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Docker on Windows - Part 2 Creating A Container

Welcome back and thank you for joining me on this epic journey! On part 1 of the Docker series, we went over installation and configuration of Docker on Windows. Today, we will bring down an image, create a container, give the container it's needed ports, allow it to run in the background, and see our Nginx splash page come up!

First, let's bring up our PowerShell window and do a quick docker --version to confirm Docker is installed, running, and happy. If Docker is not running, please check on Part 1 of the Docker on Windows series to confirm you followed all of the steps. Make sure to also confirm the Docker service is running.


For the purposes of this post, we're going to utilize Nginx because it's the most straight forward for learning deployments with Docker, in my opinion. It utilizes a port that's mostly open for all and the image is pre-build in the Docker hub.

Speaking of Docker hub, let's head over and take a look at the Nginx image.
https://hub.docker.com/

Go ahead and search for "Nginx" in the search bar. You'll see several images pop up. Take a look at how the first one is different. It says "official" in the name. This means that this is an official Docker image made by Nginx. The images that don't say "official" means someone else (like you or I) made the image and uploaded it to Docker hub. Let's ensure we use the official.


Next, we're going to take a look at the docker run command which we will be using to spin up our container. For more information on the docker run command, please follow this link. For today, I will explain the switches that we need for the purposes of this blog post.
https://docs.docker.com/engine/reference/commandline/run/

Our docker line is going to look like the following:

docker run --name my-nginx -tid -p 8080:80 nginx:latest

Let's break this line down:

docker = calling the Docker API
run = the command you're going to use to create the container. There are several other commands to do things like list containers, list images, etc.
--name = naming your container
tid =  t = pseudo-tty. In short, psuedo means you're interacting with an arbitrary computer and TTY means you're interacting with a console; i = interactive. Keep the STDIN open even if not inside the container for a stream of input data if needed; d = run container in background while you aren't connected to the container
p = what port you want your container to interact on. If you see something like "8080:80", this means any traffic coming into 8080, push it to 80 (http)

Let's open up a PowerShell prompt and run it!


Notice in the screenshot below how it's downloading the Nginx image. This will occur if the image you are calling hasn't been downloaded yet. If it has, it'll be sitting in your local images and this won't occur.


Next, you should see something similar to the screenshot below.


Now, let's go ahead and run docker container ls and what you should see is a running container.


Now, let's open up a web browser and go to 127.0.0.1:8080

You should see something similar to the Nginx splash page below.


Congrats! You have officially spun up your first container on Docker for Windows! The next and final blog post on our 3 part series, we will do the same thing, but in an automated fashion with Docker Compose. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

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