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José Miguel Moreno
José Miguel Moreno

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Docker + VMware on Windows: the easy way

August 2020 Update: now that VMware Workstation can run with Hyper-V installed, there's a better alternative to running Docker on Windows 10. Check out this guide for more information.

Docker is one of the most useful tools for a developer nowadays, but setting it up on a Windows machine can be really painful, specially if you don't want to enable Hyper-V and prefer to use another hypervisor such as VMware Workstation.

Fortunately, there's an "easy" way to do exactly that with Chocolatey, the self-proclaimed package manager for Windows. Let's get started!

First of all, we need to open a Powershell window with administrative privileges and run the following command to install the Docker CLI and the VMware Docker machine driver:

PS> choco install docker-cli docker-machine-vmware

As Docker is runtime-agnostic, we can create a custom Docker machine running inside a VMware VM instead of using Hyper-V and then connect that instance to the Docker CLI. Let's create the Docker machine:

PS> docker-machine create --driver=vmware default

This command will take a few minutes. After it's done, make sure it was successful by listing the available Docker machines:

PS> docker-machine ls

NAME      ACTIVE   DRIVER   STATE     URL                          SWARM   DOCKER     ERRORS
default   -        vmware   Running   tcp://           v19.03.5

Great, we're almost done! The final step is to tell the CLI to use this machine for any Docker-related commands:

PS> docker-machine env | Invoke-Expression

And that's it! Docker running on Windows using VMware Workstation instead of Hyper-V. Keep in mind you'll need to start the Docker machine and connect it to Docker CLI every time you boot your device:

PS> docker-machine start default; docker-machine env | Invoke-Expression

Last but not least, here are some relevant URLs you can visit to learn more:

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