🐳 .NET (C#) Client Library for Docker API
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0xced and galvesribeiro Automatic detection of Windows / Unix (#340)
* Automatic detection of Windows / Unix

* Added a new DockerClientConfiguration constructor that automatically detect the current platform and chooses the local docker endpoint Uri using "npipe://./pipe/docker_engine" on Windows and "unix:/var/run/docker.sock" otherwise.

* Updated documentation to reflect that new feature

* Updated the tests to use this new constructor. The tests can now run on Linux, macOS and Windows.

* Skip "DockerService_IsRunning" test on non Windows platforms

ServiceController throws PlatformNotSupportedException on any non Windows platform.
Latest commit 21832ee Sep 4, 2018


.NET Client for Docker Remote API

This library allows you to interact with Docker Remote API endpoints in your .NET applications.

It is fully asynchronous, designed to be non-blocking and object-oriented way to interact with your Docker daemon programmatically.

Versioning: For example, v2.124.0 supports v1.24 of Docker Remote API.


You can add this library to your project using NuGet.

Package Manager Console Run the following command in the “Package Manager Console”:

PM> Install-Package Docker.DotNet

Visual Studio Right click to your project in Visual Studio, choose “Manage NuGet Packages” and search for ‘Docker.DotNet’ and click ‘Install’. (see NuGet Gallery.)

.NET Core Command Line Interface Run the following command from your favourite shell or terminal:

dotnet add package Docker.DotNet

Development Builds

If you intend to use development builds of Docker.DotNet and don't want to compile the code yourself you can add the package source below to Visual Studio or your Nuget.Config.



You can initialize the client like the following:

using Docker.DotNet;
DockerClient client = new DockerClientConfiguration(new Uri("http://ubuntu-docker.cloudapp.net:4243"))

or to connect to your local Docker for Windows daemon using named pipes or your local Docker for Mac daemon using Unix sockets:

using Docker.DotNet;
DockerClient client = new DockerClientConfiguration()

For a custom endpoint, you can also pass a named pipe or a Unix socket to the DockerClientConfiguration constructor. For example: new Uri("npipe://./pipe/docker_engine") or new Uri("unix:/var/run/docker.sock")

Example: List containers

IList<ContainerListResponse> containers = await client.Containers.ListContainersAsync(
	new ContainersListParameters(){
		Limit = 10,

Example: Create an image by pulling from Docker Registry

The code below pulls fedora/memcached image to your Docker instance using your Docker Hub account. You can anonymously download the image as well by passing null instead of AuthConfig object:

Stream stream  = await client.Images.CreateImageAsync(new ImagesCreateParameters() {
	Parent = "fedora/memcached",
	Tag = "alpha",
}, new AuthConfig(){
	Email = "ahmetb@microsoft.com",
	Username = "ahmetalpbalkan",
	Password = "pa$$w0rd"

Example: Start a container

The following code will start the created container with specified host configuration object. This object is optional, therefore you can pass a null.

There is no usage of optional values in the method signatures, mostly because these behavior is undefined in Docker API as well.

await client.Containers.StartContainerAsync("39e3317fd258", new HostConfig(){
	DNS = new[] { "", "" }

Example: Stop a container

var stopped = await client.Containers.StopContainerAsync("39e3317fd258", new ContainerStopParameters(){
        WaitBeforeKillSeconds = 30

Above, the WaitBeforeKillSeconds field is of type uint? which means optional. This code will wait 30 seconds before killing it. If you like to cancel the waiting, you can use the CancellationToken parameter.

Example: Dealing with Stream responses

Some Docker API endpoints are designed to return stream responses. For example Monitoring Docker events continuously streams the status in a format like :


To obtain this stream you can use:

CancellationTokenSource cancellation = new CancellationTokenSource();
Stream stream = await client.Miscellaneous.MonitorEventsAsync(new ContainerEventsParameters(), cancellation.Token);
// Initialize a StreamReader...

You can cancel streaming using the CancellationToken. On the other hand, if you wish to continuously stream, you can simply pass CancellationToken.None.

Example: HTTPS Authentication to Docker

If you are running Docker with TLS (HTTPS), you can authenticate to the Docker instance using the Docker.DotNet.X509 package. You can get this package from NuGet or by running the following command in the “Package Manager Console”:

PM> Install-Package Docker.DotNet.X509

Once you add Docker.DotNet.X509 to your project, use CertificateCredentials type:

var credentials = new CertificateCredentials (new X509Certificate2 ("CertFile", "Password"));
var config = new DockerClientConfiguration("http://ubuntu-docker.cloudapp.net:4243", credentials);
DockerClient client = config.CreateClient();

If you don't want to authenticate you can omit the credentials parameter, which defaults to an AnonymousCredentials instance.

The CertFile in the example above should be a .pfx file (PKCS12 format), if you have .pem formatted certificates which Docker normally uses you can either convert it programmatically or use openssl tool to generate a .pfx:

openssl pkcs12 -export -inkey key.pem -in cert.pem -out key.pfx

(Here, your private key is key.pem, public key is cert.pem and output file is named key.pfx.) This will prompt a password for PFX file and then you can use this PFX file on Windows. If the certificate is self-signed, your application may reject the server certificate, in this case you might want to disable server certificate validation:

// There are two options to do this.

