Permissions error with Docker



My team uses docker to run a suite of system tests. We break down and reload containers between each test using the docker-compose command. This has been working for 6+ months.

Today we started receiving permissions errors when the container are removed between tests. The ‘docker rm $(docker ps -aq)’ command will return the following:
Error response from daemon: Driver btrfs failed to remove root filesystem 15b81676f2b7d43a6a56259e26632d5f51080e4469000d399bd400f384c14a20: Failed to destroy btrfs snapshot /var/lib/docker/btrfs/subvolumes for 15b81676f2b7d43a6a56259e26632d5f51080e4469000d399bd400f384c14a20: operation not permitted.

These are owned by root, and the docker deamon runs as root:
(venv-2.7.10) ubuntu@box258:~/data-pipeline$ ps aux | grep docker
root 11547 7.2 0.0 1382772 62732 ? Ssl 18:54 2:17 /usr/bin/docker daemon -s btrfs -e lxc -D --userland-proxy=false

We’re on the 1.9.1-circleci-cp-workaround version for both client and server. lab_release shows ‘Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS’.

Let me know if there’s an obvious issue. I’ll keep exploring on my end, and do let me know if you need more information.



These are almost certainly related:


Have you figured out how to tell docker-compose (or the environment) to not delete any intermediate containers? I’m looking but haven’t found the answer.


Hi, I almost completely forgot about this :slight_smile:

My actual error was unrelated to these error messages, as documented here:

Given this, I didn’t put any effort into fixing that error message. We simple ignore it.


Ah well. It breaks all my scripts, so I have to find another solution. Thanks!!