Install Docker Desktop on Windows (2023)

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Update to the Docker Desktop terms

Commercial use of Docker Desktop in larger enterprises (more than 250employees OR more than $10 million USD in annual revenue) now requires a paidsubscription.

Welcome to Docker Desktop for Windows. This page contains information about Docker Desktop for Windows system requirements, download URL, instructions to install and update Docker Desktop for Windows.

Download Docker Desktop for Windows

Docker Desktop for Windows

For checksums, see Release notes

System requirements

Your Windows machine must meet the following requirements to successfully install Docker Desktop.

WSL 2 backend

  • Windows 11 64-bit: Home or Pro version 21H2 or higher, or Enterprise or Education version 21H2 or higher.
  • Windows 10 64-bit: Home or Pro 21H1 (build 19043) or higher, or Enterprise or Education 20H2 (build 19042) or higher.
  • Enable the WSL 2 feature on Windows. For detailed instructions, refer to theMicrosoft documentation.
  • The following hardware prerequisites are required to successfully runWSL 2 on Windows 10 or Windows 11:

    • 64-bit processor with Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
    • 4GB system RAM
    • BIOS-level hardware virtualization support must be enabled in theBIOS settings. For more information, seeVirtualization.
  • Download and install the Linux kernel update package.

Hyper-V backend and Windows containers

  • Windows 11 64-bit: Pro version 21H2 or higher, or Enterprise or Education version 21H2 or higher.
  • Windows 10 64-bit: Pro 21H1 (build 19043) or higher, or Enterprise or Education 20H2 (build 19042) or higher.

    For Windows 10 and Windows 11 Home, see the system requirements in the WSL 2 backend tab.

  • Hyper-V and Containers Windows features must be enabled.
  • The following hardware prerequisites are required to successfully run ClientHyper-V on Windows 10:

    • 64 bit processor with Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
    • 4GB system RAM
    • BIOS-level hardware virtualization support must be enabled in theBIOS settings. For more information, seeVirtualization.
(Video) Docker Installation On Windows 10 | How To Install Docker? | Docker Installation | Simplilearn

Note

Docker only supports Docker Desktop on Windows for those versions of Windows 10 that are still within Microsoft’s servicing timeline.

Containers and images created with Docker Desktop are shared between alluser accounts on machines where it is installed. This is because all Windowsaccounts use the same VM to build and run containers. Note that it is not possible to share containers and images between user accounts when using the Docker Desktop WSL 2 backend.

Running Docker Desktop inside a VMware ESXi or Azure VM is supported for Docker Business customers.It requires enabling nested virtualization on the hypervisor first.For more information, see Running Docker Desktop in a VM or VDI environment.

About Windows containers

Looking for information on using Windows containers?

  • Switch between Windows and Linux containersdescribes how you can toggle between Linux and Windows containers in Docker Desktop and points you to the tutorial mentioned above.
  • Getting Started with Windows Containers (Lab)provides a tutorial on how to set up and run Windows containers on Windows 10, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019. It shows you how to use a MusicStore applicationwith Windows containers.
  • Docker Container Platform for Windows articles and blogposts on the Docker website.

Note

To run Windows containers, you need Windows 10 or Windows 11 Professional or Enterprise edition.Windows Home or Education editions will only allow you to run Linux containers.

Install Docker Desktop on Windows

Install interactively

  1. Double-click Docker Desktop Installer.exe to run the installer.

    If you haven’t already downloaded the installer (Docker Desktop Installer.exe), you can get it fromDocker Hub.It typically downloads to your Downloads folder, or you can run it fromthe recent downloads bar at the bottom of your web browser.

    (Video) Docker Tutorial for Beginners 2 - Install Docker on Windows 10

  2. When prompted, ensure the Use WSL 2 instead of Hyper-V option on the Configuration page is selected or not depending on your choice of backend.

    If your system only supports one of the two options, you will not be able to select which backend to use.

  3. Follow the instructions on the installation wizard to authorize the installer and proceed with the install.

  4. When the installation is successful, click Close to complete the installation process.

  5. If your admin account is different to your user account, you must add the user to the docker-users group. Run Computer Management as an administrator and navigate to Local Users and Groups > Groups > docker-users. Right-click to add the user to the group.Log out and log back in for the changes to take effect.

