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Setup - Windows Server 2016

This chapter explores setting up a Windows environment to properly use Windows containers on Windows Server 2016, on bare metal or in VM.

Windows Server 2016 on bare metal or in VM

Windows Server 2016 is where Docker Windows containers should be deployed for production. For developers planning to do lots of Docker Windows container development, it may also be worth setting up a Windows Server 2016 dev system (in a VM, for example), at least until Windows 10 and Docker for Windows support for Windows containers matures. Running a VM with Windows Server 2016 is also a great way to do Docker Windows container development on macOS and older Windows versions.

Once Windows Server 2016 is running, log in, run Windows Update (use sconfig on Windows Server Core) to ensure all the latest updates are installed and install the Windows-native Docker Engine (that is, don't use "Docker for Windows"). There are two options: Install using a Powershell Package (recommended) or with DSC.

PowerShell Package Provider (recommended)

Microsoft maintains a PowerShell package provider that lets easily install Docker on Windows Server 2016.

Run the following in an Administrative PowerShell prompt:

Install-Module -Name DockerMsftProvider -Force
Install-Package -Name docker -ProviderName DockerMsftProvider -Force
Restart-Computer -Force

PowerShell Desired State Configuration

If interested in experimenting with Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration, Daniel Scott-Raynsford has built a prototype script that uses DSC to install Docker Engine.

Here's how to use it:

Install-Script -Name Install-DockerOnWS2016UsingDSC

See Daniel's blog post for details on installing Docker with DCS.

Whether using the PowerShell Package Provider or DSC, Docker Engine is now running as a Windows service, listening on the default Docker named pipe.

For development VMs running (for example) in a Hyper-V VM on Windows 10, it might be advantageous to make the Docker Engine running in the Windows Server 2016 VM available to the Windows 10 host:

# Open firewall port 2375
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="docker engine" dir=in action=allow protocol=TCP localport=2375

# Configure Docker daemon to listen on both pipe and TCP (replaces docker --register-service invocation above)
Stop-Service docker
dockerd --unregister-service
dockerd -H npipe:// -H --register-service
Start-Service docker

The Windows Server 2016 Docker engine can now be used from the VM host by setting DOCKER_HOST: $env:DOCKER_HOST = "<ip-address-of-vm>:2375"

Next Steps

See the Microsoft documentation for more comprehensive instructions.

Continue to Step 2: Getting Started with Windows Containers