Docker Windows Server 2016: Everything You Need to Know

Greetings Dev! Are you curious about Docker and its benefits for Windows Server 2016? Docker is a containerization platform that allows you to package and run applications in lightweight containers. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Docker on Windows Server 2016. Let’s dive in!

What is Docker?

Docker is an open-source platform that automates the deployment of applications inside containers. Containers are a lightweight and portable way to package software dependencies and applications. With Docker, you can deploy applications quickly and reliably across different environments, from development to production.

Docker also provides a standardized way to package and distribute applications, making it easier for developers to collaborate and share their work. Docker containers are isolated from each other, providing a level of security and stability that is essential for modern application development.

The Benefits of Docker

Docker provides several benefits for developers and IT professionals:

Docker containers can run on any system that supports Docker, regardless of the underlying infrastructure.
Docker makes it easy to scale applications horizontally by replicating containers across multiple hosts.
Docker provides a standardized way to package and distribute applications, ensuring consistency across different environments.
Docker allows you to build and deploy applications using a variety of programming languages and frameworks.
Docker containers are lightweight and consume fewer resources than traditional virtual machines, making them more efficient.

Docker on Windows Server 2016

Docker has been available on Windows since 2016, with full support for Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10. Docker on Windows provides the same benefits as Docker on Linux, with the added advantage of being able to run Windows applications inside containers.

System Requirements

To run Docker on Windows Server 2016, you’ll need:

4 GB
30 GB free space
Windows Server 2016, Windows 10 Anniversary Update or later


Installing Docker on Windows Server 2016 is straightforward. You can download the Docker package from the official Docker website and follow the installation wizard. Docker for Windows also includes a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy to manage containers and images.

Once Docker is installed, you can start using it to run containers on your Windows Server 2016 machine. Docker provides several pre-built images for Windows, including images for .NET Core, IIS, and SQL Server.

Creating a Docker Image

To create a Docker image for your Windows application, you’ll need to write a Dockerfile. A Dockerfile is a script that defines how to build a Docker image. It specifies the base image, the commands to run, and the files to include in the image.

Here’s an example Dockerfile for a .NET Core application:

FROM microsoft/dotnet:2.1-sdk-nanoserver-sac2016 AS build-envWORKDIR /app# copy csproj and restore as distinct layersCOPY *.csproj ./RUN dotnet restore# copy everything else and buildCOPY . ./RUN dotnet publish -c Release -o out# build runtime imageFROM microsoft/aspnetcore:2.0-nanoserver-sac2016WORKDIR /appCOPY --from=build-env /app/out .ENTRYPOINT ["dotnet", "myapp.dll"]

This Dockerfile uses the .NET Core SDK image as the base image, copies the source code and builds the application, and finally creates a runtime image that includes the built application. You can build the Docker image using the following command:

docker build -t myapp .

This command builds the Docker image and tags it with the name “myapp”. You can then use the “docker run” command to run the application inside a container:

docker run -d -p 8080:80 myapp

This command runs the “myapp” container in detached mode (-d) and maps port 8080 on the host to port 80 in the container (-p 8080:80).

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I run Docker on Windows 7 or 8.1?

No, Docker requires Windows 10 Anniversary Update or later, or Windows Server 2016.

What are the differences between Docker on Windows and Docker on Linux?

Docker on Windows and Docker on Linux provide similar functionality, but there are a few key differences:

  • Docker on Windows can run Windows applications inside containers, while Docker on Linux can only run Linux applications.
  • The Docker Engine on Windows uses a virtual machine (VM) to run Linux containers, while Docker on Linux runs containers natively on the host OS.
  • There are some differences in the Docker command syntax between Windows and Linux, although most commands are the same.

What are the best practices for running Docker on Windows Server 2016?

Some best practices for running Docker on Windows Server 2016 include:

  • Use the latest version of Docker for Windows.
  • Use the “nat” network driver for better performance.
  • Optimize your container images for size and performance.
  • Use Docker Compose or Kubernetes to manage multiple containers and services.
  • Monitor your containers and infrastructure using tools like Docker Stats and Prometheus.

Can I run Docker containers on multiple Windows Server 2016 hosts?

Yes, you can use Docker Swarm or Kubernetes to orchestrate containers across multiple hosts. This allows you to scale your applications horizontally and increase resilience.

What are some common use cases for Docker on Windows Server 2016?

Some common use cases for Docker on Windows Server 2016 include:

  • Running .NET applications in containers.
  • Using containers to isolate legacy applications and dependencies.
  • Testing and deploying applications across different environments.
  • Running containerized databases like SQL Server.
  • Building and deploying microservices with Docker and Kubernetes.


Docker on Windows Server 2016 provides a powerful platform for running and deploying modern applications. With Docker, you can take advantage of containerization to improve portability, scalability, and efficiency. Whether you’re running .NET applications or deploying microservices, Docker on Windows has everything you need to succeed. Give it a try!