DEV Community

Ashkan Nourzadeh
Ashkan Nourzadeh

Posted on

How to use Docker on windows using VMware Workstation (without hyper-v)

I was using docker for windows for a while but it's network adapters doesn't work well for me. causes DNS problems and ....
So I tried to use Docker without hyper-v and came up with this idea of using docker with vmware workstation.

This is how to setup a simple environment:

  1. Install VMware Workstation
  2. Download Docker binaries from
  3. Download Docker machine binaries from
  4. Download Docker Machine Vmware Workstation driver form
  5. Extract & Move downloaded files to a directory in your path
  6. Execute docker-machine create --driver=vmwareworkstation dev in cmd to create a machine
  7. Execute docker-machine env dev > dockerdev.bat in cmd to create a batch file called dockerdev.bat and copy/move it to your path
  8. Execute the batch file created in step 7 (dockerdev)
  9. Use docker as usual

Top comments (7)

timkatje profile image
Tim Katje • Edited

As of 2020-05-11, Docker Desktop v2.3.0.1 released with WSL 2 support which makes Docker no longer dependent on the Hyper-V feature of Windows 10. This means that you might not need to go through all these extra steps to get Docker working on a machine that has VMware Workstation installed (as Hyper-V and Workstation are mutually exclusive). This also has the benefit of permitting those with Windows 10 Home editions to install Docker Desktop as well, since the Home edition of Windows doesn't support Hyper-V. You'll just need Windows 10 v2004+ with the WSL 2 feature enabled on your OS, and select the WSL 2 option when installing Docker Desktop.

Here's two awesome guides from Docker on the subject:

carylewis profile image
Cary Lewis

Hi there, I followed your article, and I was able to get docker to run with vmware workstation installed, but there is a strange networking issue going on.

When trying to run:

curl ----keepalive-time 5

Inside either an alpine linux, or centos linux container, I don't see the TCP keep alive packets being sent.

What is weird, is that if I run a centos VM on the same windows 10 host, and then install docker, and run the same curl command, I do see the keep alives?

Something in the way that  docker-machine-windows-x86_64 creates the virtual machine prevents the docker containers from issuing keep alives.

Which VM type is being used to run docker in?

I'm assuming that it's some sort of linux vm, which should allow apps to specify socket options such as the SO_KEEPALIVE?

Any insight you might have would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

bhayes profile image

Im looking for a way to make my own docker deskop and somehow expose docker applicaitons inside vmware to the host OS.
I have been using WSLv2 and Docker desktop since the ability was realeased however, running docker inside a full OS inside vmware is about 1000 times more efficient.

Seriousely the differnece in performance is night and day.
Its so much faster it and uses so little resources to run the same 40 containers I have that it begs the question.

Can I get Vmware to operate like WSLv2 does?

When suing WSL we already restort to remote development plugins for vscode and and keeping the files inside the linux os for IO speed. Can easily do the same with VMware and get 10X the IO speed and used a fraction of the ram and ssd bandwidth.

Its just missing one thing (asside forma prety docker dashboard) and thats as localhost exposing docker networks without having to use a different IP address from the host OS.

techchetn profile image

Hi Ashkan, installation is successful but unable pull images, i'm getting below error.
docker: image operating system "linux" cannot be used on this platform.

sstrijak profile image

Process ran without a hickup! Running docker with ansible in parallel with my GNS3 lab! Thanks Ashkan!

Win10 pro version 1803... Will try on home...

laurentfromparis profile image
Laurent J

Hello, I tryed to follow you tuto but it doesn't works.
Could you be more precise ?

amineyc profile image
Amine • Edited

Hello, Thanks its working for me, Windows 10 pro version 1809.

cant reach containers by localhost, I have to entre Ip address of VM.