Set up the environment

Current version: 10.3

This topic is for development environments on Windows that use Docker Desktop. For other environments (such as build agents) that run on Windows Server and use Docker Engine - Enterprise, refer to the Docker documentation.


To run Docker on Windows 10 or Windows 11, you need the following:

  • For Windows 10, run Windows Professional or Enterprise version 1903 or later. For enabling process isolation, you need version 1909 or later.

    For Windows 11, run Windows Professional or Enterprise edition.

  • Enable Hyper-V.

    The Docker Desktop installer enables Hyper-V if necessary, but a machine restart is then required during install.

  • Make sure you're using Docker Compose V2.


When Hyper-V is enabled, VirtualBox no longer works. However, any existing VirtualBox VM images are retained.

Hardware guidelines

The hardware must meet the requirements for running Hyper-V. For complete details, including how to verify compatibility, see Windows 10 Hyper-V System Requirements. To summarize, Hyper-V requires:

In addition to the Hyper-V requirements, Sitecore development has these further requirements:

  • 16GB of RAM is the minimum, 32GB of RAM is recommended. This depends on the number of instances and topologies you want to run (that is, the number of simultaneously running containers). For example, 16GB may be sufficient for XM1 or XP0 instances, but will probably have problems running a full XP1 instance.

  • A quad core, or higher, CPU.

  • At least 25GB of free disk space for Sitecore container images. SSD storage is highly recommended for optimal performance when downloading and running Docker containers.

Install Docker

To install Docker:

  1. Download Docker Desktop for Windows and run the installer.

  2. During installation, choose to use Windows containers instead of Linux containers. You can also switch to Windows containers after installation.

If you use Chocolatey, install with the following command:

choco install docker-desktop

For more details, see the Docker documentation.

Start Docker Desktop

Docker Desktop does not automatically start after installation. If you have not already done so, start Docker Desktop. When the Docker item (the whale icon) in the Windows system tray stays steady, Docker Desktop is up and ready to go.


Docker Desktop is configured to run automatically on log in, so later you will typically not have to start it manually.

Switch to Windows containers

Sitecore development uses Windows-based containers. If you did not choose Windows containers during the installation, do it now.

To switch to Windows containers:

  • Use the Docker item (the whale icon) in the Windows system tray:

    How you switch to Windows containers in Docker.

Verify the installation

To verify that Docker was installed and runs:

  • Run docker version from a command prompt. You will see windows listed as the operating system for the Docker client and the Docker server:

    PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> docker version
    Client: Docker Engine - Community
     Version:           19.03.8
     API version:       1.40
     Go version:        go1.12.17
     Git commit:        afacb8b
     Built:             Wed Mar 11 01:23:10 2020
     OS/Arch:           windows/amd64
     Experimental:      false
    Server: Docker Engine - Community
      Version:          19.03.8
      API version:      1.40 (minimum version 1.24)
      Go version:       go1.12.17
      Git commit:       afacb8b
      Built:            Wed Mar 11 01:37:20 2020
      OS/Arch:          windows/amd64
      Experimental:     false

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