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.

Prerequisites

  • Use Azure Cloud Shell using the bash environment.

    Embed launch

  • If you prefer, install Azure CLI to run CLI reference commands.

    • If you're using a local install, sign in with Azure CLI by using the az login command. To finish the authentication process, follow the steps displayed in your terminal. See Sign in with Azure CLI for additional sign-in options.
    • When you're prompted, install Azure CLI extensions on first use. For more information about extensions, see Use extensions with Azure CLI.
    • Run az version to find the version and dependent libraries that are installed. To upgrade to the latest version, run az upgrade.
  • This quickstart requires version 2.0.55 or later of the Azure CLI. If using Azure Cloud Shell, the latest version is already installed.

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.

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.

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:

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.