Microsoft Nano Server with Docker Enterprise Edition (EE)

This article details the process to install the latest Docker EE Version 17.06.2-ee-3 to a Microsoft Nano Server. I am sure there are different ways to do this. After a few iterations, here is one verified approach. A sample script is available.


As shown below, when adding the server feature, containers, in Windows Server 2016, it installs Docker EE Version 17.06-1-ee-2. As opposed to what is in Windows 10, adding containers in ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ of  Program and Features of Control Panel installs Docker CE Version 17.03.1-ce, i.e. Community Edition. Information about the two versions is available. The latest version of Docker EE is 17.06-2-ee-3. To keep all Docker EE to the same and the latest version, one may need to manually install Docker EE, instead of employing the default version with a Windows Server. To manually install Docker EE to a Microsoft Nano Server, follow the steps provided below.

Windows Server 2016 patched on 10/05/2017


Windows 10 patched on 10/05/2017


Step 1 – Create a Nano Server vhdx file with the container package

First, use Nano Server Image Builder to create a vhdx file with intended packages including containers. Notice if Windows ADK (Assessment and Deployment Kit) is not in place, it will prompt for installing ADK. Which is about 6.7 GB download. Once ADK is in place, start the image builder which is wizard-driven and straightforward. I picked vhdx format for building a Gen2 VM. And as shown below, I also added containers, Hyper-V and Anti-Virus packages. The Windows Server 2016 media used to create the Nano Server vhdx file is en_windows_server_2016_x64_dvd_9718492.iso download from my MSDN subscription.


Step 2 – Update the Nano Server OS

In Hyper-V manager, I created and started a Gen2 VM using the vhdx created in Step 1. And log in the VM to find out the IP address, as shown below.


I did the following to connect to the host. Once connected, not shown in the following is that to test the Internet connectivity and update the DNS setting, as needed, by following the instructions in the sample script. What should be done first is to carry out a Windows update. Which I did.


For this particular VM, I had already updated the OS before taking this screen capture, thus there was no, i.e. zero, updates applicable. Originally there were two updates, KB4035631 and KB4038782, listed as applicable. This update took 20 minutes with about 2 GB download, followed by a reboot of the system. If there is an interest in examining the list of applicable updates beforehand, you can run the following in the PSSession before the Invoke-CimMethod in line 8,

$updateList = ($ci | Invoke-CimMethod -MethodName ScanForUpdates -Arguments @{SearchCriteria=”IsInstalled=0″;OnlineScan=$true}).Updates

Step 3 – Install Docker EE

If to simply use the Docker default to current Windows Server 2016 installation, which is Docker EE Version 17.06-1-ee-2, as stated earlier, install the provider and package will do. In this case, execute line 1 and line 4 to start a PSSession after updating followed by rebooting the OS, then run the following PowerShell commands to install Docker.

Install-Module -Name DockerMsftProvider -Repository PSGallery -Force
Install-Package -Name docker -ProviderName DockerMsftProvider
Restart-Computer -Force; exit

To manually install Docker EE Version 17.06.2-ee-3, I did the following:


After downloading and extracting the source file in line 27 and 28, the PATH in the registry was updated with the installation of Docker to persist the reference across sessions. Rather than reboot the system, the current PATH was updated to start and verify the installation of an intended version of Docker from line 39 to line 41. The following is the user experience of executing line 1 to line 41 and successfully installed Docker EE Version 17.06.2-ee-3.


In a swarm, keeping all Docker instances in the same version is essential. In case there is a need to have Docker EE Version 17.06.2-ee-3 in Windows workloads, the presented steps achieve that.

What’s Next

Having installed Docker EE, start pulling down images and building containers. Deploying a swarm in a hybrid setting is what I plan to share next.