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Industrial IoT and Edge

Portainer is your solution to securely deploy software containers across your fleet of Edge devices.

Diane HannayFebruary 1, 20222 min read

Replacing Docker Desktop on Windows

How to replace Docker Desktop on Windows to run and manage your Linux containers with a graphical interface. This is a guest post by Jan Jambor. 


Docker announced in August 2021 that they are going to restrict the free usage of Docker Desktop starting February 1st, 2022. You can quickly check if you are affected by going through these points:

  • Do you have 250 or more employees?
  • Do you have an annual revenue higher than $10m?
  • Do you develop closed source, proprietary software?

If you are ticking one of these checkboxes, you probably are required to pay licenses.

What can I do?

Docker has changed and shaped the IT landscape we know today massively. Our containerized world would not be the same without the company Docker. They deserve not only our thankfulness, but also a fair share of the value we are creating on top of that and a sustainable business model.

There are anyway situations where you might need to work around that Docker Desktop restrictions. We want to show you some options.

Install Docker for Linux Desktop

There was never a Docker Desktop for Linux available. But the alternative for Windows and macOS we are showing here, also qualifies as Docker Desktop for Linux. If you have a Debian based distribution, you can proceed like this:

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install -y ca-certificates curl gnupg lsb-release

$ curl -fsSL | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg

$ echo "deb [arch=$(dpkg --print-architecture) signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg] \

$(lsb_release -cs) stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli


Install WSL for Windows Desktop

Starting with Windows 10 version 2004 you can easily install WSL 2 and run a local docker host in Linux. Open power shell and run wsl --install to install the default Ubuntu based WSL2. After the process is done, restart your system. After your system has rebooted, the process continues and takes some time to complete. You can validate the setup with this command in power shell:

$ wsl -l -v
  NAME            STATE           VERSION
* Ubuntu-20.04    Running         2

You can start the WSL environment at any time by looking for e.g. ubuntu in your windows start menu. To complete the Docker setup, follow the instructions mentioned in the previous chapter for Linux.


Verify Docker Setup

You should be able to run the following test no matter which setup you have. 

$ sudo /etc/init.d/docker start
$ docker -v
Docker version 20.10.12, build e91ed5707e
$ sudo docker run hello-world


Portainer setup

As a graphical interface we are suggesting Portainer. It’s a great open-source solution making container management easy. We are having the smallest possible setup in the scenario here. There are other, more enterprise-size scenarios possible. Ask us any questions if you want to know more.

$ sudo docker volume create portainer_data
$ sudo docker run -d -p 8000:8000 -p 9443:9443 --name portainer --restart=always -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock -v portainer_data:/data portainer/portainer-ce:2.11.0

After that a local container with Portainer is running. You can go to https://localhost:9443/ on your local laptop or pc and see the Portainer web interface. After creating an initial user, you can manage your docker containers in the graphical interface.

Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 12.41.55 PM



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