Map Windows host location to Linux container in Docker

I’ve been working more with Docker on a Windows PC lately. With the more recent versions of Docker, the application runs much better and there is task bar control panel for managing the processes. If you are interested in trying out Docker and don’t have a Linux machine to work with, go download the Windows Stable Community edition which was recently updated to 17.09.0.

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NAT:HNS error with Docker SQL Server container on Windows10

As with many things I post here, this article was the result of a problem I encountered, and how to resolve or work around it. I have been working with Docker on Windows and was attempting to run a container provided by Microsoft that included SQL Server. The process is fairly easy, just pull the image and run it with the appropriate command options. Unfortunately, that didn’t work. When I used the supplied command to run the container, I would get this error message:

Error response from daemon: failed to create endpoint <container name> on network nat: HNS failed with error. Unspecified error.

I spent several hours working this out over the past few days, doing web searches and trying various ideas. Lots of people experiencing the problem, but no solutions. Eventually I figured out a solution. Hopefully this helps someone else. The error above I found out indicates a problem with the default ‘nat’ network that Docker creates when you install it.  By using the default NAT network, you basically have a private network on your docker host.

You can attempt to delete that network by opening PowerShell as Administrator. (Microsoft has a good write-up on networking for Windows containers here.) Enter the following command to see a list of the virtual networks defined on your PC:

Get-NetNat

Stop Docker using the whale icon on your notification area, by right clicking on the whale and choosing Quit Docker from the menu. Then run this command:

Remove-NetNat

Enter “Y” at the prompt to remove all networks. Now restart Docker.  If this doesn’t work for you, read on.

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Photo Break – Land Between the Lakes KY

Spent some vacation time last week in western Kentucky, near the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. There are two large lakes with a peninsula between them making it a boater’s paradise (although I am not a fan), and there is some great scenery. This picture was take at one of the many marina near the Kentucky Dam at sunset.

Picture copyright by me, so do not use without permission.