Installing and Running Docker on 32-bit Windows

For some reason, Docker really, really doesn’t want people to run on 32-bit. I’m sure they have their reasons, but I’ve got a Lenovo tablet with Windows 10 32-bit that I got for free and I wanted to be able to screw around with containers on it.

This fantastic post by Aaron Krauss gets part of the way there by showing how to at least use the Docker client. As of his posting, however, it was still necessary to have the Docker server running on a 64-bit OS. Thankfully, and thanks to Stefan Scherer’s comment on the post for the heads up, there’s now a 32-bit binary for docker-machine in the Chocolatey repository. So, I decided to try to get it up and running on my modest little tablet.

The first step to getting this whole setup to work is installing Oracle’s VirtualBox on the host system. Once the installation is complete, installing docker-machine is as simple as running the following in an Administrative PowerShell session:

That’s it! You can verify that it’s working correctly by running “docker version”:

PS C:\Windows\system32> docker version
Client:
Version: 1.12.1
API version: 1.24
Go version: go1.6.3
Git commit: 23cf638
Built: Thu Aug 18 17:52:38 2016
OS/Arch: windows/386
Server:
Version: 1.12.1
API version: 1.24
Go version: go1.6.3
Git commit: 23cf638
Built: Thu Aug 18 17:52:38 2016
OS/Arch: linux/amd64

It’s important to note that following a restart I needed to run “docker-machine start default” to get the server started and then “docker-machine env | Invoke-Expression” to allow the Docker client to see the server. I also needed to always use an Administrative PowerShell session (I think due to the interface with VirtualBox).

I haven’t put it through its paces yet, as I’ve just been screwing around up until now, but everything seems to be running as expected within the containers (so far…)

Go wild!