Installing Docker for Windows

Docker has become a must-have for many software projects. Docker containers which act like light-weight virtual machines, allow for implementation of highly distributed and scalable applications. They are also very useful in software development - running continuous integration, component testing, integration tests and so on. 

Automated testing is one of the goals every development team should aim for. Automated tests, executed within isolated environments with known state are invaluable for the development teams, quality assurance and devops. Docker containers, as they can be spawned in matter of seconds rather than minutes have become very useful in implementation of the continuous integration and delivery processes.

Windows world was lacking a docker hosting solution for a long time - but not anymore.

If you visit the Docker for Windows page, you will be able to download and install the Docker host, so you can run your containers directly on your workstation or server. 

Note. Docker for Windows has specific requirements to run, most notably Microsoft Hyper-V technology must be enabled. The installer will enable it for you, but if you have a VirtualBox environment on your machine, be aware that it will not run anymore.

The installation (On Windows 10 Pro) has been rather smooth. 


Docker for windows installer

The final window of the setup is quite different from other installers I have seen.

Docker for windows installer - final step

When you click the button - you will be logged off, so you better ensure that you have all your stuff saved and secure.

When you log in again to your workstation, the docker will start automatically in the tray. 

Docker for windows, starting

In my case, Docker detected that the Hyper-V is not enabled, and asked me if I wanted to do so.

Docker for windows - enable Hyper-V

When I pressed OK, the machine did not seem to do anything for about half a minute, then rebooted a few times, configuring the components.

And that's it - you can open now your command line client, Powershell or Bash and start using Docker!

Docker in powershell

One more thing, in fact. When you run an image, it may be useful if it has access to your local drive, to share some data. You can do it easily by clicking Settings in the docker menu. 

Docker for Windows - settings menu

Then you can select the drive you want to be accessible for your Docker images.

Docker for Windows - drive access settings

Note - when you click Apply, you will have to enter your username and password so that the process can access your drive.

In the Advanced tab of the Settings you can also tweak runtime parameters of the Docker host. 

Docker for Windows - advanced settings

That is the installation process complete.

What do we want to do next? For example run a database server.

Docker for windows - mysql container

This is a topic for the next post however.

Stay tuned!

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