Portworx Enterprise


Install on Docker Standalone

This document presents the Docker (or podman) 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 the 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 a cloud-native storage solution provided by Portworx.


To install and setup the Portworx OCI bundle, perform the following steps:

  1. Install the Portworx OCI bundle
  2. Configure the Portworx OCI bundle
  3. Enable and start the Portworx service


  • Systemd: The installation procedure assumes that the systemd package is installed on your system. You can check if systemd is installed by entering the following command:


    If you are running Ubuntu 16.04, CentOS 7 or CoreOS v94 or newer, systemd is already installed, and no actions are required.

  • Schedulers: If you are installing Portworx into a Kubernetes or Mesosphere DC/OS cluster, Portworx Inc. recommends using Stork.

  • Firewall: Ensure ports 9001-9022 are open on the cluster nodes that run Portworx.

  • NTP: Ensure all nodes running Portworx are time-synchronized by installing and running the NTP service.

  • KVdb: Portworx requires a key-value database like etcd or consul. Portworx Inc. recommends a highly available etcd cluster with persistent storage. See the etcd installation page for more details.

  • Storage: At least one Portwox node should have extra storage available, either as an unformatted partition or as a disk-drive. Note that Portworx automatically formats any storage devices you pass as parameters to the px-runc installer. The following example command passes the /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc3 storage devices as parameters:

     px-runc install -name portworx -c doc-cluster -k etcd: -s /dev/sdb -s /dev/sdc3 -v /mnt:/mnt:shared

Step 1: Install the Portworx OCI bundle

Portworx provides a Docker-based installation utility to help deploy the Portworx OCI bundle. You can install this bundle by running the following Docker container on your host system:

# Uncomment appropriate `REL` below to select desired Portworx release
REL="/2.4"  # 2.4 Portworx v2.4 release
#REL="/2.3" # 2.2 Portworx v2.3 release

latest_stable=$(curl -fsSL "https://install.portworx.com$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 /runc-entry-point.sh \
    --rm -i --privileged=true \
    -v /opt/pwx:/opt/pwx -v /etc/pwx:/etc/pwx \

Step 2: Configure Portworx under runC

Now that you have downloaded and installed the Portworx OCI bundle, you can use the px-runc install command from the bundle to configure your installation.

The px-runc command is a helper tool that configures and runs the Portworx runC container.

The following example shows how you can use px-runc to install Portworx::

sudo /opt/pwx/bin/px-runc install -c MY_CLUSTER_ID \
    -k etcd://myetc.company.com:2379 \
    -s /dev/xvdb -s /dev/xvdc

Command-line arguments

Below is the list of arguments you can pass to px-runc:

General options
-c <id>                   [REQUIRED] Specifies the cluster ID that this PX instance is to join
-k <kvdb://host:port>     [REQUIRED] Points to your key value database, such as an etcd cluster or a consul cluster
-b                        Use in-built kvdb. Provide the kvdb endpoints required for bootstrap with -k option.
-s <device path>          [REQUIRED unless -a/-A are used] Specify storage devices that PX should use for storing the data
-T <type>                 Specify backend storage type (<type> is dmthin, btrfs, mdraid or lvm)
-cache <device path>      Specify storage devices that PX should use for caching
-dedicated_cache          Constrain cache drive assignment from given -cache drives only
-j <device path>          Specify a journal device for PX, or "auto" (recommended)
-metadata <device path>   Specify storage device that PX should use for storing the system meta data
-e key=value              Specify extra environment variables
-v <dir:dir[:shared,ro]>  Specify extra mounts
-d <ethX>                 Specify the data network interface
-m <ethX>                 Specify the management network interface
-z                        Instructs PX to run in zero storage mode
-f                        Instructs PX to use an unmounted drive even if it has a filesystem on it
-a                        Instructs PX to use any available, unused and unmounted drives
-A                        Instructs PX to use any available, unused and unmounted drives or partitions
-x <swarm|kubernetes>     Specify scheduler type (if PX running in scheduler environment)
-r <startport>            Start of the portrange Portworx will use for communication (dfl: 9001)
  • additional PX-OCI -specific options:
-oci <dir>                Specify OCI directory (dfl: /opt/pwx/oci)
-sysd <file>              Specify SystemD service file (dfl: /etc/systemd/system/portworx.service)
KVDB options
-userpwd <user:passwd>    Username and password for ETCD authentication
-ca <file>                Specify location of CA file for ETCD authentication
-cert <file>              Specify location of certificate for ETCD authentication
-key <file>               Specify location of certificate key for ETCD authentication
-acltoken <token>         Specify ACL token for Consul authentication
# internal-kvdb-options:
-kvdb_cluster_size <#>    Size of the internal kvdb cluster (dfl: 3)
-kvdb_recovery            Starts the nodes in kvdb recovery mode
Secrets options
-secret_type <type>        Specify the secrets type for cloudsnap and encryption features (<type> is aws-kms, dcos, docker, ibm-kp, k7s, kvdb, vault, gcloud-kms or azure-kv)
-cluster_secret_key <key>  Specify cluster-wide secret for AWS KMS or Vault and volume encryption
PX-API options
# px-api-ssl-options:
-apirootca <file>             Specify self-signed root CA certificate file
-apicert <file>               Specify node certificate file
-apikey <file>                Specify node certificate key file
-apidisclientauth             Disable api client authentication
# px-authentication-options:
-oidc_issuer   <URL>          Location of OIDC service (e.g. https://accounts.google.com)
-oidc_client_id <id>          Client id provided by the OIDC
-oidc_custom_claim_namespace  OIDC namespace for custom claims
-jwt_issuer <val>             JSON Web Token issuer (e.g. openstorage.io)
-jwt_rsa_pubkey_file <file>   JSON Web Token RSA Public file path
-jwt_ecds_pubkey_file <file>  JSON Web Token ECDS Public file path
-username_claim <claim>       Claim key from the token to use as the unique id of the user (<claim> is sub, email or name; dfl: sub)
Resource control options
--cpus <#.#>                  Specify maximum number of CPUs Portworx can use (e.g. --cpus=1.5)
--cpu-shares <#>              Specify CPU shares (relative weight)
--cpuset-cpus <val>           Specify CPUs in which to allow execution (<val> is range <#-#>, or sequence <#,#>)
--memory <bytes>              Specify maximum ammount of memory Portworx can use
--memory-reservation <bytes>  Specify memory reservation soft limit (must be smaller than '--memory')
--memory-swap <bytes>         Specify maximum ammount of RAM+SWAP memory Portworx can use
--memory-swappiness <0-100>   Specify percentage of container's anonymous pages host can swap out
Misc options
-raid <0|10>              Specify which RAID-level should PX use with local storage (dfl: 0)
-cluster_domain <name>    Cluster Domain Name for this cluster
The -raid <0|10> option is different than the volume replication factor. For example, Portworx nodes using -raid 10 and hosting volumes with a replication factor of 3, will keep 6 copies of the data.

