Docker Engine on Windows

The Docker Engine and client are not included with Windows and will need to be installed and configured individually. Furthermore, the Docker Engine can accept many custom configurations. Some examples include configuring how the daemon accepts incoming requests, default networking options, and debug/log settings. On Windows, these configurations can be specified in a configuration file or by using Windows Service control manager. This document will detail how to install and configure the Docker Engine, and will also provide some examples of commonly used configurations.

Install Docker

Docker is required in order to work with Windows Containers. Docker consists of the Docker Engine (dockerd.exe), and the Docker client (docker.exe). The easiest way to get everything installed is in the quick start guides. They will help you get everything set up and run your first container.

Manual Installation

If you would like to use an in-development version of the Docker Engine and client instead, you can use the steps that follow. This will install both the Docker Engine and client. If you are a developer testing new features or using a Windows Insider build, you may need to use an in-development version of Docker. Otherwise, follow the steps in the Install Docker section above to get the latest released versions.

If you have installed Docker for Windows, be sure to remove it before you follow these manual installation steps.

Download the Docker Engine

The latest version may always be found at . This sample uses the latest from the master branch.

Invoke-WebRequest "" -OutFile "$env:TEMP\" -UseBasicParsing

Expand the zip archive into Program Files.

Expand-Archive -Path "$env:TEMP\" -DestinationPath $env:ProgramFiles

Add the Docker directory to the system path. When complete, restart the PowerShell session so that the modified path is recognized.

# Add path to this PowerShell session immediately
$env:path += ";$env:ProgramFiles\Docker"

# For persistent use after a reboot
$existingMachinePath = [Environment]::GetEnvironmentVariable("Path",[System.EnvironmentVariableTarget]::Machine)
[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("Path", $existingMachinePath + ";$env:ProgramFiles\Docker", [EnvironmentVariableTarget]::Machine)

To install Docker as a Windows service, run the following.

dockerd --register-service

Once installed, the service can be started.

Start-Service Docker

Before Docker can be used container images will need to be installed. For more information see, the quick start guide for using images.

Configure Docker with Configuration File

The preferred method for configuring the Docker Engine on Windows is using a configuration file. The configuration file can be found at 'C:\ProgramData\Docker\config\daemon.json'. If this file does not already exist, it can be created.

Note – not every available Docker configuration option is applicable to Docker on Windows. The below example shows those that are. For complete documentation on Docker Engine configuration, see Docker daemon configuration file.

    "authorization-plugins": [],
    "dns": [],
    "dns-opts": [],
    "dns-search": [],
    "exec-opts": [],
    "storage-driver": "",
    "storage-opts": [],
    "labels": [],
    "log-driver": "", 
    "mtu": 0,
    "pidfile": "",
    "data-root": "",
    "cluster-store": "",
    "cluster-advertise": "",
    "debug": true,
    "hosts": [],
    "log-level": "",
    "tlsverify": true,
    "tlscacert": "",
    "tlscert": "",
    "tlskey": "",
    "group": "",
    "default-ulimits": {},
    "bridge": "",
    "fixed-cidr": "",
    "raw-logs": false,
    "registry-mirrors": [],
    "insecure-registries": [],
    "disable-legacy-registry": false

Only the desired configuration changes need to be added to the configuration file. For example, this sample configures the Docker Engine to accept incoming connections on port 2375. All other configuration options will use default values.

    "hosts": ["tcp://"]

Likewise this sample configures the Docker daemon to keep images and containers in an alternate path. If not specified, the default is c:\programdata\docker.

    "data-root": "d:\\docker"

Likewise, this sample configures the Docker daemon to only accept secured connections over port 2376.

    "hosts": ["tcp://", "npipe://"],
    "tlsverify": true,
    "tlscacert": "C:\\ProgramData\\docker\\certs.d\\ca.pem",
    "tlscert": "C:\\ProgramData\\docker\\certs.d\\server-cert.pem",
    "tlskey": "C:\\ProgramData\\docker\\certs.d\\server-key.pem",

Configure Docker on the Docker Service

The Docker Engine can also be configured by modifying the Docker service using sc config. Using this method, Docker Engine flags are set directly on the Docker service. Run the following command in a command prompt (cmd.exe not PowerShell):

sc config docker binpath= "\"C:\Program Files\docker\dockerd.exe\" --run-service -H tcp://"

Note: You do not need to run this command if your daemon.json file already contains the "hosts": ["tcp://"] entry.

Common Configuration

The following configuration file examples show common Docker configurations. These can be combined into a single configuration file.

Default Network Creation

To configure the Docker Engine so that a default NAT network is not created, use the following. For more information, see Manage Docker Networks.

    "bridge" : "none"

Set Docker Security Group

When logged into the Docker host and running Docker commands locally, these commands are run through a named pipe. By default, only members of the Administrators group can access the Docker Engine through the named pipe. To specify a security group that has this access, use the group flag.

    "group" : "docker"

Proxy Configuration

To set proxy information for docker search and docker pull, create a Windows environment variable with the name HTTP_PROXY or HTTPS_PROXY, and a value of the proxy information. This can be completed with PowerShell using a command similar to this:

[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("HTTP_PROXY", "http://username:password@proxy:port/", [EnvironmentVariableTarget]::Machine)

Once the variable has been set, restart the Docker service.

Restart-Service docker

For more information see, Windows Configuration File on