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Enabling Docker Support

If you've got Visual Studio 2017, you can run your application in Docker (even with the Community Edition).

First, you'll need to download Docker for Windows. You'll need to decide what operating system will be used inside your containers (Windows or Linux). For .NET MVC Core applications and Web services, it doesn't matter which you pick, though generally speaking, I'd say there are more resources available if you choose Linux.

After Docker for Windows is installed, you'll find the Docker icon sitting in the Notifications popup on your taskbar. Right-click on that and pick Settings to display the Settings dialog. From left side of the dialog select Shared Drives. That will give you a list of drives available from your computer. Check off the drives you'll use when running your application and click the Apply button (you'll be asked for your password). Once you've shared your drives, you can close the Settings dialog.

With all that done, starting your Web application in Docker requires just four steps:

  1. Right-click on your project and select Add | Docker Support. You'll get a dialog asking you to pick what operating system your container should use -- pick the same one you chose when installing Docker for Windows. When the dialog closes, you'll find that a Dockerfile file has been added to your project. That file specifies the container image to be used and the instructions for loading and starting your application.
  2. In Visual Studio's toolbar, find the dropdown list for the F5/Play button. From the list, select Docker (you'll probably find that it's already switched to Docker).
  3. Press <F5>. You may get a warning message from your firewall asking you to grant permission for your application but, once you've given that permission, your application should start.
  4. Brag to your friends about how hip and happening you are.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 02/19/2019


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