Environment variables
PX_HTTP_PROXY          If running behind an HTTP proxy, set the PX_HTTP_PROXY variables to your HTTP proxy.
PX_HTTPS_PROXY         If running behind an HTTPS proxy, set the PX_HTTPS_PROXY variables to your HTTPS proxy.
PX_ENABLE_CACHE_FLUSH  To enable cache flush daemon, set PX_ENABLE_CACHE_FLUSH=true.
You can set the environment variables using the -e option.

For example, to set the PX_ENABLE_CACHE_FLUSH environment variable to true, run the following command:

sudo /opt/pwx/bin/px-runc install -e PX_ENABLE_CACHE_FLUSH=yes \
    -c MY_CLUSTER_ID -k etcd://myetc.company.com:2379 -s /dev/xvdb


Install Portworx using etcd:

px-runc install -k etcd://my.company.com:2379 -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 -m eth1 -d eth2 {{ include.sched-flags }}

Install Portworx using Consul:

px-runc install -k consul://my.company.com:8500 -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 -m eth1 -d eth2 {{ include.sched-flags }}

Modify the Portworx configuration

After the initial installation, you can modify the Portworx configuration file at /etc/pwx/config.json. See the schema definition page for more details. Once you’re done making changes to the Portworx configuration file, restart Portworx by running:

systemctl restart portworx

Step 3: Start Portworx runC

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

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

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

Upgrade the Portworx OCI bundle

To upgrade the Portworx OCI bundle, simply re-run the first step from the installation process and pass the --upgrade flag to the docker run command.

The following coomands upgrade your Portworx OCI bundle to the latest stable:

latest_stable=$(curl -fsSL 'https://install.portworx.com?type=dock&stork=false&aut=false' | awk '/image: / {print $2}')
sudo docker run --entrypoint /runc-entry-point.sh \
    --rm -i --privileged=true \
    -v /opt/pwx:/opt/pwx -v /etc/pwx:/etc/pwx \
    $latest_stable --upgrade
sudo systemctl restart portworx

Once the update process is finished, you must restart the Portworx service.

If you are installing Portworx on RedHat Linux or RedHat CoreOS with CRI-O container runtime, you don’t have to install Docker in order to install Portworx. Instead, simply replace docker command with podman (e.g. sudo podman run --entrypoint...).

Uninstall the Portworx OCI bundle

Run the following commands to uninstall the Portworx OCI bundle:

# 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 software uses a flexible logging mechanism, where logs can be viewed using the journalctl command.

For example, the following commands fetch the logs starting from 09:00 until 1 hour ago:

# 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"

If you prefer to capture Portworx service logs in a separate log file, you 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

Last edited: Wednesday, Jun 10, 2020