Install from the command line

After downloading Docker Desktop Installer.exe, run the following command in a terminal to install Docker Desktop:

If you’re using PowerShell you should run it as:

Start-Process '.\win\build\Docker Desktop Installer.exe' -Wait install

If using the Windows Command Prompt:

(Video) Docker Installation On Windows 10 | Installing Docker Desktop on windows 10

start /w "" "Docker Desktop Installer.exe" install

The install command accepts the following flags:

  • --quiet: suppresses information output when running the installer
  • --accept-license: accepts the Docker Subscription Service Agreement now, rather than requiring it to be accepted when the application is first run
  • --no-windows-containers: disables Windows containers integration
  • --allowed-org=<org name>: requires the user to sign in and be part of the specified Docker Hub organization when running the application
  • --backend=<backend name>: selects the default backend to use for Docker Desktop, hyper-v, windows or wsl-2 (default)

If your admin account is different to your user account, you must add the user to the docker-users group:

net localgroup docker-users <user> /add

Start Docker Desktop

Docker Desktop does not start automatically after installation. To start Docker Desktop:

  1. Search for Docker, and select Docker Desktop in the search results.

    Install Docker Desktop on Windows (1)

  2. The Docker menu (Install Docker Desktop on Windows (2)) displays the Docker Subscription Service Agreement window. It includes a change to the terms of use for Docker Desktop.

    Here’s a summary of the key changes:

    • Our Docker Subscription Service Agreement includes a change to the terms of use for Docker Desktop
    • It remains free for small businesses (fewer than 250 employees AND less than $10 million in annual revenue), personal use, education, and non-commercial open source projects.
    • It requires a paid subscription for professional use in larger enterprises.
    • The effective date of these terms is August 31, 2021.
    • The existing Docker Free subscription has been renamed Docker Personal and we have introduced a Docker Business subscription .
    • The Docker Pro, Team, and Business subscriptions include commercial use of Docker Desktop.
  3. Click the checkbox to indicate that you accept the updated terms and then click Accept to continue. Docker Desktop starts after you accept the terms.

    (Video) Docker Complete Setup on Windows (With WSL Ubuntu)

    Important

    If you do not agree to the updated terms, the Docker Desktop application will close and you can no longer run Docker Desktop on your machine. You can choose to accept the terms at a later date by opening Docker Desktop.

    For more information, see Docker Desktop License Agreement. We recommend that you also read the Blog and FAQs to learn how companies using Docker Desktop may be affected.

Updates

When an update is available, Docker Desktop displays an icon on the Docker menu to indicate the availability of a newer version. Additionally, the Software Updates section in Settings (Preferences on Mac) also notifies you of any updates available to Docker Desktop. You can choose to download the update right away, or click the Release Notes option to learn what’s included in the updated version.

Starting with Docker Desktop 4.2.0, the option to turn off the automatic check for updates is available for users on all Docker subscriptions, including Docker Personal and Docker Pro..

Docker Subscription Service Agreement

Beginning on August 31, 2021, you must agree to the Docker Subscription Service Agreement to continue using Docker Desktop. Read the Blog and the Docker subscription FAQs to learn more about the changes.

Click Download update When you are ready to download the update. This downloads the update in the background. After downloading the update, click Update and restart from the Docker menu. This installs the latest update and restarts Docker Desktop for the changes to take effect.

When Docker Desktop starts, it displays the Docker Subscription Service Agreement window. Read the information presented on the screen to understand how the changes impact you. Click the checkbox to indicate that you accept the updated terms and then click Accept to continue.

Important

If you do not agree to the terms, the Docker Desktop application will close and you can no longer run Docker Desktop on your machine. You can choose to accept the terms at a later date by opening Docker Desktop.

Docker Desktop starts after you accept the terms.

(Video) How to Install Docker on Windows 10 / Windows 11 (2022)

Uninstall Docker Desktop

To uninstall Docker Desktop from your Windows machine:

  1. From the Windows Start menu, select Settings > Apps > Apps & features.
  2. Select Docker Desktop from the Apps & features list and then select Uninstall.
  3. Click Uninstall to confirm your selection.

Important

Uninstalling Docker Desktop destroys Docker containers, images, volumes, andother Docker related data local to the machine, and removes the files generatedby the application. Refer to the back up and restore datasection to learn how to preserve important data before uninstalling.

Where to go next

  • Get started with Docker is a tutorial that teaches you how to deploy a multi-service stack.
  • Troubleshooting describes common problems, workarounds, andhow to get support.
  • FAQs provide answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Release notes lists component updates, new features, and improvements associated with Docker Desktop releases.
  • Back up and restore data provides instructions on backing up and restoring data related to Docker.
windows, install, download, run, docker, local

FAQs

Is 8gb RAM enough for Docker? ›

Minimum: 8 GB; Recommended: 16 GB. AnzoGraph needs enough RAM to store data, intermediate query results, and run the server processes.

