- Are containers just for Linux?
- History of Windows containers
- LCOW (Linux Containers On Windows)
- Run Both Windows and Linux containers
- Did We Say Things Move Fast
- Other Windows container options
- SQL Server? Choice of Linux or Windows
- Windows Tools and Tips
At the end of this section, you will be able to:
Understand Windows Container vs. Linux Container.
Know about the features of Docker for Windows for choosing architecture.
Run other container architectures via QEMU emulation.
Are containers just for Linux?
Remember that a container must run on the kernel of the OS it's on.
This is both a benefit and a limitation.
(It makes containers lightweight, but limits them to a specific kernel.)
At its launch in 2013, Docker did only support Linux, and only on amd64 CPUs.
Since then, many platforms and OS have been added.
(Windows, ARM, i386, IBM mainframes ... But no macOS or iOS yet!)
Docker Desktop (macOS and Windows) can run containers for other architectures
(Check the docs to see how to run a Raspberry Pi (ARM) or PPC container!)
History of Windows containers
Early 2016, Windows 10 gained support for running Windows binaries in containers.
These are known as "Windows Containers"
Win 10 expects Docker for Windows to be installed for full features
These must run in Hyper-V mini-VM's with a Windows Server x64 kernel
No "scratch" containers, so use "Core" and "Nano" Server OS base layers
Since Hyper-V is required, Windows 10 Home won't work (yet...)
Late 2016, Windows Server 2016 ships with native Docker support
Installed via PowerShell, doesn't need Docker for Windows
Can run native (without VM), or with Hyper-V Isolation
LCOW (Linux Containers On Windows)
While Docker on Windows is largely playing catch up with Docker on Linux, it's moving fast; and this is one thing that you cannot do on Linux!
LCOW came with the 2017 Fall Creators Update.
It can run Linux and Windows containers side-by-side on Win 10.
It is no longer necessary to switch the Engine to "Linux Containers".
(In fact, if you want to run both Linux and Windows containers at the same time, make sure that your Engine is set to "Windows Containers" mode!)
If you are a Docker for Windows user, start your engine and try this:
docker pull microsoft/nanoserver:1803
(Make sure to switch to "Windows Containers mode" if necessary.)
Run Both Windows and Linux containers
Run a Windows Nano Server (minimal CLI-only server)
docker run --rm -it microsoft/nanoserver:1803 powershell Get-Process exit
Run busybox on Linux in LCOW
docker run --rm --platform linux busybox echo hello
(Although you will not be able to see them, this will create hidden Nano and LinuxKit VMs in Hyper-V!)
Did We Say Things Move Fast
Things keep improving.
windows, some images support both:
golang, mongo, python, redis, hello-world ... and more being added
you should still use
--plaformwith multi-os images to be certain
Windows Containers now support
localhostaccessable containers (July 2018)
Microsoft (April 2018) added Hyper-V support to Windows 10 Home ...
... so stay tuned for Docker support, maybe?!?
Other Windows container options
Most "official" Docker images don't run on Windows yet.
Places to Look: