I'm working on a Windows laptop and running Docker for Windows on it. I want to run an Ubuntu container with a specific version and a MySQL server on it. So the question is, do I have to download MySQL on the Ubuntu container or can I run 2 containers (Ubuntu and MySQL) and combine them? How do I combine these 2 containers?

1 Answer 1


At first, I misread your question, thinking you wanted to run more than one service together, so I had recommended Docker Compose which makes it easy to run multiple services together, with networking, and can even specify the start up order.

But now I see you are just trying to run MySQL, and wondering do you need separate containers for the OS and MySQL: in short, no you don't need two containers. Instead, just get the MySQL image from DockerHub at https://hub.docker.com/_/mysql?tab=description

The reason you can just use that MySQL Docker image by itself is because it already is installed on a Debian image, which you can see in the Dockerfile at https://github.com/docker-library/mysql/blob/master/8.0/Dockerfile where it shows:

FROM debian:buster-slim

So, to solve the problem, do:

  1. docker pull mysql
  2. docker run --name some-mysql -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=my-secret-pw -d mysql:tag as mentioned in the instructions on the Docker Hub page. Additional documentation at https://github.com/docker-library/docs/tree/master/mysql

I do strongly recommend using Docker Compose (docker-compose command) to run containers, as it makes it easier to organise and run them.

  • Thanks Mike this is really helpful. Actually you answered 2 things for me . So when i want a Debian container with mysql apache freeradius etc in it( with network config and so on) i do it with docker compose right?
    – user19215
    Aug 20, 2020 at 7:18
  • @user19215 docker-compose is not required, but just a helpful way to run containers. You could instead do the same using docker commands, but docker-compose is much easier to configure (the docker-compose.yml is YAML syntax). Aug 20, 2020 at 14:42
  • @user19215 So if you want multiple services in one container not in different ones that are connected via a network then you will have to create your own Docker image. This is pretty simple to do if you just want basic non production ready images.
    – joshk132
    Aug 21, 2020 at 2:24
  • @user19215 Here's official documentation on running multiple services in a single container: docs.docker.com/config/containers/multi-service_container Aug 26, 2020 at 12:11
  • @user19215 That being said it's not recommended as Docker containers are meant to be application containers, that is there should be a single service running in a single container. It sounds like what you want are OS containers like LXC: linuxcontainers.org Aug 26, 2020 at 12:13

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