Setting up Docker Desktop on a Windows Server!!

Docker for desktop provides a means for us to implement docker images and containers in Windows server environments. Now Docker for windows is not officially supported on server OSes. However, for homelab setups and developers this would be a good starting point for developing windows container applications. So let us look at the steps involved in deploying the docker on Windows Server 2022 VM. In my setup, I am using ESXi as my hypervisor, so hardware virtualization setting is based on that.

1- Log into your vCenter/vsphere webclient and select your Windows Server VM. Select edit settings and select the "Expose hardware assisted virtualization to the guest OS" checkbox under hardware virtualization. This is necessary for enabling the Hyper-v feature on your windows server.

2- Now, RDP into your Windows Server vm and start the Server Manager. Click on "Manage" from the top left corner and select "Add Roles and Features"

3- The "Add Roles and Features Wizard" opens. Click on "Next" with default selections for all the sections up "Server Roles". Under "Server Roles" select the "Hyper-V" check box and then click on "Next":

4- On the features confirmation pop-up, select the "Include Management tools" check box and click on "Add Features":

5- Under "Confirmation" select the check box "Restart the destination server automatically if required". Then click on "Install":

6- The feature installation begins and your VM will automatically reboot post the installation:

7- Once your VM reboots, log back into the VM and open server manager. On the dashboard, you with see a successful feature installation message:

8- Now, go to the docker official download page: "" . Once on the landing page, click on the "Docker Desktop for Windows" to download the installable:

9- Once the download is completed, double click on the installable to start the docker for desktop installation. On the installation wizard, under configuration uncheck "Use WSL2 instead of Hyper-V" and continue with the installation:

10- The Docker desktop installation begins:

11- After the Docker desktop installation is completed, docker desktop will start automatically. Accept the 'New' license agreement. The docker for desktop engine will start running post this.

We have our docker for desktop up and running!!

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