Installing Docker with WSL on Windows 10/11

This note will provide detailed steps and instructions to install Docker and signup for a DockerHub account on Windows with WSL. We will need a DockerHub account so that we can pull images and push the images we will build.

Windows 10 & 11 users will be able to install Docker Desktop if their computer supports the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

  1. Register for a Docker Hub account
  2. Download and install all pending Windows OS updates
  3. Run the WSL install script
  4. Reboot your computer
  5. Set a Username and Password in Ubuntu
    • After the reboot, Windows will auto-launch your new Ubuntu OS and prompt you to set a username and password.
  6. Manually Installing a Distribution
    If for some reason Windows did not prompt you to create a distribution or you simply would like to create a new one, you can do so by running the following command:
    wsl --install -d Ubuntu
  7. Install Docker Desktop
  8. Double-click the Docker Desktop Installer from your Downloads folder
  9. Click “Install anyway” if warned the app isn’t Microsoft-verified
  10. Click “OK” to Add a shortcut to the Desktop
  11. Click “Close” when you see Installation succeeded message
  12. Double-click the Docker Desktop icon on your Desktop
  13. Accept the Docker Service Agreement
  14. Docker Desktop will launch for the first time
    • Docker Desktop will launch and present you with a tutorial. You are free to skip this.
  15. Ensure that WSL Integration is Enabled
    • In Docker Desktop, click the Settings Gear icon. Then choose Resources, and finally WSL Integration. Make sure that the Enable Integration with my default WSL distro is checked. Also, if you are using multiple distributions, make sure that these additional distros are toggled on:
  16. Open your Distro
    • Using the Windows Search feature in the toolbar, type the name of your distribution (by default it is Ubuntu) and click Open:
  17. Check that Docker is working
    • Using the terminal for your distro, run the docker command. If all is well you should see some helpful instructions in the output similar to below:
  18. Log in to Docker
    • Using the terminal for your distro, run the docker login command. You will be prompted to enter the username and password (or your Personal Access Token) you created earlier when registering for a DockerHub account. Once you see Login Succeeded, the setup is complete and you are free to continue to the next lecture.
  19. Appendix

A significant difference when using WSL is that you will need to create and run your project files from within the Linux filesystem, not the Windows filesystem. This will be very important in later lectures when we cover volumes.

You can access your Linux system by using the Windows Search feature in the toolbar and typing the name of your distribution (by default it is Ubuntu) and clicking open (see step #16 above).  This terminal should automatically open to the home directory on the Linux filesystem

Going forward, all Docker commands should be run within WSL and not on the Windows file system