Can I use Docker on Windows without Docker Desktop? ›

Docker Desktop is Docker (the company)'s first wedge into getting you to run proprietary software, so Docker strongly guides you to download it as the only way to get started: In fact, new users can go pretty far without even realizing that you don't need Docker Desktop to run the Docker daemon.

Is there an alternative to Docker Desktop for Windows? ›

Docker Desktop is the only Docker solution without a complete alternative yet. The new changes were announced on August 31, 2021, with a grace period up to January 31, 2022. During this period, Docker Desktop users need to decide on a subscription plan if they want to continue using the Docker Desktop license.

Can I run Docker Desktop on Windows without admin privileges? ›

While Docker Desktop on Windows can be run without having Administrator privileges, it does require them during installation. On installation the user gets a UAC prompt which allows a privileged helper service to be installed.

How much memory is required for Docker? ›

The maximum amount of memory the container can use. If you set this option, the minimum allowed value is 6m (6 megabytes). That is, you must set the value to at least 6 megabytes.

How much space do I need to install Docker? ›

Ensure that you have a minimum of 16 GB of RAM. Ensure that you have 100 GB of free disk space on the computer on which you install Docker. On Linux operating systems, the 100 GB of free disk space must be on the disk or partition that contains the Docker data directory, by default /var/lib/docker .

What is difference between Docker and Docker Desktop? ›

Docker containers are running inside the virtual machine. Everything else is a consequence. Docker Desktop just tries to hide that fact from you so you don't need to setup a virtual machine and the client-server connection. Having a virtual machine is required on Windows and MacOS if you want to run Linux containers.

Why do I need Docker Desktop? ›

Docker Desktop works with your choice of development tools and languages and gives you access to a vast library of certified images and templates in Docker Hub. This enables development teams to extend their environment to rapidly auto-build, continuously integrate, and collaborate using a secure repository.

Should I install Docker on Windows or WSL? ›

The docker CLI and UI all work fine from Windows without any additional Linux distros. However for the best developer experience, we recommend installing at least one additional distro and enabling Docker support by: Ensure the distribution runs in WSL 2 mode. WSL can run distributions in both v1 or v2 mode.

Is Docker still popular 2022? ›

Gartner believes that 70% of organizations will be running multiple containerized apps by 2023. Momentum has definitely grown, and it's led us to some very humbling discoveries in 2022: Docker is the #1 most loved development tool, and remains the #1 most-wanted tool.

What is replacing Docker? ›

Podman is a rising star in a new container landscape that suddenly has a lot more players. Learn what Podman is and how it compares to Docker for Kubernetes compatibility and more. Will Podman replace Docker?

How can I use Windows Docker for free? ›

On your windows, you need to install a couple of things :
  1. WSL2 : Install WSL | Microsoft Docs.
  2. Ubuntu on WSL2 : in Microsoft Store Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
  3. Visual Code : it can be downloaded at Visual Studio Code - Code Editing. Redefined.
  4. Docker extension for VSCode : directly from Visual Code Extensions Marketplace.
26 Sept 2021

Is docker compatible with Windows 11? ›

Now you can run Docker in Windows without needing a virtual box or Hyper-V. Windows 11 also introduces support for graphical apps, so you can install programs inside Linux (which is inside Windows) then run them. For instance, you can run Gimp (on Linux) and edit images, along with other programs like Chrome.

How do I run a docker image in Windows? ›

Select the image you want to run, and click Run. On the Run menu, set up the configuration for the container, such as the container name, the isolation type, which ports to publish, and memory and CPU allocation. Additionally, you can append Docker run commands that are not in the UI, such as -v for persistent volume.

How do I run a docker command in Windows? ›

To list available commands, either run docker with no parameters or execute docker help : $ docker Usage: docker [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARG...] docker [ --help | -v | --version ] A self-sufficient runtime for containers. Options: --config string Location of client config files (default "/root/.

How do I make my docker use less RAM? ›

To limit the maximum amount of memory usage for a container, add the --memory option to the docker run command. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut -m . Within the command, specify how much memory you want to dedicate to that specific container.

Can my PC run docker? ›

You can run both Linux and Windows programs and executables in Docker containers. The Docker platform runs natively on Linux (on x86-64, ARM and many other CPU architectures) and on Windows (x86-64). Docker Inc. builds products that let you build and run containers on Linux, Windows and macOS.

How many CPUs should docker use? ›

Performance and Containers

If no value is provided docker will use a default value. On windows, a container defaults to using two CPUs. If hyperthreading is available this is one core and two logical processors. If hyperthreading is not available this is two cores and two logical processors.

