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Change the Reclaim Policy of a PersistentVolume

This page shows how to change the reclaim policy of a Kubernetes PersistentVolume.

Before you begin

You need to have a Kubernetes cluster, and the kubectl command-line tool must be configured to communicate with your cluster. If you do not already have a cluster, you can create one by using Minikube, or you can use one of these Kubernetes playgrounds:

Why change reclaim policy of a PersistentVolume

PersistentVolumes can have various reclaim policies, including “Retain”, “Recycle”, and “Delete”. For dynamically provisioned PersistentVolumes, the default reclaim policy is “Delete”. This means that a dynamically provisioned volume is automatically deleted when a user deletes the corresponding PeristentVolumeClaim. This automatic behavior might be inappropriate if the volume contains precious data. In that case, it is more appropriate to use the “Retain” policy. With the “Retain” policy, if a user deletes a PersistentVolumeClaim, the corresponding PersistentVolume is not be deleted. Instead, it is moved to the Released phase, where all of its data can be manually recovered.

Changing the reclaim policy of a PersistentVolume

  1. List the PersistentVolumes in your cluster:

    kubectl get pv
    

    The output is similar to this:

     NAME                                       CAPACITY   ACCESSMODES   RECLAIMPOLICY   STATUS    CLAIM                  REASON    AGE
     pvc-b6efd8da-b7b5-11e6-9d58-0ed433a7dd94   4Gi        RWO           Delete          Bound     default/claim1                   10s
     pvc-b95650f8-b7b5-11e6-9d58-0ed433a7dd94   4Gi        RWO           Delete          Bound     default/claim2                   6s
     pvc-bb3ca71d-b7b5-11e6-9d58-0ed433a7dd94   4Gi        RWO           Delete          Bound     default/claim3                   3s
    

    This list also includes the name of the claims that are bound to each volume for easier identification of dynamically provisioned volumes.

  2. Choose one of your PersistentVolumes and change its reclaim policy:

    kubectl patch pv <your-pv-name> -p '{"spec":{"persistentVolumeReclaimPolicy":"Retain"}}'
    

    where <your-pv-name> is the name of your chosen PersistentVolume.

  3. Verify that your chosen PersistentVolume has the right policy:

    kubectl get pv
    

    The output is similar to this:

     NAME                                       CAPACITY   ACCESSMODES   RECLAIMPOLICY   STATUS    CLAIM                  REASON    AGE
     pvc-b6efd8da-b7b5-11e6-9d58-0ed433a7dd94   4Gi        RWO           Delete          Bound     default/claim1                   40s
     pvc-b95650f8-b7b5-11e6-9d58-0ed433a7dd94   4Gi        RWO           Delete          Bound     default/claim2                   36s
     pvc-bb3ca71d-b7b5-11e6-9d58-0ed433a7dd94   4Gi        RWO           Retain          Bound     default/claim3                   33s
    

    In the preceding output, you can see that the volume bound to claim default/claim3 has reclaim policy Retain. It will not be automatically deleted when a user deletes claim default/claim3.

What’s next

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