Docker Hub will delete container images that have been inactive for 6 months

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Of the more than 15 PB of container images stored on Docker Hub, almost 4.5 PB have not been used for 6 months or more. Docker therefore sets a time limit on their retention for the free accounts in its repository. Files from Pro and Team accounts are kept unlimited.

From November 1, 2020, any signal container image

Docker manages with Docker Hub one of the largest container image repositories. But of the more than 15 petabytes of data it stores there, almost a third (4.5 PB) corresponds to images that have been inactive for six months or more. After noticing this, the supplier decided to modify the management policy for its container images by introducing a retention limit. This is “based on the activity of each image stored in a user account”, explains Docker in the “terms of use” of its service. “If an image hasn’t been pulled or transferred for the duration specified in your subscription plan, it will be marked inactive.” Any image flagged as inactive will then enter a process leading to its deletion. Only accounts with free subscription plans are affected, with an inactive image retention limit of 6 months. It is easy for users to check the repository for the status of each image, Docker reminds. The Pro and Team subscription plans maintain an unlimited image retention period.

This file retention limit policy will be effective from November 1, 2020. “We are doing this to optimize operations and strengthen the Docker Hub service for the developers and development teams who use it around the world to build and deliver applications”, justifies the supplier. Account owners will be notified by email of images declared “inactive” scheduled for destruction. You can switch from a free account to a Pro or Team account whose monthly subscription starts at $5 or $7.

After a very difficult 2019 where Docker was struggling to secure its financial survival, the company sold its enterprise business to Mirantis in November. At the same time, it raised $35 million to recapitalize itself and focus on its Docker Desktop solution, which provides developers with productivity tools, with a local Kubernetes environment. Combined with Docker Desktop, the Docker Hub repository enables application sharing and collaboration in the cloud. Last March, the open source editor delivered its roadmap for these two products.

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