How do I put Docker on my Desktop Windows 10 home? ›

Go to the website https://docs.docker.com/docker-for-windows/install/ and download the docker file. Note: A 64-bit processor and 4GB system RAM are the hardware prerequisites required to successfully run Docker on Windows 10. 2. Then, double-click on the Docker Desktop Installer.exe to run the installer.

Why do people use Docker? ›

Docker is a tool designed to make it easier for developers to develop, ship, and run applications by using containers. Containers allow devs to package an application with all of its requirements and configurations, such as libraries and other dependencies and deploy it as a single package.

Is Docker free to use? ›

*Docker Desktop is free to use, as part of the Docker Personal subscription, for individuals, non-commercial open source developers, students and educators, and small businesses of less than 250 employees AND less than $10 million in revenue.

Can 4GB RAM run on Docker? ›

Note: A 64-bit processor and 4GB system RAM are the hardware prerequisites required to successfully run Docker on Windows 10.

Is Docker resource intensive? ›

This makes Docker applications easier and more lightweight to deploy and faster to start up than virtual machines. Docker containers are generally faster and less resource-intensive than virtual machines, but full VMware virtualization still has its unique core benefits—namely, security and isolation.

How do I start Docker desktop? ›

To start Docker Desktop:
  1. Search for Docker, and select Docker Desktop in the search results.
  2. The Docker menu ( ) displays the Docker Subscription Service Agreement window. Here's a summary of the key points: ...
  3. Select Accept to continue. Docker Desktop starts after you accept the terms. Important.

What is Docker client and Docker server? ›

Docker uses a client-server architecture. The Docker client talks to the Docker daemon, which does the heavy lifting of building, running, and distributing your Docker containers. The Docker client and daemon can run on the same system, or you can connect a Docker client to a remote Docker daemon.

Can my PC run Docker? ›

You can run both Linux and Windows programs and executables in Docker containers. The Docker platform runs natively on Linux (on x86-64, ARM and many other CPU architectures) and on Windows (x86-64). Docker Inc. builds products that let you build and run containers on Linux, Windows and macOS.

How do I increase the memory on my Docker desktop? ›

Set Maximum Memory Access

To limit the maximum amount of memory usage for a container, add the --memory option to the docker run command. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut -m . Within the command, specify how much memory you want to dedicate to that specific container.

How many cores does a Docker container have? ›

On windows, a container defaults to using two CPUs. If hyperthreading is available this is one core and two logical processors. If hyperthreading is not available this is two cores and two logical processors.

Is Docker better than VirtualBox? ›

We can conclude that when comparing Docker vs VirtualBox or other Virtual Machine software, Docker is better for running apps and services in containers because it's a faster and easier way to do it.

What are the disadvantages of Docker? ›

The one major issue is if an application designed to run in a Docker container on Windows, then it can't run on Linux or vice versa. However, Virtual machines are not subject to this limitation.

Is Docker better than VM? ›

Though Docker and virtual machines have their advantages over hardware devices, Docker is the more efficient of the two in terms of resource utilization. If two organizations were completely identical and running the same hardware, then the company using Docker would be able to sustain more applications.

What is difference between Docker and Docker Desktop? ›

Docker containers are running inside the virtual machine. Everything else is a consequence. Docker Desktop just tries to hide that fact from you so you don't need to setup a virtual machine and the client-server connection. Having a virtual machine is required on Windows and MacOS if you want to run Linux containers.

Why do I need Docker Desktop? ›

Docker Desktop works with your choice of development tools and languages and gives you access to a vast library of certified images and templates in Docker Hub. This enables development teams to extend their environment to rapidly auto-build, continuously integrate, and collaborate using a secure repository.

Why do people use Docker? ›

Docker is a tool designed to make it easier for developers to develop, ship, and run applications by using containers. Containers allow devs to package an application with all of its requirements and configurations, such as libraries and other dependencies and deploy it as a single package.

Is Docker a VM? ›

Docker isn't a virtual machine - it is a configuration management tool. let's not forget that Docker for Mac and Docker for Windows do use the virtualization layer.

Is Docker free to use? ›

Docker Desktop is licensed as part of a free (Personal) or paid Docker subscription (Pro, Team or Business). Docker Desktop may be used for free as part of a Docker Personal subscription for: Small companies (fewer than 250 employees AND less than $10 million in annual revenue)

Do I need Docker? ›

Docker is very useful for web applications running on a server or console-based software. But if your product is a standard desktop application, especially with a rich GUI, Docker may not be the best choice.

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