Docker on Windows – Running Windows Server 2016

So without any further delays we go ahead and create our environment to play around with containers however this time we will do it on windows!

As you know with release of Windows Server 2016 TP3 we have now the ability to play around with containers on Windows host. Since Docker is under heavy development it is possible that a lot will change in RTM therefore check out for any updates to this post 😀

If you are happy automating admin like I’m probably one of the first commands you run would be ….


… 🙂 of course – the windows engineer best friend !


To get this show stared I’m using Windows Server 2016 TP3 on Azure as that gives the biggest flexibility. Microsoft have posted already some good points how to get started using Docker. That documentation (or more less technical guide ) is available here. It explains how to quickly get started.

So we start off by logging into our Windows host and starting off powershell session :



Cool thing about which I wasn’t aware is syntax highlighting (something that ppl on unix had for a while 🙂 ) which makes working with PS and its output more readable (in my opinion)

So as mentioned in my previous post you have option to manage containers with Docker (as we now know it on ubuntu i.e. ) or with PowerShell. Since I have been working with with Docker already I decided to investigate that route and leave powershell for a bit later .

Following documentation which I have linked above we can see that Microsoft have been really good and prepared for us script which will take of initial configuration and download of all necessary docker tools.

In order to download it we need to execute the following command :

wget -uri http://aka.ms/setupcontainers -OutFile C:\ContainerSetup.ps1

If you would rather to get to the source of the script its available here

Once downloaded you can just start the script and it will take care of required configuration and download of the images. Yes … downloading of those images can take a while. Its approximately ~18GB of data which have been downloaded. So you may want to start the configuration before your favourite TV show or maybe a game of football in park 😀

Once completed we have access to the goodies – we can start playing with Docker. First thing which is good to do is to check out our Docker information … easily done by

Docker info

In my case the output is following :



Out of my head what is definitely worth of investigating is logging driver ( when used a bit differently allows you to throw Docker logs to centralised system i.e. ElasticSearch … but about that a bit later 😀 ). Rest we will investigate along with this learning series of Docker on Windows.

Now what would a Docker be without images! After running that long time taking configuration process we get access to windows images prepared for us. If you have not yet been playing around with those then you can get them by issuing

docker images

With that we get the available images :


First thing to notice is that approximate size of default image is ~9,7GB which is a question in this days – is it a lot ? I think you need to answer this question by yourself 🙂 or by waiting for MS to provide a bit more details (unless those our out and I haven’t found them 🙂 ). At the moment with my experience with Docker on Ubuntu – set up of Linux host and containers is a matter of minutes. So that GB of data on Windows might be a bit of show stopper on throwing Windows hosts for Docker.

Now since we have our image it might be useful to get more detailed information. We can get them by issuing command

docker inspect <Container Id> | <Image Id>

The results are following :

    "Id": "0d53944cb84d022f5535783fedfa72981449462b542cae35709a0ffea896852e",
    "Parent": "",
    "Comment": "",
    "Created": "2015-08-14T15:51:55.051Z",
    "Container": "",
    "ContainerConfig": {
        "Hostname": "",
        "Domainname": "",
        "User": "",
        "AttachStdin": false,
        "AttachStdout": false,
        "AttachStderr": false,
        "ExposedPorts": null,
        "PublishService": "",
        "Tty": false,
        "OpenStdin": false,
        "StdinOnce": false,
        "Env": null,
        "Cmd": null,
        "Image": "",
        "Volumes": null,
        "VolumeDriver": "",
        "WorkingDir": "",
        "Entrypoint": null,
        "NetworkDisabled": false,
        "MacAddress": "",
        "OnBuild": null,
        "Labels": null
    "DockerVersion": "1.9.0-dev",
    "Author": "",
    "Config": null,
    "Architecture": "amd64",
    "Os": "windows",
    "Size": 9696754476,
    "VirtualSize": 9696754476,
    "GraphDriver": {
        "Name": "windowsfilter",
        "Data": {
            "dir": "C:\\ProgramData\\docker\\windowsfilter\\0d53944cb84d022f5535783fedfa72981449462b542cae35709a0ffea89


So here we go – we will create our first container by running the following command . It will give us regular output and will run in background.

docker run -d --name firstcontainer windowsservercore powershell -command "& {for (;;) { [datetime]::now ; start-sleep -s 2} }

It gives regular output. In order to see what container is outputting you can issue command

docker logs <container Id>|<container name>


Thats all fine … but how do we do any customisations to our container ? The process is fairly simple we run a new container and make our changes. Once we are happy with changes we have implemented we can commit the changes and save our image. We will quickly explore this by creating container which would host our IIS web server.

We begin with creating a new container and entering interactive session

docker run -it --name iisbase windowsservercore powershell

Once your container is up we are directly taken to powershell session within that container. We will use the well known way to get base image configured. What we are after here is adding web server role using PS. First lets check if its definitely not installed :

Get-WindowsFeature -Name *web*


After that we will just add the web server role and then exit container. Lets issue the command for installation of role :

PS C:\> Add-WindowsFeature -Name Web-Server



Before we exit there is something which is worth of mentioning … speed of containers (at least at the moment of writing this blog where ppl at MS are still working on it 🙂 ). It can be significantly improved by removing anti malware service from you base image . This can be done by running the following command :

Uninstall-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Server-Antimalware


Now we can exit our container by simply typing


Small thing worth of mentioning 🙂 clipboard string content paste into containers have been limited to ~50 characters which is a work in progress and should be lifted up in next releases.


Ufff so we got to the point where our container have been configured it. Its time to build image from it. This can be done (at the moment ) only on containers which are stopped. To execute commit run :

# docker commit <container Id> | <contaner Name> <RepoName> 
docker commit 5e5f0d34988a rafpe:iis 


The process takes a bit of time however once completed we have access to our new image which allows us to spin multiple containers 🙂 If you would like to evaluate the image created you can use the approach and commands discussed earlier in this post.



And as you can see our new image rafpe is slightly bigger than the base image (this is due changes we made).

Let’s go ahead and do exactly what we waited for – spin a new container base on this image

docker run -d --name webos -p 80:80 rafpe:iis

Now at the moment of writing I could not get connected on exposed port 80 from container-host by issuing something in lines of


According to information which I have found on MSDN forums people are experiencing the same behaviour . Which means (if enabled on firewall ) you can get from external systems to your container exposed port (check if you have NAT correctly set up ).


Now to add something useful if you would like to try different approach for this exercise with Docker. To find different images use the following command :

docker search iis

Uff – I think that information should get you going and please be advised that this is a learning course for me as well 🙂 so if I made some terrible misleading in information here please let me know and  I will update that.

To not leave without pointing you to some good places here are links used by me for this :


Hope you liked the article! Stay tuned for more!




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