Quickstart: Deploy a container instance in Azure using the Azure CLI

Use Azure Container Instances to run serverless Docker containers in Azure with simplicity and speed. Deploy an application to a container instance on-demand when you don't need a full container orchestration platform like Azure Kubernetes Service.

In this quickstart, you use the Azure CLI to deploy an isolated Docker container and make its application available with a fully qualified domain name (FQDN). A few seconds after you execute a single deployment command, you can browse to the application running in the container:

View an app deployed to Azure Container Instances in browser

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Use Azure Cloud Shell

Azure hosts Azure Cloud Shell, an interactive shell environment that you can use through your browser. You can use either bash or PowerShell with Cloud Shell to work with Azure services. You can use the Cloud Shell preinstalled commands to run the code in this article without having to install anything on your local environment.

To start Azure Cloud Shell:

Option Example/Link
Select Try It in the upper-right corner of a code block. Selecting Try It doesn't automatically copy the code to Cloud Shell. Example of Try It for Azure Cloud Shell
Go to https://shell.azure.com or select the Launch Cloud Shell button to open Cloud Shell in your browser. Launch Cloud Shell in a new window
Select the Cloud Shell button on the top-right menu bar in the Azure portal. Cloud Shell button in the Azure portal

To run the code in this article in Azure Cloud Shell:

  1. Start Cloud Shell.

  2. Select the Copy button on a code block to copy the code.

  3. Paste the code into the Cloud Shell session by selecting Ctrl+Shift+V on Windows and Linux or by selecting Cmd+Shift+V on macOS.

  4. Select Enter to run the code.

You can use the Azure Cloud Shell or a local installation of the Azure CLI to complete this quickstart. If you'd like to use it locally, version 2.0.55 or later is recommended. Run az --version to find the version. If you need to install or upgrade, see Install Azure CLI.

Create a resource group

Azure container instances, like all Azure resources, must be deployed into a resource group. Resource groups allow you to organize and manage related Azure resources.

First, create a resource group named myResourceGroup in the eastus location with the following az group create command:

az group create --name myResourceGroup --location eastus

Create a container

Now that you have a resource group, you can run a container in Azure. To create a container instance with the Azure CLI, provide a resource group name, container instance name, and Docker container image to the az container create command. In this quickstart, you use the public mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-helloworld image. This image packages a small web app written in Node.js that serves a static HTML page.

You can expose your containers to the internet by specifying one or more ports to open, a DNS name label, or both. In this quickstart, you deploy a container with a DNS name label so that the web app is publicly reachable.

Execute a command similar to the following to start a container instance. Set a --dns-name-label value that's unique within the Azure region where you create the instance. If you receive a "DNS name label not available" error message, try a different DNS name label.

az container create --resource-group myResourceGroup --name mycontainer --image mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-helloworld --dns-name-label aci-demo --ports 80

Within a few seconds, you should get a response from the Azure CLI indicating that the deployment has completed. Check its status with the az container show command:

az container show --resource-group myResourceGroup --name mycontainer --query "{FQDN:ipAddress.fqdn,ProvisioningState:provisioningState}" --out table

When you run the command, the container's fully qualified domain name (FQDN) and its provisioning state are displayed.

$ az container show --resource-group myResourceGroup --name mycontainer --query "{FQDN:ipAddress.fqdn,ProvisioningState:provisioningState}" --out table
FQDN                               ProvisioningState
---------------------------------  -------------------
aci-demo.eastus.azurecontainer.io  Succeeded

If the container's ProvisioningState is Succeeded, go to its FQDN in your browser. If you see a web page similar to the following, congratulations! You've successfully deployed an application running in a Docker container to Azure.

View an app deployed to Azure Container Instances in browser

If at first the application isn't displayed, you might need to wait a few seconds while DNS propagates, then try refreshing your browser.

Pull the container logs

When you need to troubleshoot a container or the application it runs (or just see its output), start by viewing the container instance's logs.

Pull the container instance logs with the az container logs command:

az container logs --resource-group myResourceGroup --name mycontainer

The output displays the logs for the container, and should show the HTTP GET requests generated when you viewed the application in your browser.

$ az container logs --resource-group myResourceGroup --name mycontainer
listening on port 80
::ffff:10.240.255.55 - - [21/Mar/2019:17:43:53 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 304 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Safari/537.36"
::ffff:10.240.255.55 - - [21/Mar/2019:17:44:36 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 304 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Safari/537.36"
::ffff:10.240.255.55 - - [21/Mar/2019:17:44:36 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 304 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Safari/537.36"

Attach output streams

In addition to viewing the logs, you can attach your local standard out and standard error streams to that of the container.

First, execute the az container attach command to attach your local console to the container's output streams:

az container attach --resource-group myResourceGroup --name mycontainer

Once attached, refresh your browser a few times to generate some additional output. When you're done, detach your console with Control+C. You should see output similar to the following:

$ az container attach --resource-group myResourceGroup --name mycontainer
Container 'mycontainer' is in state 'Running'...
(count: 1) (last timestamp: 2019-03-21 17:27:20+00:00) pulling image "mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-helloworld"
(count: 1) (last timestamp: 2019-03-21 17:27:24+00:00) Successfully pulled image "mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-helloworld"
(count: 1) (last timestamp: 2019-03-21 17:27:27+00:00) Created container
(count: 1) (last timestamp: 2019-03-21 17:27:27+00:00) Started container

Start streaming logs:
listening on port 80

::ffff:10.240.255.55 - - [21/Mar/2019:17:43:53 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 304 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Safari/537.36"
::ffff:10.240.255.55 - - [21/Mar/2019:17:44:36 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 304 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Safari/537.36"
::ffff:10.240.255.55 - - [21/Mar/2019:17:44:36 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 304 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Safari/537.36"
::ffff:10.240.255.55 - - [21/Mar/2019:17:47:01 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 304 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Safari/537.36"
::ffff:10.240.255.56 - - [21/Mar/2019:17:47:12 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 304 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Safari/537.36"

Clean up resources

When you're done with the container, remove it using the az container delete command:

az container delete --resource-group myResourceGroup --name mycontainer

To verify that the container has been deleted, execute the az container list command:

az container list --resource-group myResourceGroup --output table

The mycontainer container should not appear in the command's output. If you have no other containers in the resource group, no output is displayed.

If you're done with the myResourceGroup resource group and all the resources it contains, delete it with the az group delete command:

az group delete --name myResourceGroup

Next steps

In this quickstart, you created an Azure container instance by using a public Microsoft image. If you'd like to build a container image and deploy it from a private Azure container registry, continue to the Azure Container Instances tutorial.

To try out options for running containers in an orchestration system on Azure, see the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) quickstarts.