Install Docker Engine - Enterprise on Windows Servers

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Docker Engine - Enterprise enables native Docker containers on Windows Server. Windows Server 2016 and later versions are supported. The Docker Engine - Enterprise installation package includes everything you need to run Docker on Windows Server. This topic describes pre-install considerations, and how to download and install Docker Engine - Enterprise.

Release notes

Release notes for all versions

System requirements

Windows OS requirements around specific CPU and RAM requirements also need to be met as specified in the Windows Server Requirements. This provides information for specific CPU and memory specs and capabilities (instruction sets like CMPXCHG16b, LAHF/SAHF, and PrefetchW, security: DEP/NX, etc.).

  • OS Versions:
    • Long Term Service Channel (LTSC) - 2016 and 2019 (Core and GUI)
    • Semi-annual Channel (SAC) - 1709, 1803 and 1809
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Disk space: 32 GB minimum recommendation for Windows. Docker recommends an additional 32 GB of space for base images for ServerCore and NanoServer along with buffer space for workload containers running IIS, SQL Server and .Net apps.

Install Docker Engine - Enterprise

To install the Docker Engine - Enterprise on your hosts, Docker provides a OneGet PowerShell Module.

  1. Open an elevated PowerShell command prompt, and type the following commands.

    Install-Module DockerMsftProvider -Force
    Install-Package Docker -ProviderName DockerMsftProvider -Force
  2. Check if a reboot is required, and if yes, restart your instance.

    (Install-WindowsFeature Containers).RestartNeeded

    If the output of this command is Yes, then restart the server with:

  3. Test your Docker Engine - Enterprise installation by running the hello-world container.

    Windows Server 2019

    docker run hello-world:nanoserver

    Windows Server 2016

    docker run hello-world:nanoserver-sac2016

    The container starts, prints the hello message, and then exits.

    Unable to find image 'hello-world:nanoserver' locally
    nanoserver: Pulling from library/hello-world
    bce2fbc256ea: Pull complete
    3ac17e2e6106: Pull complete
    8cac44e17f16: Pull complete
    5e160e4d8db3: Pull complete
    Digest: sha256:25eac12ba40f7591969085ab3fb9772e8a4307553c14ea72d0e6f98b2c8ced9d
    Status: Downloaded newer image for hello-world:nanoserver
    Hello from Docker!
    This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.

(optional) Make sure you have all required updates

Some advanced Docker features, such as swarm mode, require the fixes included in KB4015217 (or a later cumulative patch).


Select option 6) Download and Install Updates.

FIPS 140-2 cryptographic module support

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 140-2 is a United States Federal security requirement for cryptographic modules.

With Docker Engine - Enterprise Basic license for versions 18.09 and later, Docker provides FIPS 140-2 support in Windows Server. This includes a FIPS supported cryptographic module. If the Windows implementation already has FIPS support enabled, FIPS is automatically enabled in the Docker engine.

Note: FIPS 140-2 is only supported in the Docker Engine - Enterprise engine. UCP and DTR currently do not have support for FIPS 140-2.

To enable FIPS 140-2 compliance on a system that is not in FIPS 140-2 mode, execute the following command in PowerShell:

[System.Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("DOCKER_FIPS", "1", "Machine")

FIPS 140-2 mode may also be enabled via the Windows Registry. To update the pertinent registry key, execute the following PowerShell command as an Administrator:

Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\FipsAlgorithmPolicy\" -Name "Enabled" -Value "1"

Restart the Docker service by running the following command.

net stop docker
net start docker

To confirm Docker is running with FIPS-140-2 enabled, run the docker info command:


Note: If the system has the FIPS-140-2 cryptographic module installed on the operating system, it is possible to disable FIPS-140-2 compliance. To disable FIPS-140-2 in Docker but not the operating system, set the value "DOCKER_FIPS","0" in the [System.Environment].`

Use a script to install Docker Engine - Enterprise

Use the following guide if you wanted to install the Docker Engine - Enterprise manually, via a script, or on air-gapped systems.

  1. In a PowerShell command prompt, download the installer archive on a machine that has a connection.

    # On an online machine, download the zip file.
    Invoke-WebRequest -UseBasicParsing -OutFile

    If you need to download a specific Docker Engine - Enterprise Engine release, all URLs can be found on this JSON index

  2. Copy the zip file to the machine where you want to install Docker. In a PowerShell command prompt, use the following commands to extract the archive, register, and start the Docker service.

    # Stop Docker service
    Stop-Service docker
    # Extract the archive.
    Expand-Archive -DestinationPath $Env:ProgramFiles -Force
    # Clean up the zip file.
    Remove-Item -Force
    # Install Docker. This requires rebooting.
    $null = Install-WindowsFeature containers
    # Add Docker to the path for the current session.
    $env:path += ";$env:ProgramFiles\docker"
    # Optionally, modify PATH to persist across sessions.
    $newPath = "$env:ProgramFiles\docker;" +
    [Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("PATH", $newPath,
    # Register the Docker daemon as a service.
    dockerd --register-service
    # Start the Docker service.
    Start-Service docker
  3. Test your Docker Engine - Enterprise installation by running the hello-world container.

    Windows Server 2019

    docker container run hello-world:nanoserver

    Windows Server 2016

    docker container run hello-world:nanoserver-sac2016

Install a specific version

To install a specific version, use the RequiredVersion flag:

Install-Package -Name docker -ProviderName DockerMsftProvider -Force -RequiredVersion 19.03
Name                      Version               Source           Summary
----                      -------               ------           -------
Docker                    19.03                 Docker           Contains Docker Engine - Enterprise for use with Windows Server...

Updating the DockerMsftProvider

Installing specific Docker Engine - Enterprise versions may require an update to previously installed DockerMsftProvider modules. To update:

Update-Module DockerMsftProvider

Then open a new PowerShell session for the update to take effect.

Update Docker Engine - Enterprise

To update Docker Engine - Enterprise to the most recent release, specify the -RequiredVersion and -Update flags:

Install-Package -Name docker -ProviderName DockerMsftProvider -RequiredVersion 19.03 -Update -Force

The required version number must match a version available on the JSON index

Uninstall Docker Engine - Enterprise

Use the following commands to completely remove the Docker Engine - Enterprise from a Windows Server:

  1. Leave any active Docker Swarm.

     docker swarm leave --force
  2. Remove all running and stopped containers.

     docker rm -f $(docker ps --all --quiet)
  3. Prune container data.

     docker system prune --all --volumes
  4. Uninstall Docker PowerShell Package and Module.

     Uninstall-Package -Name docker -ProviderName DockerMsftProvider
     Uninstall-Module -Name DockerMsftProvider
  5. Clean up Windows Networking and file system.

     Get-HNSNetwork | Remove-HNSNetwork
     Remove-Item -Path "C:\ProgramData\Docker" -Recurse -Force

Preparing a Windows Host for use with UCP

To add a Windows Server host to an existing Universal Control Plane cluster please follow the list of prerequisites and joining instructions.

About Docker Engine - Enterprise containers and Windows Server

Looking for information on using Docker Engine - Enterprise containers?

Where to go next

  • Getting started provides an overview of Docker Desktop for Windows, basic Docker command examples, how to get help or give feedback, and links to all topics in the Docker Desktop for Windows guide.

  • FAQs provides answers to frequently asked questions.

  • Release Notes lists component updates, new features, and improvements associated with Stable and Edge releases.

  • Learn Docker provides general Docker tutorials.

  • Windows Containers on Windows Server is the official Microsoft documentation.

Windows, Windows Server, install, download, ucp, Docker Engine - Enterprise