Windows 10 Docker

Installation guide of Docker for Windows 10 without enabling Hyper-v
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Installation guide of Docker for Windows 10 without enabling Hyper-v

Manual steps :

  1. Enable the containers feature in Windows 10

    • Start a PowerShell as Administrator
    • Run : Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -FeatureName containers -Online
    • Reboot the system
  2. Download the Docker Engine zip file

  3. Extract the archive

    • Run : Expand-Archive -DestinationPath $Env:ProgramFiles -Force
  4. Clean up the zip file

    • Run : Remove-Item -Force
  5. Add the docker install directory ($env:ProgramFiles\docker) to your PATH environment variable

    • Close the PowerShell window
    • Update the PATH environnement variable in Windows system properties
    • Start a new PowerShell as Administrator
    • Check if the docker command is found (should return an error at this stage). If not check you environment variable and try to fix that.
  6. Register the Docker service

    • Run : dockerd --exec-opt isolation=process --register-service
    • Set the Docker Engine service start mode to manual if you don't want to run your containers at anytime
    • Ensure that the Docker Engine service is running
  7. Install docker-compose (1.25.4 here) if required

  8. I recommend to exclude the $Env:ProgramData\docker directory from your antivirus scan path ($Env:ProgramData\docker is where Docker will store layers and volumes)

  9. Test your installation

    • Start a PowerShell as Administrator again
    • Run : docker run hello-world:nanoserver
    • Docker should download a container image (can take a bit of time depending of the network bandwidth) and display a message

Now you can enjoy Docker containers in Windows 10 without the virtualization overhead. The only constraint is that you have to choose a container system version that is matching your OS version. Run winver command in order to check what Windows 10 version you are running. I tested with 1903 and 1909 and I found that Windows 10 version 1909 can run 1903 based containers as well.

Few TIPS :

If you don't like the CLI you can now install Portainer :

docker pull portainer/portainer
docker run -d --restart always --name portainer -h portainer -p 9000:9000 -v //./pipe/docker_engine://./pipe/docker_engine portainer/portainer

Then you can open the Portainer console using this url : http://localhost:9000

In $Env:ProgramData\docker\config you can create a daemon.json file in order to set few parameters. Here is a copy of my configuration :

"fixed-cidr": "",
"dns": ["", ""],
"storage-opts": ["size=30GB"],
"group": "Users"
  • fixed-cidr : change the adress range of the containers nat network. Default range was conflicting with my VPN
  • dns : containers don't use any DNS by default. I use Google DNS servers
  • storage-opts : the default max size per image is 20GB
  • group : users allowed to run docker cli. Default is Administrators

You have to restart the Docker service in order to apply the changes. A system reboot is recommended if you change the network addresses

About docker-compose networking : compose will create networks that could have conflicting addresses with your VPN software. It's possible to define another network range in the docker-compose yaml. I suggest to just use the Docker default nat network. Example :

      name: "nat"

If you want to uninstall :

  1. Stop the Docker Engine service
  2. Run : dockerd --unregister-service
  3. Remove the $Env:ProgramFiles\docker directory
  4. Remove the $Env:ProgramData\docker directory (I recommend using docker-ci-zap moby/docker-ci-zap because some files have special access rights)
  5. Remove $env:ProgramFiles\docker from your PATH environment variable

Known issues :

  • When removing images or containers sometimes physical layers aren't removed from the disk. This means that disk usage will grow and some cleaning will be needed after a while. (Stop docker service, run docker-ci-zap in order to remove the $Env:ProgramData\docker directory and start docker service again)
  • Windows 10 could complain about unregistered Windows copy. The problem was introduced by recent Windows update patches. A system reboot solves the problem for me
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