// You can do this globally for all certificates:
// (Note: This is not available on netstandard1.6)
ServicePointManager.ServerCertificateValidationCallback += (o, c, ch, er) => true;

// Or you can do this on a credential by credential basis:
var creds = new CertificateCredentials(...);
creds.ServerCertificateValidationCallback += (o, c, ch, er) => true;

Example: Basic HTTP Authentication to Docker

If the Docker instance is secured with Basic HTTP Authentication, you can use the Docker.DotNet.BasicAuth package. Get this package from NuGet or by running the following command in the “Package Manager Console”:

PM> Install-Package Docker.DotNet.BasicAuth

Once you added Docker.DotNet.BasicAuth to your project, use BasicAuthCredentials type:

var credentials = new BasicAuthCredentials ("YOUR_USERNAME", "YOUR_PASSWORD");
var config = new DockerClientConfiguration("tcp://ubuntu-docker.cloudapp.net:4243", credentials);
DockerClient client = config.CreateClient();

BasicAuthCredentials also accepts SecureString for username and password arguments.

Example: Specifying Remote API Version

By default this client does not specify version number to the API for the requests it makes. However, if you would like to make use of versioning feature of Docker Remote API You can initialize the client like the following.

var config = new DockerClientConfiguration(...);
DockerClient client = config.CreateClient(new Version(1, 16));

Error Handling

Here are typical exceptions thrown from the client library:

  • DockerApiException is thrown when Docker API responds with a non-success result. Subclasses:
    • DockerContainerNotFoundException
    • DockerImageNotFoundException
  • TaskCanceledException is thrown from System.Net.Http.HttpClient library by design. It is not a friendly exception, but it indicates your request has timed out. (default request timeout is 100 seconds.)
    • Long-running methods (e.g. WaitContainerAsync, StopContainerAsync) and methods that return Stream (e.g. CreateImageAsync, GetContainerLogsAsync) have timeout value overridden with infinite timespan by this library.
  • ArgumentNullException is thrown when one of the required parameters are missing/empty.
    • Consider reading the Docker Remote API reference and source code of the corresponding method you are going to use in from this library. This way you can easily find out which parameters are required and their format.


Version if this package uses SemVer format: MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH. MINOR segment indicates the Docker Remote API version support. For instance v2.124.0 of this library supports Docker Remote API v1.24. This does not guarantee backwards compatibility as Docker Remote API does not guarantee that either.

MAJOR is preserved for major breaking changes we make to the library itself such as how the calls are made or how authentication is made. PATCH is just for incremental fixes.



This release contains breaking changes!

+ Updated to support Docker Engine API 1.24.
+ Types are now code generated from Docker source.

- Justin Terry (@jterry75)

+ Added no/unless-stopped restart policies (#41)
+ Bugfix: streams are being closed prematurely (#42)
+ Added /containers/(id)/archive methods from Remote API v1.20 (#43)
+ Deprecated: CopyFromContainerAsync (in favor of archival methods) (#43)

- Oliver Neal (@ItsVeryWindy)

+ Added missing restart policies no/unless-stopped
+ Added undefined restart policy (#36)
+ Use only Http handler per DockerClient instance (#40)

- Tugberk Ugurlu (@tugberkugurlu)

+ Added `docker exec` endpoints support (#35)

- Ricardo Peres (@rjperes)

+ Added support for Docker Remote API v1.16 (#19)
+ Bugfix: add Microsoft.Bcl.Async dependency (#19)
+ Bugfix: parameter conversion error in ListContainersParameters (#16)
+ Added support for RestartPolicy (#9)

- Josh Garverick (@jgarverick)
- Shakirov Ruslan (@build-your-web)

+ Bugfix: infinite timeout for stream requests lost in PCL translation
+ New: support to specify a container name in CreateContainerAsync

- @jgarverick for implementing container name support
- Iouri Simernitski (@pefferie) for bug report

+ PCL support
+ Support for Basic HTTP authentication
+ CertificateCredentials (X509) is now a separate package

- @jgarverick for helping out extensively on PCL support
- @Gandalis for implementing basic auth

+ Initial release

Known Issues / TODO

  • HTTP Hijacking is not implemented yet, therefore "Attach to Container" operation does not exist in the library (expecting pull requests!) A workaround might be using WebSockets (/attach/ws).
  • Certificate authentication does not work on Mono. [StackOverflow question]
  • Deserialization of DateTime fields from JSON responses will fail with System.FormatException on Mono due to Mono bug #22417. Any responses contain DateTime fields will fail on Mono.
  • Test suite does not exist. Functionality is verified manually. (pull requests are welcomed, I can provide a private test instance on cloud!)
  • CertificateCredentials class is not tested.
  • Ability to specify version and using that the request URI is not implemented.
  • Fields that could have been DateTime are either long or string because Docker API uses inconsistent date formats in the API (docker issue #7670).


Copyright 2016 Microsoft Corporation

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