Elton's Container Show


Elton's Container Show - resources for the YouTube broadcast

View the Project on GitHub sixeyed/ecs

ECS-W2: Building and Running Windows Apps in Docker Containers

You can package pretty much any Windows app into a Docker image, provided you can install and configure it unattended (there’s no UI in Windows containers).

This episode shows you how to package apps from MSIs and from .NET source code.

Here it is on YouTube - ECS-W2: Building and Running Windows Apps in Docker Containers


You can follow along with the demos using Docker Desktop on Windows 10.

Then clone the sixeyed/docker4.net repo for the examples.

Demo 1 - Navigating Microsoft’s Windows images

There are two base OS images:

All Microsoft’s images are published on MCR but discovery is still on Docker Hub

Check out Windows Server Core:

docker image ls mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:*

docker container run -it mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:ltsc2019 

Server Core has PowerShell and .NET installed:





Nano Server just has the Windows command line:

docker image ls  mcr.microsoft.com/windows/nanoserver:*

docker container run -it mcr.microsoft.com/windows/nanoserver:2004


type License.txt


Packaging Apps from Existing Artifacts

Using the sixeyed/docker4.net repo.

This Dockerfile packages an MSI onto the ASP.NET 4.8 base image.

cd $env:docker4dotnet  # points to the docker4.net root

cd docker/02-02-packaging-pre-built-apps/signup-web/v1

docker image build -t signup-web:02-01 --no-cache .

docker run -d -p 8080:80 --name web signup-web:02-01

Browse to the app at http://localhost:8080/signup - it doesn’t work :)

Packaging .NET Framework Apps from Source

This Dockerfile packages the same app from the source code - using the .NET SDK image and the ASP.NET image.

cd $env:docker4dotnet

docker image build -t signup-web:02-03 `
  -f ./docker/02-03-packaging-netfx-apps/signup-web/v3/Dockerfile --no-cache .

Run the app with SQL Server:

docker run -d --name SIGNUP-DB-DEV01 `
  --env sa_password=DockerCon!!! `

docker run -d -p 8081:80 --name signup-web signup-web:02-03

Browse to the app at http://localhost:8081/app - now it works :)

Packaging .NET Core Apps from Source

Same approach for .NET Core (and .NET 5), just different base images and SDK commands.

See this .NET Core API Dockerfile.

Build in the same way:

docker image build -t reference-data-api `
  -f ./docker/02-05-packaging-dotnet-apps/reference-data-api/Dockerfile --no-cache .

Run with config:

docker run -d -p 8082:80 --name api `
  -e ConnectionStrings:SignUpDb="Server=SIGNUP-DB-DEV01;Database=SignUp;User Id=sa;Password=DockerCon!!!;" `

curl http://localhost:8082/api/roles

Not All Platforms Are Equal

.NET Core is container-friendly by default:

docker logs api

docker top api

You need to do some more work for .NET Framework:

docker logs signup-web

docker top signup-web

Multi-stage Builds are Super Portable

You don’t need a CI server with any SDK tools - you just need Docker.

GitHub actions will build images like this using a simple workflow.

Coming next

ECS-W3: Running Windows Containers in the Cloud with ACI and AKS