Use docker for windows in WSL1 (!)

Philipp Scheit
1 min readNov 10, 2019


note: this applies only to WSL1. In WSL2 you can install docker and be happy — just use the official way of installing.

This article is obsolete and kept as a reference

The trick is to only install the cli in WSL and use the docker daemon running on the windows host (with docker desktop for windows)

Run the steps to install docker ubuntu from here

until the line:

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

You dont need docker-ce and Just use docker-ce-cli:

sudo apt-get install docker-ce-cli

Then tell your docker client to connect to the one from windows host

echo "export DOCKER_HOST=tcp://localhost:2375" >> ~/.bashrc && . ~/.bashrc

Expose the docker client api without tls (there is a setting in Docker Desktop to do that) Now docker ps should already work.

Install docker-compose and go for it.