I have downloaded the Windows Server 2016 iso from Microsoft for evaluation.

I then installed it via VirtualBox on my Macbook Pro running the latest Mac OS (High Sierra).

I downloaded Docker for Windows but when I try to load it, it either fails with an error saying it cannot write to database, or it fails because it says virtualization / Hyper-V has to be enabled in BIOS.

I have Hyper-V selected in the VirtualBox settings so that should work (and restarted the virtual machine).

However it still fails.

Is it possible to run Docker for Windows on a Windows Virtual Machine, all hosted on Mac OS?

  • According to jcolebrand question and comment here yes, it is possible. Now you should be precise on what you downloaded, version/package/url or we can't help, if you installed the previous docker for windows which run a linux VM, there's good chances that fail.
    – Tensibai
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 13:29
  • @Tensibai I downloaded from the official microsoft site - - microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2016 and latest official docker for windows installer
    – dan2k3k4
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 13:39
  • 3
    May worth giving the version (of docker mainly <with docker --version) in the question itself by an edit
    – Tensibai
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


According to me this is not possible as the hyper-v should be enabled on the host system. If this is enabled in a VirtualBox, but not on the host system, then this will not work according to what I have experienced.

  • Confirmed that it doesn't work without Hyper-V enabled on the VBox host... Docker (for Windows) will fail to start, and if you open Hyper-V Manger, you will see the Moby VM stuck on "starting..." and will never complete. Too bad I have multiple dev boxes (used by others) running with VMWare Player on my host, otherwise I could switch on Hyper-V to test. Can anyone confirm it does work when Hyper-V is enabled on the host?
    – FizxMike
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 13:32

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