove systemd service (if any)
sudo systemctl stop portworx
sudo systemctl disable portworx
sudo rm -f /etc/systemd/system/portworx*

# NOTE: if the steps below fail, please reboot the node, and repeat the steps 2..5

# 2: Unmount oci (if required)
grep -q '/opt/pwx/oci /opt/pwx/oci' /proc/self/mountinfo && sudo umount /opt/pwx/oci

# 3: Remove binary files
sudo rm -fr /opt/pwx

# 4: [OPTIONAL] Remove configuration files. Doing this means UNRECOVERABLE DATA LOSS.
sudo chattr -ie /etc/pwx/.private.json
sudo rm -fr /etc/pwx

Logging and Log files

The systemd(1) uses a very flexible logging mechanism, where logs can be viewed using the journalctl command.

For example:

# Monitor the Portworx logs
sudo journalctl -f -u portworx

# Get a slice of Portworx logs
sudo journalctl -u portworx --since 09:00 --until "1 hour ago"

However, if you prefer to capture Portworx service logs in a separate log file, you will need to modify your host system as follows:

# Create a rsyslogd(8) rule to separate out the PX logs:
sudo cat > /etc/rsyslog.d/23-px-runc.conf << _EOF
:programname, isequal, "px-runc" /var/log/portworx.log
& stop

# Create logrotate(8) configuration to periodically rotate the logs:
sudo cat > /etc/logrotate.d/portworx << _EOF
/var/log/portworx.log {
    rotate 7
        /usr/bin/pkill -HUP syslogd 2> /dev/null || true

# Signal syslogd to reload the configurations:
sudo pkill -HUP syslogd

Advanced usage: Interactive/Foreground mode

Alternatively, one might prefer to first start the PX interactively (for example, to verify the configuration parameters were OK and the startup was successful), and then install it as a service:

# Invoke PX interactively, abort with CTRL-C when confirmed it's running:
sudo /opt/pwx/bin/px-runc run -c MY_CLUSTER_ID \
    -k etcd:// \
    -s /dev/xvdb
> time="2017-08-18T20:34:23Z" level=info msg="Cloud backup schedules setup done"
> time="2017-08-18T20:34:23Z" level=info msg="Starting REST service on socket : /run/docker/plugins/pxd.sock"
> time="2017-08-18T20:34:23Z" level=info msg="Starting REST service on socket : /var/lib/osd/driver/pxd.sock"
> time="2017-08-18T20:34:23Z" level=info msg="PX is ready on Node: 53f5e87b... CLI accessible at /opt/pwx/bin/pxctl."
[ hit Ctrl-C ]
Migrating from PX-Containers to PX-OCI: If you already had PX running as a Docker container (Portworx 1.2.10 and lower) and now want to upgrade to runC, follow the instructions at Migrate Portworx installed using Docker to OCI/runc.

Last edited: Wednesday, Apr 8, 2020