Running a Container-Based Development Environment

Dynamics 365 Business Central is available as a container-based image, ready for running on a Windows system with Docker installed. The container-based approach is used when you need access to both the AL development environment and the C/SIDE development environment.


For more information on where to find Docker images, see What Docker Image is Right for You?.

Install and configure Docker

Install Docker and configure it for Windows Containers.

  1. Please choose the version of Docker that is appropriate for the host operating system.

  2. Switch Docker to use Windows containers. By default Docker uses Linux containers.

    To switch to Windows containers, in the Taskbar, right-click the Docker icon Docker, and then select Switch to Windows Containers. For more information, see Switch between Windows and Linux containers.

Run the container-based image

Run the following command in a Command Prompt as Administrator to run a Docker image of Dynamics 365 Business Central:

docker run -e accept_eula=Y -m 4G


When you run the Docker run command, it will start downloading the image if it does not already exist. A container consists of multiple layers, only the needed layers are downloaded.

After starting the docker run command above, you will see log entries similar to the following:

Starting Container
Hostname is cdc633cdb0a2
Container IP Address:
Container Hostname  : cdc633cdb0a2
Container Dns Name  : cdc633cdb0a2
Web Client          : https://cdc633cdb0a2/NAV/
NAV Admin Username  : admin
NAV Admin Password  : Biba4071
 Initialization took 83 seconds
Ready for connections!

At this point, you can open your internet browser and type in the Web client URL from the log. You will be prompted with a login dialog, where you can login with the NAV Admin Username/Password displayed.


The container image uses a so called self-signed certificate for https communication. Because of that, your browser might warn you that the page you are requesting is unsafe. In those specific circumstances and only for test and development environments, it is safe to ignore this warning. If you want to solve this warning, you can install the certificate on your PC (see the link under "Files" in the log entries).

The NavContainerHelper module

To support the use of containers, optional PowerShell scripts are available, which support setup of development environments. Use the NavContainerHelper to work with containers. On a Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 machine, start Powershell as an Administrator and type:

install-module navcontainerhelper -force

To see which functions are available in the NavContainerHelper module use the following command:


To get quickly get started, run the following command from the NavContainerHelper module:

new-navcontainer -accept_eula -containerName test -imageName<country> -usebestcontaineros

The NavContainerHelper will create a folder on the C:\ drive called DEMO and will place all files underneath that folder. The DEMO folder will be shared to the container for transfer of files etc. If you do not specify a username and a password, it will ask for your password and use the current Windows username. If you specify your windows password, the container setup will use Windows Authentication integrated with the host. The NavContainerHelper will also create shortcuts on the desktop for the Dynamics 365 Business Central Web client, a container prompt, and a container PowerShell prompt.

The navcontainerhelper module also allows you to add the -includeCSide switch in order to add the Dynamics 365 Business Central Windows client and C/SIDE to the desktop and export all objects to a folder underneath C:\DEMO\Extensions for the object handling functions from the module to work.

See Also

Getting Started with AL
Get started with the Container Sandbox Development Environment
Keyboard Shortcuts
AL Development Environment
FAQ for Developing in AL